Are web-based carpooling websites useful?

June 23, 2006

The Carpool New Zealand website has been online for two years now and has had a modest amount of interest and usage but it has not been overwhelming.

The question really is: is a carpooling or ride-sharing website in fact practical or useful? I am really interested to know what people think.

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6 Responses to “Are web-based carpooling websites useful?”

  1. Online ridesharing struggles to get a critical mass. In the US you’ll find certain routes are great, like San Francisco LA. Other routes never get enough people to get started, and the early sign-ups leave before the next round of people sign up.

    Event carpooling often works — my org SpaceShare sets up carpooling for large events, and it helps us get around the critical mass problem, since 100 people going to the same place at the same time is enough, instead of needing many thousands across the country.

    In some ways it’s getting worse instead of better … more and more people are creating simple online carpool tools that work just fine, except they’re all competing with each other. I’m about to sign up with maybe 5 sites to look for a ride to Arcata. No one is sharing data — I know someone who started the process of trying to get the various carpool sites to cooperate, but it is going to be uphill both to get cooperation and to develop the technology.

    I think these sites are useful now when an event planner really pushes for carpooling, for commute carpooling, and they’d be amazing if they all cooperated and you could find a ride on any site from any site — but until then they’ll struggle with too few users.

    Create Peace,

  2. Galen said

    Hi Stephen,

    I agree with your comments regarding too many systems competing with each other. I’ve always maintained that one central system would make the most sense and be the most useful but governments seems very slow on the uptake and spend so long n discussion on how to do it, that nothing ever really happens.

  3. Ryan said

    These sites are a great idea and I do agree that something should be done to allow sites to communicate. I’m a software developer and considering build a site for the community I lived in. A difference that I could add to my site is a web service that other car pool companies could register to get my car pool registration shared to other car pool systems?

  4. Galen said

    In an upcoming re-build, I’m planning on integrating Carpool NZ with Google Calendar and Google Maps which would make it much more felxible in terms of its API and linking into other devices like mobile phone, desktop calendars etc.

  5. Enrico said

    It dipends on the system and in wich country you are trying to do that…
    Usually Germany is a great place for that, New Zeland has, i think, the best website but i’ve never tried to travel there.

    Anyway, i’m here to say that we (couple of guys) are trying to show up with a new good-looking carpooling website (web application) called NDOVADO

    I guess we considered all comments up here and many more and i guess we will bring a good system…but as usual…if people will use it.

    The official launch will be (soon) in Italy.
    But the system will be prepared to be extended (at least) in all european country.

  6. Shalini said

    Carpooling websites are certainly useful. Atleast it has successfully created awareness among netizens about its benefits and impact on environment.


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