While the skyrocketing price of gas is infuriating many motorists, the situation is profitable for some carpooling companies, which are seeing their number of members jump.
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For example, at the AmigoExpress call center, a Quebec carpooling platform with 720,000 members, there are currently twice as many requests as usual. The services of the company created in 2006 are offered not only for trips in Quebec, but for the rest of North America.
“Two months ago, we were at 50% of what we were doing pre-pandemic, mentioned in an interview the founding president and general manager of the company Marc-Olivier Vachon. We are at 75%. [...] Our recovery is greatly accelerated because of the price of gasoline. In addition, several people are reactivating their AmigoExpress account to compensate for the increase.
According to him, a motorist can cover his gas costs by using the AmigoExpress service. “The goal is not to have drivers make money from carpooling. It is not an income for the drivers, but a sharing of costs. We are not like Uber”, however warns Mr. Vachon.
The picture is similar at Poparide, a Vancouver company that offers a ride-sharing service across Canada. In recent weeks, the number of monthly registrations has increased from 10,000 to 15,000.
“Active drivers have increased by nearly 25% per month on average over the past three months. We are now close to 500,000 registered members in the country,” said President and CEO Flo Devellennes, to whom we also spoke.
The latter remarks that his clientele has changed in recent months. “Drivers who would never have considered carpooling are now using it as the rising cost of travel is starting to seriously reduce their purchasing power.”
The impact of rising gas prices is not limited to carpooling. In Mauricie, for example, the Corporation de transportcollectives de la MRC de Maskinongé, which manages a shuttle between Louiseville and Trois-Rivières, has also noted greater interest in its services. In fact, demand has doubled for its various transport offers since the beginning of the current month, compared to the same period last year, the organization's management told us.