The revolutions in transportation in 19th and 20th centuries brought us closer than ever, but not necessarily together; that’s a job accomplished by 21st century carpooling apps and our desire to share.
A 24/7 connection and a better shaped online presence make possible that two -let’s say- strangers decide to share a ride from here to there, saving money and sharing the trip with somebody who is on the same page; for 21st century sharers there are no strangers, only friends to meet in the new sharing economy.
This is the main goal for carpooling mobile apps, building up a common forum where traveler’s needs and driver’s availability meet spontaneously to work out a better, greener trip.
Hitch-hiking is illegal in many parts of the world and 90’s movies made it scary enough for us to give it a second thought before pulling over so why is this virtual version working better? We can point several reasons but all of them boil up to the old you get what you see. Before getting on anybody’s car or allowing them into yours, you’ve seen their rating on the app, as they’ve seen yours so it’s not a complete blind shot.
This has come to be known as peer-to-peer car sharing. If you want to cut costs and enjoy some company for your next trip, give Jayrides (most popular in 2013) and Liftshare a chance. Try Justshareit if you love beta testing. Anyway, all of them let you join an existing trip or create a new one, using any mean of transportation.
Car sharing is evolving quickly and trust around it growing strong enough as to trust them with our most beloved ones. Every parent wants a better education for his children but getting your daughter to ballet and the twins to swimming class while you are supposed to attend a meeting with a group of Chinese investors isn’t the easiest thing is the world. Carpool School Edition is the car sharing app for you. Then again, it’s people you meet before, who you see online and you choose based on other parents’ trustworthy rating.
If you are not into small talk but still want to dip into carpooling apps, carsharing is your thing. You don’t actually share any vehicle with anybody, you rent your neighbor’s ride or his parking spot while he is not in town. This rental service works pretty much like classic car-rental companies with similar insurance coverage and fuel policies, but everything can be agreed upon between users. The company gets around the 20% of the fee you pay. Nowadays, Ralyrides and Zipcar are the most reliable carsharing apps according to users.
Carpooling his reaching for every part of the business and we can find companies like SideCar or Lyft which work without any fee at all. They connect drivers and passengers for a free ride, though it is suggested to make a donation, which amount is calculated by other fellow travelers’ former tipping.
But, hey, are donations a reliable income for business? In a recent interview for Forbes, one of the investors in SideCar put the cards on the table -‘the capitalist in me was worried this wouldn’t work but the human in me is confident people are fair on the whole’. According to car sharing apps performance in 2013, we can still be confident in human behaviour.