Travellers going on inter city rides can use the BlaBlaCar app to find other drivers going on the same route and share the travelling cost with them.
France based BlaBlaCar city-to-city ride sharing app has launched its one-of-a-kind services in India that allows drivers to offer their spare seats to other passengers going on the same route. Not to be confused with a taxi service, the BlaBlaCar app connects two travellers going on the same route who can travel together at their convenience and split the costs incurred on the journey. With over 10 million registered users in 13 of its existing countries including the UK, Spain, France, Russia, Turkey and many more, India is the 14th country for BlaBlaCar to commence its services and can be seen as a cheaper and faster alternative to the usual public buses and train transport systems over intercity trips like Delhi-Chandigarh or Mumbai-Pune.
How It Works?
Passengers and motorists travelling frequently on intercity routes need to download the BlaBlaCar app via Android or iOS stores and register with their Facebook account (mandatory). The app then allows you to find co-travellers going on the same route and one can connect via personal message or phone and plan a ride to the other city, while paying the car owner your contribution of the expenses in order to offset the costs. This in turn helps the car owner as well as other passengers to travel at their leisure without the hassle of purchasing tickets in trains or buses.
While prices are fixed by BlaBlaCar based on the fuel costs incurred by the car owners, drivers can adjust the prices by a reasonable sum according to the real world costs and changes made to the original itinerary by the co-passenger. However, the price cannot exceed the ceiling set by BlaBlaCar and this is done so that the driver does not make a quick buck out of the ride. The service is supposed to help car owners offset travelling costs, while providing a convenient transport alternative for co-travellers.
Keeping in mind safety concerns surrounding app based systems at present, BlaBlaCar comes with a strict policy for Facebook signup and also authenticates every registration including the email id and phone number. In addition, travellers can leave ratings and share experiences of the journey on each others profile which helps future travellers to decide if one would like to travel with the other member or not. Building a community system, members can accept or decline requests from other travellers at their own discretion. There is also a ‘Ladies Only’ feature that allows members to share a ride where all travellers are women.
BlaBlaCar Travel Rates (per co-passenger) –
* Agra To New Delhi – Rs. 550/-
* New Delhi To Jaipur – Rs. 700/-
* New Delhi To Chandigarh – Rs. 700/-
* Gurgaon To Dehradun – Rs. 750/-
Lastly, the BlaBlaCar app does not mandate you from speaking inside the car or make forceful discussions throughout the journey. The app comes allows you to choose whether you are a Bla, BlaBla or BlaBlaBla, indicating on how much you like to talk during the journey with the co-passenger. Currently the service is free for the first year but the company will start charging a commission from second year onwards.