Launched in January of 2008 by John Stewart and Eric Dewhirst, PickupPal uses the force of the internet and social networking to connect drivers and passengers globally in a new age type of transportation marketplace. This is more than just organizing a boring carpool to commute to work with; PickupPal actually connects people through common interests like concerts, hiking, or even running marathons. Organized groups like the one for the LA Marathon actually help reduce the numbers of cars travelling to such high traffic events.
Integrating with popular social networking tools like facebook and twitter, LinkedIn, and Myspace. PickupPal makes it easier for people to share rides with others who have similar interests or with whom they are already connected with like friends and colleagues. PickupPal Groups allow people to create a customized, geographically defined and access controlled ridesharing group with chat, photo, and route sharing capabilities.
Use of PickupPal is free for any organization, individual, sports team, corporation or event—you get the idea. The service is also publicly promoted by organizations like the Sierra Club, Green Nexxus, Aids Walk Los Angeles, Clean Air Foundation, Home Depot, Virgin and multiple other companies and events.
It seems like a great concept but not every city has supported its use. In 2008 the Toronto, Canada based company was accused of violating Ontario carpooling laws and actually had to appear in court after an undercover detective was placed in one participants vehicle.
Even with the legal entanglement in their home country of Canada, the site is still up and running with users signed in from all over the world.
Here is a basic overview from PickupPals website on how it all works.
- A Passenger tells us where they want to go.
- Drivers tell us where they are going.
- We match up Passengers with Drivers who are going the same way.
- We inform Drivers of potential pickups. They can make an offer to the Passenger based on how much they want to charge for a ride.
- We inform the Passenger that Drivers have offered rides. The Passenger reviews the offers and chooses the driver with whom they want to ride based on the price and their profile.
- From there, Drivers and Passengers chat back and forth in our message center and work out the details.
- Passenger pays the Driver the agreed amount in cash (or otherwise, if agreed upon) at the end of the ride.
- The Driver keeps the cash.
Why not check out the PickupPal website the next time you need to catch a ride and take the blind-date feeling out of carpooling or ride sharing.
Posted by Amanda| follow me on Twitter
Filed under: Green |