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7 Ways to Get Around in the "Sharing Economy"


We've been told that "sharing is caring" since we were kids. While that may have been a harder sell back in preschool, these days there seems to be almost nothing we won't share with strangers we find online.

Transportation in particular has been a huge driver (yes, pun intended) of what's now known as the sharing economy. From cars to bikes to boats and beyond, here are 7 services that are helping people get around by playing nice with others:

  1. RelayRides: Whether you have a car to rent or need to rent a car, RelayRides has you covered. This site lets car owners in several US cities – including San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, and beyond – put their vehicles up for rent. Car seekers just enter travel dates and location specifics and, volia, a match is made in rental car heaven.

  1. Getaround: Love the ZipCar model by hate the fees? Getaround affords all the benefits – hourly and daily rentals of cars parked all around town – at a fraction of the price. Getaround screens renters and insures every rental up to $1 million. And yes, the app can be used to unlock the car.

  1. Zimride: Solo roadtrips can get a bit lonely. Zimride pairs passengers and drivers for long-distance travels. Riders purchase seats in cars going from L.A. to Palm Springs or New York to Boston. And who knows – you may make a new friend or two in the process).

  1. Boatbound: If land mobility isn't your thing, not to worry – the sharing economy has sea travelers covered, too. Check this site for available boat rentals from people in your area, sign up for one, and set sail.

  1. Spinlister: Next time you hear the great outdoors calling, check out Spinlister – an app for iOS and Android that lets you easily find people in your area renting out their unused snowboards, bikes, and surfboards. The app makes it easy to set rental prices as well as chat, negotiate, and set up pick-up locations via text.

  1. Bicyclette: If you participate in your city’s bicycle share, you know the frustration of circling the block until you can find an open dock. This app will find you a spot to drop your wheels right in your area and let you know how many openings there are. Plus, you don’t even need to unlock your phone.

  1. Zilyo: For your next peer-to-peer fueled excursion, seasoned pros will turn to Zilyo (formerly Outpost). The company aggregates results from 23 sharing economy-based sites so you can book your entire trip without ever having to log onto Expedia.

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