Sharing a car for long journeys has been going around for years: expenses are shared out so that everyone can make the most of a lower price. BlaBlaCar, Trusted Carpooling is a platform that has put in touch those users that need to travel with those who have a car and are going to complete the same journey... however, they're not precisely an NGO and also charge a commission for each journey. And we're not going to get stuck into discussions about whether this is really collaborative transport or disguised manner of competing against other public transport services such as buses and trains.
How does BlaBlaCar work?
Part of the success of this service is based on how easy it is to use because it's really simple to offer or book a journey. These are its main features:
- Connects car owners and passengers to share journeys and expenses.
- Social profiles of each user.
- Automatic recommended price calculator.
- Direct messages between drivers and passengers.
- Calls between users with a single click.
And it works as follows:
- Step 1: let's suppose that we want to travel from London to Manchester for instance.
- Step 2: we'll have to sign up as a passenger or drive (with our email address or Facebook profile).
- Step 3: if we're a passenger, we'll search for a journey on the dates of our choice being able to set a range of prices. If no journeys are available we can ask the app to send us an alert if a trip that matches our criteria were to be posted. If we're a driver, we simply have to post our advert (with departure date and time, length of the journey and price).
- Step 4: now simply book the desired journey as soon as you find it or accept the passenger who wants to travel with you.
Possible cons of using BlaBlaCar
That's basically how this service works and why it has become so popular amongst all those users that travel between two cities on a regular basis. Furthermore, the company has turned to the strategy of encouraging more entertaining journeys because it's always more fun to travel with other people. But that really depends on your character and if you like spending four hours in a car talking to a complete stranger. You might come across some really weird situations:
- The car that picks us up might smell bad.
- We might have totally different opinions about essential aspects in life.
- We might get picked up by a serial killer.
- Our driver/passenger is only using BlaBlaCar to chat someone up (the most feasible option).
But that's why there's a driver verification system that takes into account the ratings of the rest of users... So at least the car has an air freshener. All in all, downloading this APK to your smartphone can help you to travel cheaper and in a more amusing style. Although that doesn't mean that your journey is going to be necessarily pleasant.