F.A.R.E. is short for Friends Assisting with Rides and Errands. The Zocalo Permaculture Center in South Gouldsboro came up with this idea to reduce unnecessary car trips from their neighborhood. They created a private, independent cellphone network for their small group of friends and neighbors.
- Watch a video for step-by-step set-up instructions
- How does F.A.R.E. work? Click here for three examples.
F.A.R.E. networks typically involve just 6 to 12 people. They utilize regular cellphones and text messages, and do not require Internet access or computers. They allow group members to contact each other directly, without going through a centralized computer or an agency switchboard.
F.A.R.E. networks utilize stored cellphone numbers and saved text messages. A group member who is heading to the supermarket can send a short text to others in the group. Individuals can respond by asking to ride along, or by requesting that the driver pick up items for them at the store.
Available recurring rides are stored in the cellphone’s address book, using an easy-to-understand code. Recurring rides are linked to the driver’s cellphone number, so group members can ask to ride along with the click of a button.
Groups members agree in advance on fees for rides and errands. These fees are displayed in the stored message or ride.