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Friday, August 15, 2014


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Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

That is interesting that SNCF bought up the long distance ride-sharing app. The name is pretty funny, too.

I can see that your husband as the driver sees it completely as saving some money on a trip he has to make anyway.

Me, I have always liked to ride trains, not have to pay attention to the road.

Suzanne Dunaway

What do you do about a really bad driver?


As you say, "you never know what kind of car you'll travel in" and the other thing is you never know the state of repair of the vehicle and the driving competence and character of the person behind the wheel. What if the car breaks down when you have a plane to catch? At least a proper taxi can call for backup.

There have been enough reports in the USA of bad situations with Uber (including an attack by the Uber driver on a woman passenger) for me to decide that is not for me. Yes, I know bad things can happen in taxis too, but I'm still more comfortable where I know there is proper regulation.

Kristin Espinasse

Suzanne, thats where the ratings system comes in handy! P.S. Jean-Marc has excellent ratings so far ;-)

Pamela Blair

Blablacar may seem new, but in 1972 there was PROVOYA, a service in Paris that hooked up drivers with riders. I rode from Paris to Munich in a Deux Chevaux (that looked a little like the one in your photo) with three people, my backpack in the trunk, a basket of food and a sack full of tapes for the tape recorder on my lap. It was a delightful ride--an American (me), a young boy from Guadalupe, a Française who'd lived all her life in West Africa, and her African boyfriend, the driver. A few weeks later PROVOYA found me a ride, with a Canadian I'd found to travel with, a Française and the Spanish driver, from Paris to Barcelona. Both trips were extremely cheap, and with great travel companions.

Catharine Ewart-Touzot the DC (Washington) area they have a "slugging" pick up riders to be able to use the express lanes..into DC, my son did it all the time, I thought it was "dangerous"..but he said that mostly military or contractors used it..guess it all depends on who you are and what you can feel comfortable I age I am less comfortable with a lot of these schemes...but I can imagine that it would be an interesting way to arrive someplace with some fine new friends and save money in the process..the things I did in my youth did not kill me and some of the things I consider now to be not overly bright..I did without really thinking of "what could happen"..but that is youth.

Audrey Wilson

My only concern would be the insurance cover ?
I did do this many years ago in London during the bus strike, but had a notice in the car which stated 'at your own risk' .
Otherwise , it is an interesting idea

Joan Linneman

It sounds like the travelling equivalent of staying in youth hostels, which are not just for young people any more. Obviously, if you have an appointment or flight that you absolutely positively cannot be late for, you make your own arrangements. But if you want to meet people, save a little money, and maybe have an adventure, this sounds great. I wish I were more "bla-bla-bla", but unfortunately I'm only "bla" with strangers. :(
Joan L.

Kristin Espinasse

Sarah, Thanks for your feedback. Correction to my text : the SNCF did not buy BlaBlaCar -- but has been inspired to adopt the same strategy.

Barry Draper

Today's word (le covoiturage (ko-vwah-tewr-ahzh)) reminds me of the question: "how does one eat an elephant?" Answer: "One bite at a time." This word is a mouthful, however, I am stoked to learn it! Thank goodness for the phonetics breakdown :).

I know there are several benefits to le covoiturage, but utilizing it is a mindset I would probably have to get used to. I could probably do it.
However, I have a 16 yo daughter and I would be apprehensive in letting her ride with a stranger using this service! I would definitely follow the same precautions y'all did. The movie "Taken" with Liam Neeson comes to mind!

In my experience, ride-sharing isn't common in the U.S. with the exception being in metro areas like Washington DC/LA/Atlanta. Drivers may then use the preferential diamond lane for HOV(High Occupant Vehicles) provided for carpooling/ride-sharing.

Is ride-sharing in non-metro areas a commonplace thing in France?

Diane Young

Jean-Marc is perfect kind of person for this BlaBla as he is outgoing, trusting, strong, etc. Think a lot of us are like you - wary of strangers. Life used to be safer. Now, not so much. Glad he can do it as it certainly saves some cash.


Our Dear Kristi,
Loved today's post(as always!) and the beautiful pictures!
Wow! How times have changed for means of transportation(!) and it is awesome the way your family has kept up with them!
Looking forward to the video--especially enjoyed the ones on Yabla!
Once again you have wrapped us in hugs!
Thank you!
Natalia XO


Love this post - I was in Collieur several years ago and am totally green with envy that anyone gets to go there. Such a pretty seaside village and lots of wineries around in the hills. Very exciting for your winery. BlaBla sounds great - I could use them here when I drive out to Seattle area during the summers. Will check to see if they are in the USA. Thank you for sharing. I love your posts.

Leslie in Oregon

Our adult children, who live in NYC and the Bay Area, use rideshare services all the time, and they've had no bad experiences. BlablaCar sounds great, and I look forward to using it on my next trip to Europe when rail travel is not feasible. Blablacar could not be nearly as risky as some of the taxi rides I've taken in the U.S. and abroad; it conserves energy when the alternative is driving alone, and it is a way to meet new people when travelling. Like room/house rental services and food carts, rideshare services are spreading all over the urban U.S., but hotels, restaurants and taxi companies are crying foul and local authorities are striving to regulate (and tax) the services these new options provide. (Whether the regulation those local authorities provide is worth the taxes they impose is debatable, IMHO.) I hope that rideshare services, food carts and room/home rental services are able to survive whatever those authorities impose, as they provide a valuable (and for many of us, preferable) alternative to the more traditional (and expensive) options.


Great in theory and I hope also in practice. However, I've had mixed experiences with sharing rides - and that was with people I already knew!
It's always a treat to visit your blog. Warm regards

Ally Davis

Safety issues?

Lynne near WInchester UK

Interesting but I do not think it would work here because of insurance issues and also safety ,especially for young girls. I pity the person who might get me ! I am a real chatterbox and would spend all the time trying not to talk too much so as not to drive them mad!
By the way paid not payed in this instance.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Love the photos and the short clips of Jean-Marc. BlaBlaCar sounds like it would be fun for people who want to save money and meet new people. I would be wary of something like that in the states.

Cathy de floride

J'adore Blah Blah Car formerly I have used it several times over four years and have nothing but glowing reviews to give. As a 62 year old American, I delight in the chance to meet and talk with the drivers and fellow co-voyituage passengers. You learn the look at sortis and rond points, pulled over cars with open trunks, people standing waiting for the hand off. I have become friends with some of my drivers and check with them first. A GREAT and inexpensive way to travel. Do it!!!!! Bonnes routes à tous!!!!

Cathy de floride

Having read concerns people have posted I have to say that what sold me originally on the service was that I was able to read reviews. Reviews of both driversas well as of passengers. You can see how long someone has been a driver, what kind of car they drive. Drivers can check out passengers. I will always choose a veteran driver if I have a choice. I chose my first driver because he had positive reviews and one said he had transported their rabbit. Haha! That's who I wanted!! Turns out he's a Marseilles detective that lives in Perpignan do transits twice a week. So doing some research in advance and you can avoid a lot of surprises. Yes, it was a bit odd to climb into a car with three strange men at 1:30 in the morning at a parking area at a highway exit. But that miracle ride took me directly to Barcelona airport for a 6 am flight. Hip hip hooray for Blah Blah Car and the people who use it!!

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Kristin thanks for the link to the article.
I see the SNCF interest now, car pool to the train station.

I do like the name BlaBlaCar a lot. Totally French.

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