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The Green Life: How to Beat High Gas Prices: Rideshare

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June 17, 2008

How to Beat High Gas Prices: Rideshare

Rideshare_2 As gas prices rise, the great American road trip may become the great American rideshare. That could mean more serendipitous unions and more efficient long-distance trips than the old standby--driving alone.

Sites such as eRideShare.com and RideshareOnline.com allow users to find car mates based on detailed profiles. But when it comes to ridesharing networks, bigger is better: The more people involved, the more likely you are to find someone who (a) is going your way and (b) isn't a whacko.

Where better to find massive amounts of people in specific regions than on Craigslist? Ads in the rideshare category are generally posted according to the city of origin, and users can post ads offering or seeking rides. Popular routes between major cities (Los Angeles and San Francisco, or New York and DC) can yield plenty of options. And if you have something more unorthodox, like a Pantera-fueled overnight death rage from Reno to Cheyenne, just say so. You may not get a response--but you just might find a kindred spirit. By the miracle of Craigslist, you've got nothing to lose because the ads are free and anonymous.

After the jump: Rideshare safety and etiquette tips

In case you fear that your drive might end up involving a chainsaw and a roadside ditch, there are plenty of ways to verify that your would-be chauffeur or passenger's background is massacre-free. In the experience of one Sierra staffer who recently shared a ride from Beverly Hills to San Francisco, it's entirely appropriate to ask for assurances such as resumes, addresses, references, and, these days, Facebook pages. And even if bringyoursoultome@666Beast.com begs you for a lift to Pompano Beach, don't be afraid to delete and move on.

Rideshare Etiquette:

  1. The driver controls the tunes and A/C--and decides whether chatter, yodeling, etc. is OK.
  2. Expect to deliver agreed-upon payments before you hit the road. RideshareOnline.com suggests figuring 15 cents per mile, divided evenly among all riders (including the driver).
  3. Stick to the rules of the road -- and be glad you're not stuck in the back of some dingy bus.

--Josh Stephens

Have you shared a ride lately? Do you have other tips for a smooth trip? Let us know!

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