With gridlock jamming up the city and making the daily commute almost unbearable, carpooling and ridesharing are becoming increasingly important options in Toronto. Although Torontonians are very attached to their cars, and 83% of Canadians are still driving alone on a daily basis, there is a movement toward choosing more environmentally friendly commutes. From apps to interactive platforms, here are some of the most popular ride-sharing and carpooling services in the city.
BlancRide is a leader in the “conscious commuting” movement. This app offers a carpooling service that connects commuters and drivers in the same area with common destinations. Commuters can select their destination—including desired time as well as time flexibility—and the app will then find a match, based on drivers active in the vicinity. The final cost is based on mileage and the average per-kilometer cost of a ride, automatically charging the passenger’s credit card. Unlike ride-sharing taxi apps like Uber, however, BlancRide isn’t intended to be profitable for the driver; rather, it’s designed to split and share the cost of the ride.
Smart Commute is a program of Metrolinx, the road and transportation agency of municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. With the tagline “Rethink your Commute,” this interactive service aims to help people with selecting the most efficient options for their trips to school, work, and beyond. In addition to other options such as cycling, transit, and even walking and teleworking, carpooling and ridesharing are a key component of Smart Commute. Their site offers a Carpool Savings Calculator, and carpools can be directly connected to the GO Transit system and more.
Since 2006, the Canadian ride-sharing company Kangaride has been providing a platform for posting and booking long-distance rides throughout North America. Drivers and passengers connect through the Kangaride website, with drivers posting their rides and the number of available seats in their vehicle. Passengers can then search for rides, booking a seat in their preferred option. Kangaride has over 200,000 members, with hundreds of rides booked each week. In French, Kangaride is known as Amigo Express.
eRideShare is an international ride-sharing service that offers carpooling listings by city or region, covering various distances. Both drivers and commuters can post their ride needs and availability, and there are 130–150 listings in and around Toronto on any given day.
PoolMyRide markets itself as “the ultimate ride-sharing app.” This app is not Toronto-specific—it’s a global, peer-to-peer carpooling and cab-pooling platform with over 10,000 registered members from all over the world. Aiming to use technology to create hassle-free commutes, you can use your Facebook account to login.