The sharing economy has come to Europe, with a new ridesharing program in 40 European countries offered at a popular journey planning site, rome2rio.com.
“Ridesharing is typically a much more affordable choice than air and rail services, and we’ve made it easy to compare the cost of a rideshare trip to those more traditional options in our search results,” said Rod Cuthbert, Rome2rio CEO.
“Take for example a trip from Frankfurt to Munich, Germany. Deutsche Bahn’s Inter-City Express train service is an obvious first choice, but at an average price of EUR80 one-way , it’s an expensive option. (Holders of a BahnCard, Eurail Pass or InterRail Pass would pay a significantly lower fare for this journey.) At EUR113 one-way, flying is also expensive and requires getting to and from the airport, security lines and all the stress that goes with modern air travel. At EUR19 the bus is the least expensive alternative but it’s quite a slow journey and may be less attractive to some travelers.
“That makes rideshare a really interesting option. At EUR20 it’s as cheap as the bus, yet it offers the potential for a relatively fast journey in the luxury of a late-model vehicle, pick-up and drop-off in central locations, and perhaps a more personal, friendly experience all round,” he said.
The initial release of ridesharing on the Rome2rio site features rideshare offers from BlaBlaCar and Carpooling.com. Each operator has built a loyal and fast-growing army of drivers; collectively they manage almost 2.5 million rideshares each month. (See below for more information on the rideshare market.) Rome2rio users wishing to book a rideshare are linked directly to the relevant booking page on the selected rideshare site.
Both Carpooling.com and BlaBlaCar offer a filtering option so that female drivers may choose to only carry female passengers, and female passengers may choose to only see rides driven by a woman. Both sites verify both driver and rider contact details, and a description of the car and the driver’s plans regarding snack and bathroom breaks are listed along with departure time and the ride fee. Riders are able to review their driver after the ride, and drivers may also review riders.
Rome2rio plans to expand geographic coverage for rideshare across Europe and into other markets over the coming months. In the meantime, Rome2rio users making travel plans in Europe will already see the new rideshare option on their results page for many journey plans.
The Rideshare Market
BlaBlaCar and Carpooling.com are the most popular rideshare services in the European marketplace, providing Rome2rio with over 15,000 routes, all with daily rides. With a focus on France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, rides are offered in a total of 40 countries. Carpooling.com estimates that over the last ten years its rides have helped avoid some 1.4 million tons of carbon emissions.
Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organizing the world’s transport information. The company offers a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries which may include air, rail, coach, ferry, mass transit, rideshare and self-drive options to and from any location. Rome2rio’s platform utilizes a vast, purpose built, worldwide repository of route, frequency and pricing information for some 600,000 routes from over 4,000 operators in 144 countries. The platform is accessed by consumers at rome2rio.com, and is available for integration into 3rd party web and mobile applications via both API and White Label solutions.
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