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K-State Today

April 27, 2015

Founder of roadside ridesharing project to present at spring colloquium

Submitted by Courtney Boman

The landscape architecture and regional & community planning department is hosting Jenny O'Brien at 4:30 p.m. May 1 in 106c Seaton Hall for its last colloquium of the semester. O'Brien will present "Ridesharing Revolution: Hitchhiking Goes High-Tech." The colloquium is free and open to the public.

As a resident of rural Kansas, O'Brien was dismayed at the lack of transportation options in small communities in the state. She decided to do something about it and created the Hopista Roadside Ridesharing project. The project combines the flexibility of hitchhiking with smartphone technology and the principles of the sharing economy.

Three years after the launch with nearly 300 rides provided, O'Brien has been featured in YES! Magazine, Fast Company, Smithsonian Online, Planetizen, the National Center for Mobility Management podcast, and gave a TED talk at TEDxKC 2014.

Questions regarding the colloquium may be sent to Huston Gibson, assistant professor of regional and community planning, at hgibson@k-state.edu.