Caitlin Moran
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BlaBlaCar Service Offers Ride Shares Based on How Much You Talk

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BlaBlaCar is a ride sharing service that matches passengers and drivers based on how much they talk

The idea of traveling with strangers has been around for ages. From the days when ancient Christians would join together on a pilgrimage to the hitch-hiking hippies of the 70s, ridesharing isn’t a foreign idea. But now, BlaBlaCar is putting a big twist on this ancient idea, making it possible to have fun on the way to your next destination.

While many people think Uber and Lyft when they think “ridesharing,” these popular alternative transportation companies aren’t actually rideshares, based solely on the fact that they connect passengers with professional drivers, who then drive them a typically short distance. Unlike its competitors, BlaBlaCar instead connects non-professional drivers with passengers willing to travel a long distance together and share the cost of the journey.

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An even bigger difference between this ridesharing company and the likes of Uber, though, is in how its app operates. Rather than connecting travelers at random, the app allows users to rate and review other members, picking and choosing their passengers based on how much they talk. Each user rates themselves Bla, BlaBla, or BlaBlaBla according to how much they enjoy talking to the passengers they are riding with. Bla is the lowest talkative rate, while BlaBlaBla is the highest.

Programs like BlaBlaCar that are actually rideshares, opposed to the more taxi-like services of Uber, are booming throughout Europe. The program is based in Paris, where there has been a lot of hubbub surrounding—and even some riots protesting—Uber and similar companies. So, how does BlaBlaCar flourish in a city where these types of organizations are typically frowned upon?

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According to the rideshare company’s co-founder, Nicolas Brusson, besides the “BlaBla index,” the difference comes down to two things: BlaBlaCar doesn’t act as if it is a professional car service, using taxi drivers and other drivers, and it has also grown slowly over the course of years, rather than popping up overnight like Uber and Lyft did.

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BlaBlaCar isn’t currently available in the United States—but I’m thinking it will pop up around the country in the near future.

News Source: CNN Money