Cross-cultural insights and questions from home and abroad


Ridesharing – Success in Europe… Why not in the U.S.???

Why commute alone and cover all gas expenses when other people are going your way and would be willing to contribute?


Have you heard about BlaBlaCar, Ridesharing and COLLABORATIVE CONSOMPTION?
Now in more than 15 countries BlaBlaCar is changing the way people think about travelling. Before car-lacking individuals were limited to travelling by bus, train, and plane… Now they can travel by car and make a friend in the process. Personally, as a Couchsurfer and Euro-traveller this idea immediately got my attention and I signed myself up.
This is a new community of people similarly to Couchsurfing based on trust. Yeah sure sometimes you get the occasional weirdo but quickly BlaBlaCar works to block these users in order to maintain the honest and genuine ride-sharing vibe.
What I’m wondering is why this concept is not catching on in the US???. It’s having real success in Europe and has even spread to Mexico, where like in America, there is a slight desconfianza (mistrust) towards strangers. But if websites like Wyzant tutoring and Lyft are able to build safe environnments why can’t a ride-sharing website do the same starting in one state then slowly moving to the next?

I, for one, truely believe this could work in the US... Especially in States like California where people are travelling very long distances on the daily. Trains are more expensive than driving and the state has enough honest people who are taking the same route to the point that this is really something to consider.

My best friend lives in San Jose and her boyfriend in the Sacramento area and she goes every other weekend to visit him. How many people are in long distance relationships like this and could really save some moolah on gas if they considered incorporating BlaBla into their lives. I’m sure there are also tons of daily commuters who travel from one same city to another for work. Who would like to use the carpool lane, reduce traffic, and save on gas.? We are talking about sharing expenses. This is an opportunity to opening up ourselves to other cultures or in general, new people. I think this idea could help improve American´s attitudes about strangers.