There are a variety of sharing economy options in the peer to peer transportation business these days, including car rentals, taxi services and ride sharing. Ride sharing is just another name for carpooling among strangers. I’ve written before about how excited I am about the ride sharing option, as it’s efficient and economical, and for travelers it offers an opportunity not only to get from place to place cheaply but also to meet locals in the process. So I think it’s good news that BlaBlaCar, a French ride sharing company, has raised $100 million in venture funding to expand their services.
The ride sharing model is pretty straightforward: Drivers join a website where they list upcoming trips and how many open seats they have, along with a price per seat. Then riders can sign up to join those trips. Drivers and riders get reviewed, and in some cases you can select traveling companions based on features like how talkative they are. Ride sharing is generally cheaper than other forms of transportation. And it’s a way to meet locals and travel in comfort without all the unnecessary stops inherent to public transportation.
Ride sharing is catching on in Europe and Australia, and I’m hoping to see more adoption in the U.S.
For more information on this fundraising see the TechCrunch article.
More sharing economy transportation resources can be found here.
Who’s going to expand Ride Sharing, Taxi Service, …, into the delivery service arena? It seems that there is an increasing need for home delivery services. This service would probably require a smart phone app for authorizing pick-ups at retail stores of prepaid goods. Commuters passing these stores on the way home might make a few dollars for delivering to someone in their neighborhood. Retail stores would need to agree to the online process. Liability for lost or damaged goods would need to be considered. But this is a similar concern for Taxi, Rental, and other share services.