The history of ridesharing

27 May 2019

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have truly revolutionised passenger services around the globe, giving citizens a level of convenience and empowerment not experienced previously and eliminating many of the frustrations associated with other forms of transport, including public transport.

Read on below to find out more about the fascinating history of ridesharing:

What is ridesharing?

The aim of this service is described in its name: it literally means to share a ride. Whether you decide to share a ride with a family member, a friend or even a stranger, the principle remains the same: helping people who don’t have their own vehicles get from point A to point B. Ridesharing in the modern context specifically refers to commercial ridesharing, otherwise known as peer-to-peer ridesharing. This refers specifically to the aforementioned services such as Uber, which rely on web applications and mobile technology.


General ridesharing has actually been around for almost as long as cars have. However, historically, when individuals wanted to use a rideshare service, they were beholden to transit systems such as busses, which were generally developed by companies and the government. Any regular commuter will know that public transit options are beset by problems and inconveniences such as stops, inconvenient schedules, and unexpected rider problems. Another way to rideshare was to carpool, which has always been more effective and cost-saving than public transport.

The Evolution of on-demand ridesharing

Taxi cabs were the first major shift in ridesharing and date back hundreds of years to the time of carriages, long before cars or vehicles were even invented. In the 1990’s and the early 2000’s, there was an effort to establish real-time ridesharing outside of the taxi industry. However, a lack of sophisticated technology such as fast internet and social media networks were obstacles at the time.

With technology now more advanced, rideshare companies began to launch in the late 2000’s, and companies such as Lyft and Uber began to experience phenomenal growth, driven in large part by substantial driver bonuses and the large amount of free ride credit that these companies were giving away.

New Competitors come onboard

With the rideshare industry currently experiencing unprecedented growth, more and more competitors are emerging, with even Amazon getting its piece of the action through its Amazon Flex service, which intends to vertically integrate its delivery operations through the use of on-demand couriers in its own network.

Cartrack Tanzania 

No matter what type of ridesharing you undertake, Cartrack Tanzania will provide you with a world-class recovery team and tracking services that will ensure that you, the other riders and the vehicle you’re traveling in are protected against theft and hijackers.


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