OpenRide started its service only a couple of weeks ago. With the use of modern technology, people are able to share their private car rides with other people. With OpenRide this can be done ad-hoc through the use of modern cell phone technology. At the same time OpenRide also offers a robust platform for invoicing and rewarding users.

What made me think though was the fact that I don’t know a lot about the public transportation system in my home town. Are the trains usually on time? How happy have customers been with it? Do gas prices have an impact on adoption? I simply remember the times when my train was late or when there was some major delay in schedule.

Hence I decided to send the public transporation authority an email asking for data on delays. Not surprisingly, my request was immediately rejected: I was told that this data is confidential company data that management does not want to release to the public in detail.

Having read Jeff Jarvis’ book What Would Google Do?, I must admit that I find the possibilities to tackle problems like this with the help of users exciting and promising. in this case, this would be tapping into the wisdom of the crowds. Just imagine that all customers have more time to work on this problem than all of your employees together.

What is there to lose other than finding a new solution or confirming an old one? If that data is confidential, when will the first website launch that enables users to report delays and run statistics on that data themselves?