Want to discover Europe sustainably, on a shoestring and make new friends along the way? This is possible when using the ride-sharing services of blablacar, an online marketplace where car drivers with empty seats find passengers going the same way. This is hitchhiking 2.0 with a lot more security than standing on the side of the road waiting for the providential ride. Blablacar, a start-up created in 2006 (http://www.blablacar.com/), is owing its success to its transparency, ease to use and trusted members. Today you can go pretty much anywhere in Europe using blablacar with its 10 million members in 12 countries, including lately Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.
Being a community based website, drivers and passengers are all members and the membership is free. They exchange their ride information, some personal details, such as age, chatty, music, pet friendly or smoking. The profile also includes mutual ratings. This is creating a trusted online community. Furthermore, each passenger is contributing to the ride costs based on a price range set by the website, to ensure the driver is covering the costs of the ride without the purpose of making a profit which is important for insurance reasons. Passengers are getting in touch on the phone with the driver prior to the trip and once they can agree with each other, the basic conditions for the ride are set. And that is when the magic can happen and you end up having the greatest ride of your life or a less memorable adventure but at least arriving safely and conveniently to your destination for little money compared to other public transportation.