User:Kreuzschnabel/Proposed features:Hitchhiking bench
|Status:||Proposals with undefined or invalid status (inactive)|
|Definition:||A bench dedicated to request a lift to a local destination|
Many smaller towns and villages in rural areas with sparse bus service have started to put up "hitchhiking benches" for people who don’t own a car and look for a lift to a nearby destination, e.g. the nearest town. Car drivers may pull over and pick them up from that bench. For the disabled or elderly, waiting on a bench is comfortable while thumbing on the roadside might be impossible. Another plus is local drivers knowing those places so they may have a look if there’s anybody to offer a lift to when going off to town.
The opportunity to find such a bench and being guided there by routing apps is very helpful especially in unfamiliar places to get a lift quickly.
In most cases, there would be 1 to 3 of such benches per village/suburb, either near the centre (easy to reach) or halfway out the outgoing roads. They are kept separated from bus stops to avoid confusion, and there has developed a habit of painting them in a light blue for easier recognition.
Here’s an article in German "SPIEGEL" magazine: 
- destination=A-town;B-dale;C-ington Suggested destinations might be given on flip signs
- bench=yes It actually is a bench so there always would be one
- bench:seats=* as in amenity=bench
- ref=* if there’s an identifier given
- operator=* Maintainer of bench, might be local welfare associations or civil councils
Please comment on the discussion page.