The European Union, despite battling different cultural approaches to 'timeliness', boasts a strong movement towards ride-sharing. Perhaps due to the extremely high costs of car ownership, European ride-sharing services have grown to the hundreds of thousands in membership, with the largest service, www.CarPooling.com, boasting 1 Million members. (By contrast, the largest ride-sharing platforms in the US book approximately 20,000 rides per month.)
The greatest challenge in providing ride-sharing services, as we've seen demonstrated time and again in the US, tends to be lack of available rides to destinations that members actually plan to travel to. These large European networks have solved this dillemma and even won over those users who may have been dubious by implementing intricate user profiles as well as member reviews, creating strong trust in forming and utilizing the ride-sharing network.
What's more, CarPooling.com- based in Munich- and it's French runner up, BlaBlaCar, claim to be inter-modal methods of booking transportation. Currently, although it's possible to book bus, train, and plane tickets in addition to setting up ride-shares, these networks allow users to book only one format of travel at a time. Both sites are working to overcome this. As reported by TriplePundit.com, Odile Beniflah, a Senior Product Manager at Carpooling, says that hasn’t stopped motivated users from manually creating complex multi-modal itineraries, one leg at a time. Read the full article here.
Here in the States, we can only hope to see Ridesharing grow to the degree where interacting with Trains, Buses, and Airplanes becomes a challenge. Start small by carpooling to work, and see how your efforts pay off to save you time and money. Know also that all of your ride-sharing efforts are helping ease congestion and pollution!