Wherever you are in the world, if you live in a city, traffic is one of the most stressful everyday issues. Whether it’s going to work in your own car, or struggling to get through the flow in a taxi, or even taking public transport — getting from point A to point B during the rush hours is a challenge and a struggle.
It also affects the way our cities look. It is estimated that over 1 billion cars are there on the streets of the world today. And most of those 1 billion’s drivers prefer to drive alone rather than with passengers. The result is four cars where could be one, plenty of harmful gas emissions, and exhausting traffic jams. And don’t forget the roads themselves, which need repairs every once in a while, and take more and more of the city space what could be used differently — to make people’s everyday life more green, comfortable and healthy.
Different countries have different ways to tackle this problem. For example, Helsinki, Finland, is going for drastic measures, limiting the number of cars in the city despite the population growth. Italian authorities in Milan are paying people to leave their cars at home. In the USA high-occupancy toll-lanes are a thing, where drivers without passengers are allowed only if they pay a fee. Car-free days are becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
But in order to be really efficient, changes have to come from us all, not the governments alone. One of the ways to do that are ridesharing services. Make it easy, user-friendly, let people set the prices and conditions, and you’ll get pretty much the ideal solution for the great part of global traffic issues. Let’s take a look on how the thing works and why it’s great on the example of a community based service RideCheap that connects drivers and passengers, allowing them freely bargain on prices and conditions of the ride.
The reason we have so much traffic on certain roads is that many people are going the same direction at the same time. Now, what happens if all employees of a given company or students of the same college can rideshare from a certain point in the city, as soon as all their routes cross in a single point in the end? Each shared ride contributes to less loaded roads — less stress and faster day-to-day travel. A good custom example provided the city of Davos, Switzerland. The guests of 2019 World Economic Forum used RideCheap to cooperate in their rides through the city, which worked nicely compared to previous years’ experience. And that’s just a temporary flow of people — imagine how well could the service perform on a daily basis in cities with lingering traffic issues.
Another benefit of ridesharing is a less environmental impact. Many individuals and companies are taking this issue very personally, and it is for a good reason: we are all living (and polluting, sadly) the same Earth. Doing whatever we can to save it is more of a responsibility than just a wish. Many businesses all over the world strive for sustainable development. Some try to tackle this problem by addressing the way people get to work. Trading cars for the bicycles may sound like a great thing if you live in the Netherlands, but in case of, e.g., Kyiv, Ukraine, this may not work so well due to the lack of the right infrastructure. Ridesharing, on the other hand, is a good solution, as far as it offers an economically efficient cure to all CSR ecology aspirations.
Ridesharing also strengthens communities that, in turn, benefits the cities. Ties between people make them more conscious, responsible and friendly, help to relieve stress and feel more confident in life. With high levels of anxiety today, communities is a real, efficient way to gain stability. This, in turn, leads to a better social environment, higher work performance and more rational and effective decision-making.
Moreover, it supports safety: while in taxis and buses we have to deal with strangers and associated risks, with community-focused services like RideCheap people are more likely to know each other, being neighbours or colleagues.
Traffic may be one of the most stressful everyday issues. But it doesn’t have to be one, and it certainly shouldn’t affect our life in cities as much as it does. That’s why using ridesharing is an easy and accessible way of contributing to our own better tomorrow.