Ridesharing – More than BlaBlaCar

Who can imagine a system which is a win for everybody? And I mean literally everybody.
I do, and it’s obvious when you think a moment about it: ridesharing or also known as “carpooling” is a win-win-win-win.
– it’s a win for the driver/car owner, who can share the costs for petrol
– it’s a win for the passenger, who can reach the destination comfortable and cheap
– it’s a win for the cities (and everybody who lives in them), because of less traffic, less (parking) cars and less air pollution
– it’s a win for the environment, because of less CO2 emissions

An important step to establish this system is organising carpooling in companies (for example #entrepreneurs4future), so that workers can share the ride to and from work with each other. Especially for commuters it offers a more direct, more comfortable, and more time-efficient way to commute to work. For owners of vehicles, ridesharing allows them to regain some of the journey cost to pay for petrol and road toll.

Carpooling minimizes traffic jams in the rush hour, so you save time and it is easier to find a parking lot because there are fewer cars on the road overall. Furthermore you get to know your co-workers and neighbours better.

As a result of the climate emergency, Düsseldorf established a so-called environmental lane (“Umweltspur“) in some parts of the city centre. It can be used by bicycles, electric cars, taxis and recently also carpooling rides with 3 or more passengers. It prefers more urban and environmentally friendly modes of transport and rewards them with a priority lane that allows you to get through the city more quickly – another incentive not to sit in the car alone anymore. This is a great start, we need this in every city!

Through new technology such as mobile app and website, passengers looking for a ride and drivers offering rides can be combined into shared transport. If there are a lot more passengers than drivers, buses can be chartered (“bus pooling”).

It is important that the process of organising a ride is as simple and quick as possible. This is the only way to ensure that these possibilities are used. In addition, the ride should be as uncomplicated as possible for both parties and the price should be determined fairly.
If all this is done by an app/software, the users can concentrate on the sharing experience.

We listed some carpooling platforms, both non-profit and for-profit:

The list of providers shows what needs to be improved in order to expand ridesharing significantly:

1. more ride offers and
2. all offers at a glance (in one app/website).

BlaBlaCar is one of the largest, they are represented in 22 countries and now offering a BlaBlaBus, which is competition to Flixbus. Most of the above listed offers focus on longer distance rides for traveller and commuters, but goFLUX implemented the carpooling concept within companies successfully and develops currently an app for short-distance ridesharing in cities, which should be an addition to travel modes like Taxi, Uber or public transport and especially instead of an own car.

In summary, it can be said that carpooling on the long and medium distance (for commuters), as well as the short distance within a city is a benefit for all those directly and indirectly involved, and that this development should be further promoted and supported. Just like the city of Düsseldorf does through the “Umweltspur”.

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