By Ben Haber
Want to cut down your gas costs? Do you enjoy carpooling? Are you concerned about the environment?
If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, then you’re going to love PickupPal, a global social network that is connecting drivers and passengers online, to save money and the environment.
The site allows passengers and drivers and drives to select where they are located and where they are going, and matches up people that are going the same direction. Following these matches, drivers are informed of potential pickups, and they can make an ‘offer’ to a passenger, which includes the cost of the ride. The passengers then weigh their offers and make a selection.
Both parties are also able to take into consideration the feedback that each passenger and driver has received from other users (which really seems like the most important and crucial part of this site). While this can offer a less expensive way to travel, and cut down on some carbon emissions, it will be interesting to see how many people completely trust this method of transportation.
Amazingly, this site is having some legal problems in Ontario (which TechCrunch translates into Canada hating the environment), where it’s against the law to carpool unless you meet all of the following criteria, according to PickupPal’s blog:
- You must travel from home to work only (no rides to schools, hospitals, food banks, etc.)
- You cannot cross municipal boundaries (no driving to adjacent municipality to GO Station, TTC Subway, City Centers, Airports, etc.)
- You must ride with the same driver each day (no exceptions sorry).
- You must pay the driver weekly only (bring your calculator).
The blog includes some more information on this law, and what PickupPal’s trying to do to overcome it:
Some examples of illegal ridesharing according to Ontario Government’s current Law: If you arrange with your wife to pickup your uncle at the airport – you have broken the law. If you travel with a friend and give her $5 for gas money – you have broken the law.
Bottom line: Reasonable rideshare or carpooling with someone in Ontario is illegal. Ontario is currently the only jurisdiction in the World aiming to shut down PickupPal’s 100% free global service. We appear before the Ontario Highway Traffic Board on October 16th and are fighting for our members and all Ontario residents and we need your support right NOW! Click HERE to sign our petition and then tell your friends to do the same.