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October 05, 2021

Are you a big fan of ridesharing?

Anyone who lives in a large urban centre knows how tough it can be to get back and forth to work. Hence, the scheduled carpool. By alternating vehicles and drivers equally among carpoolers, the issue of money needn't come up. And you usually know which of your coworkers are creeps.

But what about more occasional trips? Or those that don't have a car to begin with? In these cases, the “riders” would normally pay the driver an agreed-upon amount to help out with driving costs.

But is it smart? Safe? What about insurance issues, for instance?

While once the stuff of students trying to get home for the holidays, the steady climb in gas prices has made off-and-on ridesharing increasingly attractive. A small gesture to the environment, a way to get around and a chance for drivers to pick up some extra gas money at the same time.

There are lots of local initiatives like this one in B.C. or in Toronto. But for drivers and riders who don't work on a set schedule or just need to get somewhere, there's a growing group of ridesharing smartphone apps that can help.

Ridejoy, for instance, includes a reference section for each member where others can say how their companions were to travel with. You can, if you like, link accounts to Facebook profiles, to provide a more complete picture of what's on offer.

Do you rideshare regularly? Have things worked out as you hoped?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

Photo: Susanne Becker



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...