Guest Blog: BlaBlaCar
Road transport is one of the biggest sources of pollution in the UK, contributing to poor air quality, climate change, congestion and noise disturbance. Luckily, BlaBlaCar is trying to change all that!
At BlaBlaCar, our mission is to solve road transport problems. We connect drivers and passengers so that they can share the costs of their journey. Using the Internet as a means to build a marketplace to match needs of drivers and passengers, we’re bringing road travel into a new age of resource efficiency. We’re looking ahead to the moment when single occupancy cars become the exception on the road and not the rule. BlaBlaCar transports 5 million people on a yearly basis and has 2 million members in its community, which is growing at an exponential pace. As a result, while the average car in the UK carries just 0.56 passengers, the average car in the BlaBlaCar community carries 1.9 passengers!
The Good road revolution
Why is car sharing so Good?
- Car sharing is economical.
Sharing a car doesn’t only reduce our members’ carbon footprint, it also saves them money: drivers can offset increasingly heavy motoring costs, whilst for passengers, it’s a great low-cost travel option, cheaper than trains and more flexible than coaches. With collaborative social innovations such as ours, going green does not mean paying more, as has been the case in traditional models of consumption. Reducing carbon emissions with BlaBlaCar actually enables people to pay less, for a better service, making green the easier option!
- Car sharing is social.
Another way that people are getting increased value from using sharing services like BlaBlaCar comes from the very essence of what we do, which is intrinsically collaborative. Every car share is a meeting of people and an enriching exchange. Our business is based on a community of members, which is a radically different model to a business that possesses a physical asset like a fleet of cars for example. Ours is a wealth that traditional service models do not and cannot provide; it’s just not the consumer model they’ve evolved to serve, it’s not how they’re programmed.
- Car sharing is environmental.
Single occupancy cars are a highly inefficient mode of transport in terms of environmental impact, not just cost. The truly exciting thing is that car sharing is a long-term sustainable transport solution for the UK. Increasing the number of passengers greatly increases car efficiency, particularly on long journeys, and results in a more positive impact on the environment. We estimate that 500,000 tons of CO2 has been saved through our service, to date.
Good all round!
Collaborative businesses are creating a new and truly different framework for enterprise. BlaBlaCar is part of a growing number of forward-looking businesses that believe that a “good” business creates economic and social value where community and business can form a self-sustaining synergy, not a chain of depletion.
Being part of campaigns like A Good Week is vital as creating and amplifying the conversation around high-impact social innovation will speed up the transition to better models.
The other thing we love about A Good Week is that it’s not just about better business and positive innovations. It’s also about considering our everyday thoughts and deeds as an opportunity for good, however big or small. So while it’s a great time to talk about the new business paradigm emerging around sharing resources, it’s also the right moment to make some noise about how every single individual can get out there and make a difference.
Nicolas Brusson, co-founder and COO of BlaBlaCar.
Speaking of which, National Share Day is coming up (Wednesday 20th June): which means it’s definitely a Good time to plan a car share!