Rideshares or Ride sharing or Carpooling or Ridesurfing (not to be confused with CarSharing) is simply people cosolidating automobile trips by riding in one car, usually using a message board either real or online. This differs from hitchhiking in that the people involved coordinate the ride before-hand agreeing when and where to meet and how to share the costs. Ridesharing is safe and both cheaper and more environmentally friendly than riding alone. Rideshares are most practical on trips between large cities.
RideSurfing on CouchSurfing.com
The CouchSurfing system may be exploited to allow people to coordinate ride sharing. There is a proposal for adding a Ridesurfing in CouchSurfing, help in making it real if you like. There is also a ride sharing group for this purpose but a more sophisticated system is possible. In the future it could even be combined with GPS, cellphones and always-on internet in order to have a more organized way of hitchhiking.
- Ecolane - Demand-responsive transportation software. Geared towards corporate and other larger clients, this is an excellent example of using software to optimize transportation efficiency. While Ecolane's super-connected and super-automated approach is too far for CS to reach at this time, it presents an approach CS can begin striving to achieve in the future.
- Alternet Rides - Friendly but kind-of janky rideshare site; can organize rideshares around events.
- SpaceShare - Green travel and rideshare for conferences and festivals. A terrific example of ridesharing organized around events. Their buzzword: "environmental networking."
- Craigslist - Don't know what needs to be said on this one.
- hitchhikers.org - Web portal on which drivers with empty spaces in their cars can add a ride and passengers can search for rides. All over the world. Use the small tab in the upper right of page to select which world region you wish to ride in
- Nuride - A company selling car pooling management to companies and local government. Check the video
- www.digihitch.com -- offline since ~2012
- Cooreea - A New Zealand based rideshare/freightshare website. A collaborative transport network that provides a secure environment to find and provide rides. The difference to most rideshare sites is that it has a trust rating for users (like Ebay and TradeMe) and it also offers a space for people to list things (like their extra luggage or sporting equipment) they would like to find a ride for or have picked up somewhere. For example a bicycle or surfboard they would like to use in a different part of the country but have difficulty taking there themselves.
(info copied from a post of till in a group, see http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=429&post=121836 . need reformatting)
in germany the predominant site for carpooling is www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de (existing since 2001), which is an independent, mainly for germany but occasionally also for rides within the rest of europe, but usually between germany and any other country. there is no fee for the arrangement but you have to pay the driver. for security or reliability issues: nothing will happen if somebody (driver or "guest") changes his mind 5 minutes before the ride which can be pretty disappointing if a ride is cancelled 5 minutes before. they have no security checking or rating system for the members.
there is www.mitfahrzentrale.de where you can send emails via the web-site but have to pay something (like $2) to see the phone number of the driver.
the "classic" pre-internet carpooling company called www.city-netz.de is dead or almost dead by now (i think) because it is quite complicated to use. you have to go to a travel agency, buy a ticket (which means, pay their fee - which is distance based, around 7€ for a ride like 600km, i.e. berlin -> cologne - plus you pay something like 25$ for the driver). The last time that i used that oldschool carpooling agency, the driver was with his little kid and my feeling was that he wanted to be sure that everything is secure. with the city-netz.de both sides have to leave their passport numbers etc.
within germany there is no cheaper way to travel than with the first site i mentioned, unless you hitchhike or you get a super discount flight or train ticket, which can happen sometimes but not on a reliable basis.
- In French the term covoiturage is used. Ridesharing is very common in France. Look on bulletin boards or covoiturage.com which has tons of offers and requests daily.
In Denmark there is GoMore.dk.