Published on March 17th, 2017 | by Cynthia Shahan0
Nuances In Ridesharing: Trusting Strangers, Not Institutions — Bla Bla Car & Casual Carpool
March 17th, 2017 by Cynthia Shahan
Opera Singers, violinists, ballet dancers, and others who go from city to city season to season — all around the world — are a great source of travel idea options. They know the ropes. They are adept at using the connections available due to international or regional travel apps. There are expanding their means of travel beyond train and bus routes, and beyond simple taxis.
One singer recently shared more about travel and modern nuances in carsharing and on-demand taxi services. He uses a variety of services as a traveling performer in the Arts.
He mentioned Bla Bla Car, for example. “My girlfriend and I traveled Europe this way. They matched us with other travelers who had a car — in this case, a van they wanted to share. They also matched us due to similar interests based on our profile at Bla Bla Car. We ended up traveling with a band going from gig to gig. We loved it.”
Bla Bla Car has some catchy lines — “My driver ended up being my pilot.” … “I learned German while ridesharing.”
Carsharing and on-demand taxi services are invaluable and interesting these days. Airbnb is on practically every street in cities like Paris. With the onset of the computer chip, an app, and ever-innovative millennials with their multimodal feet, unusual services are increasingly fashionable for all kinds of travelers.
Bla Bla Car’s conception began with a young Fred figuring ways to travel on the road in Europe. He noticed an immense number of people driving alone (as is the case practically everywhere). “It hit him that all those empty seats in existing cars could be the beginning of a new travel network. Over the next decade, together with co-founders Francis and Nicolas, the trio took this simple idea and built it into the world’s leading carpooling platform, connecting millions of people going the same way.”
Rachel Botsman who wrote What’s Mine Is Yours explores this new era of trust that participants are choosing. Botsman believes technology is transforming human relationships. Technology affects how we live, how we work, certainly how we run our businesses. Botsman claims, “We’ve stopped trusting institutions and started trusting strangers.”
Trusting strangers is not so fresh. The prolific apps and online resources that lead to the strangers are fashionably new. The traceable application of that is new and safer. A wide range and a generous amount of young travelers in the 1960s and 1970s can tell you of trusting strangers. Remember those journeys coast to coast? Traveling Europe or America with only a thumb was once a way of life. Countless journeys. The thumb was the app.
Word of Mouth, Unofficial Casual Carpool
In some cities, carpooling gets you in a faster lane. Sometimes no smartphone or iPhone is necessary. A report by the The Wall Street Journal on a 40 year grassroots movement is a wonderful story on carsharing that leaves out the app. It involves unofficial stops where riders line up to get across the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco proper: Why Take Uber or Lyft to Work When You Can Hitchhike for $1? “You stand in line, a car comes, you give them a dollar.” Seems the drivers all listen to NPR. Grassroots.
As a service to both the driver and the rider, thousands of strangers share 5 miles over the bridge. There are a few rules that I like. Here are some of them: No fragrances. No phone calls. Texting okay. Conversational tone or absence is set by the driver.