On my way to church this morning I was trying to think through how we can help our congregants get to church, and especially those that have limited mobility due to lack of access to a transportation.
In the past the congregation ran a “Van Ministry”. Volunteers drove the “Church Van” around and picked up congregants that needed a ride to church. For various reasons that is not a realistic option at the moment.
My thought while driving to church, was focused on carpool/rideshare option. In the past that would have meant a lot of paperwork, complicated planning and endless phone calls, but as UBER has proved it should be manageable and relatively simple to do it with “an App”.
To begin with we have a fixed time, 10:30 am Sundays. The location is always the same, the church.
What would the app need:
- A form for the driver, asking for a name, address, phone number, number of seats (possibly photo, age and gender), and what dates they will attend worship.
- A form for the user, asking for a name, address, phone number, number of seats (possibly photo, age and gender), and what dates they will attend worship.
- An algorithm to match drivers and users, based on location (possibly age and gender).
- A way of creating a map for the drivers, after matching up drivers and users.
- An assesment tool to evaluate the experience of drivers and users.
- An ability to use the app on iOs, Android, and through a web browser.
- An automated system to let users know they are being picked up.
- An automated reminder system for drivers (txt and/or email).
- A simple ability to change registration for both drivers and users if plans change.
- Later add on to the system would be f.x. the ability to create new events.
Such an app would enable churches to reduce the cost of their “van ministries” substantially, enhance social interactions between members, and have a possible possitive impact on the environment. This app might already exist, at least the technical aspects of it are widely available.
If you came across this post, and happen to be a programmer who has already an app like this or have the ability to create this kind of app, feel free to contact me, halldor.elias (at) ispeculate.net.