There is an alternative to commuting alone. You can use an online ridesharing application that will allow drivers and riders, who share common destinations, to share the ride. It works by automatically matching a driver’s spare seat capacity with a passenger’s desire to travel the same route at the same time. Drivers are provided with a price incentive in the form of electronic micropayments from riders at the end of each journey. It’s the next step beyond the causal car pool.
During BARTSTRIKE I Car.ma saw an explosion in signups helping literally thousands of stranded commuters find alternative ways to work. During the first days of the strike Car.ma had an increase of over 4800% in registered schedules of trips available. Despite the huge growth, more drivers are needed. The ‘heat’ map of user activity in the Bay Area enables people searching for rides to see where the ridesharing network can take them.
How do you get started – simply down the application to your phone. If you’re a driver set your role as a driver and post a trip. If you’re a rider you can either add a schedule based on your regular commute or create one-off trips. Just choose ‘I need a ride’.
Drivers are compensated. You receive $1 for the first mile, then 20c for every mile after that. There is a 15% service charge for each trip.
For a typical journey from San Francisco to Oakland, this works out at around $3.41. On a longer trip from San Francisco to Fremont, this works out at roughly $8.39.
Payments are transferred electronically within the app once riders have been dropped off. You can cash in your payments via PayPal to your nominated bank account.
Riders pay – For a typical journey from San Francisco to Oakland, this works out at around $3.41. On a longer trip from San Francisco to Fremont, this works out at roughly $8.39.
When a trip is completed, your Car.ma account is debited with the fare based on the distance you have just traveled. You can top up on credit by tapping the PayPal icon and choosing the amount you want to buy.