Ridesharing has exploded in popularity in recent years. In 2014, 1.1 million rides were being requested every week. Ridesharing doesn't just provide a way for people to get from point A to point B. It's changing the world for the better.

This guide is going to show you why you should be signing up to a ridesharing platform from your computer or your phone.

It's Cheap!

One of the reasons why ridesharing managed to rise so quickly is because of how cheap it is. On many routes, it's up to 50% cheaper to travel by rideshare than it is to travel by public transport.

Nowhere did this become more apparent than with Uber. Taxi drivers all over the world have even launched legal action because they claim that Uber is unfairly taking their business away from them.

Ridesharing has made long distance travel more affordable.

Bringing People Closer Together

Ridesharing is about so much more than an impersonal ride to this destination or that. It's about creating real connections between the driver and the passenger. Most rides will usually have enough demand to fill a vehicle. This will lead to up to four people having a relationship as they meet each other and speak about their likes and dislikes.

This happens on both shorter rides and longer rides. It's making the world a better place because it's bringing together people from lots of different backgrounds.

By bringing people closer together, it helps to break down barriers and create open minds.

Reduces Congestion on the Roads

There's nothing more frustrating than trying to get somewhere only to have a huge traffic jam to struggle with. There are many reasons why this happens, but it's largely self-inflicted. When everyone is driving a vehicle, the roads can't handle so many people all trying to get to the same place at the same time.

Congestion on the roads has been eased by people sharing cars together. Before ridesharing really started to hit the mainstream, governments and organizations were promoting the benefits of ridesharing. But there are more benefits that aren't confined to making it easier to get from one place to another without congestion.

The Environmental Benefits

The world has to take a look at itself and consider what it is going to do about the increasing effect of global warming. The world is getting hotter and the environment is starting to change. This is a direct result of the greenhouse gases produced by vehicles like cars.

Many cities have come up with solutions to improve air quality. Some cities have even allowed only certain license plates on the roads on alternate days.

One way you can contribute to saving the environment is through ridesharing. If everyone could fill a car of four people, this would mean four times fewer greenhouse gas emissions. This would mean significant change to the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and would slow down the rate of warming.

Although there is no hard research to demonstrate the precise effect ridesharing has had on reducing emissions, the logic is clear.

Keeping People Mobile

Ridesharing, for many reasons, has liberated people. For example, if someone is unable to easily get to a bus or train station they may decide not to make the trip at all. Ridesharing has the benefit of being able to transport people to and from anywhere.

It keeps people mobile, and that maintains the flow of people from place to place. As people meet with and connect with others, they become more tolerant and less isolated. One could easily describe ridesharing as the great social dispersion agent of the decade.

How Ridesharing Differs

There are many forms of ridesharing. Uber, for example, is just like an alternative taxi services. Blablacar, on the other hand, is closer to hitchhiking, except you pay for it and the ride is arranged in advance. It allows drivers who were going to a destination anyway to take someone with them without the high prices of public transport.

Ridesharing has changed the world in many ways. Many people have become liberated and they have created friendships simply through sharing a ride together.

It's safer than hitchhiking and more affordable than taking a cab. All the signs point towards ridesharing continuing to grow in popularity as it makes further inroads into the mainstream. There's a strong chance that this will become the way to travel going forward.

What are your opinions on ridesharing?

Published on: Mar 6, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.