Ridesharing in Australia

Connecting with strangers through electronic devices isn’t a new thing. There are, roughly speaking, about three gazillion social networking platforms available to get your cyber-mingle on. But there are a few other uses for connecting with people through social media, uses that you might not even know about.

For instance, ride share and carpooling apps.

Here are a few apps that you can use to ‘hook up’ with strangers… and get your carpool on.

Carpool and ride share apps

With increased traffic congestion in Australia’s big cities, increased petrol prices, cab fares – and public transport systems that only seem to be getting worse (don’t even get me started on Myki!) – getting around by car is frustrating, to say the least.

To cut your commuting costs and generally avoid some of the headaches involved with driving, you can download a carpool or ride share app to bunk up with fellow commuters.

Back Seat

Back Seat is an app for Sydney siders. As a Melbourne man (who gets around on a bicycle), I’ve never used it. But it looks pretty neat.

It works like this: First, you punch in your current location. Second, you set your final destination. When this has been done, a ‘driver’ will call you to let you know when he or she is on their way. (Anyone can become a driver, apparently. There’s more information about becoming a driver on Back Seat’s website.) At the end of the ride, you, the app user, will receive a suggestion regarding how much you should pay your driver; ultimately though, this is left up to you, as it’s a discretionary fee.

NSW Carpool

Another one primarily for the Sydney siders.

This one seems pretty easy to use, too. All you have to do is register online, plan your journey, and, if all goes according to plan, get swept up off your feet by someone who’s heading along your path.
Definitely worth the (free) download?

Most of these apps seem to work similarly, varying only in small details. Of course, these apps will get better as more people become aware of them. They’re carpool apps; they’re not going to work if no one’s using them.

Even though these apps seem to be available primarily in Sydney at the moment, I’d keep an eye out. As their popularity increases and their presence grows, they’re just going to get better. And considering how things are going on Australian roads, they’re likely to become quite the convenience. Who knows, maybe carpooling will become the way of the future for Aussie commuters?