admin by Vaalea Darkke | 29 Sep 2016
Sustainable Transportation

Carpooling On-demand (like a taxi!)


I’ve been following a particular service, Carma, since 2008. Carma is only focusing on the Bay Area and Austin in the U.S., but also has a presence in Bergen, Norway, and Kinsale, Ireland.
Save time and money on your commute by carpooling with people going your way.

The app matches you together with people who have similar commutes. You can browse profiles, send messages and invite friends. 

What’s cool is the cost of the drive also gets shared – drivers earn about $0.20 per mile, with an automatic micropayment transaction at the end of the trip.
The main concern here is to promote it extensively to achieve the critical mass required to make it a dependable on-demand service. This is TRUE ride-sharing unlike Uber or Lyft and provides a more affordable option for many city residents who would not afford a taxi.

Safety: First, every Carma user has to register and verify email/addresses and phone numbers. Carma also keeps a backup of every single pickup and drop-off location. A self-policing user rating system allows the community to choose who the best drivers and riders are. Plus, if your employer or neighborhood has set up a “Group” within the app, you can join that group and easily carpool with people you know.

You can see information on every user’s profile about their carpool history and verification status. Of course, always take normal precautions when booking a ride, as you would when meeting someone for the first time. For example, meet in a public place or intersection and don’t give out your home address. Don’t be afraid to ask for ID when you meet (a driving license is a good idea).

Alternatively a very similar app was created recently in BC: A group of UBC graduates has launched Spare Rides, an app that is “taking carpooling into the 21st century.” B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Regulations state carpool drivers do not need to purchase commercial insurance or a licence as long as they do not charge passengers more than the cost of the trip. Drivers are also not allowed to offer more than one return trip per day.
“Anyone charging more or if drivers wish to offer more than one return trip per day, they would be required to apply for a passenger transportation licence,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone in an emailed statement to CBC.
Drivers must sign up for the app using their Facebook accounts, which means there is a built-in verification system, he said.
Users’ names, profile pictures, emails, and phone numbers will be stored in the Spare Rides system. “We’re taking it way further than most carpooling services we’ve seen,” said Vik Hansen.

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