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Rideshare on the Francés? (Uber, Lyft, Cabify, Free Now, BlaBlaCar?)

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Year of past OR future Camino
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. Hoping to go back in 2022.
Which rideshare services operate along the Camino Francés?

I've heard that Uber and Lyft operate in Madrid (or have when they're not in legal hot water), and I've heard of other services in Spain like Cabify, Free Now, and BlaBlaCar.

But my question is which of these services operate along the Francés, either in the bigger cities or in smaller towns and in between.

I'm partly asking in order to arrange transport to and from airports/train stations, but also because of one time we got stranded with a leg injury in a town that had no bus service or cab stand. We got out of that with a combo of hitchhiking (quite pleasant) and walking on the injury (not so fun). It would have been great to have an app to call a ride, even if it was an expensive one.
 
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It would have been great to have an app to call a ride, even if it was an expensive one.
You ask about ride share services and I am going to reply about taxi services. The app that I would use is called Siri. Siri, find taxi gets me local taxi phone numbers, and in my (limited) experience they come from wherever they are to pick me up.

Jacotrans, who transport backpacks, say on their website that they can organise a taxi for a pilgrim if needed. They have dedicated phone numbers for the regions of Navarra, of La Rioja, of Burgos and of Leon, which covers the whole Camino Frances from the French border to the Galician border.
 

lt56ny

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Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
In the small towns and villages the best thing to do if you need a taxi is to either ask someone to call one for you or to just walk into any bar/restaurant. They always have a number of a taxi. Also why use Uber/Lyft who are profiting from you and not paying drivers very well (at least in the United States). Why not support a local person and hire their taxi. I may be all wrong about Uber but I would always go with a person who has probably struggled because of the pandemic.
 
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Often at the major interections of the path the local taxi service posts their number.
And I take daily pictures of these numbers so I have them if needed and at the end of the day just delete and start over the next day. Many places you stay have a board with taxi cards on them.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
And I take daily pictures of these numbers so I have them if needed and at the end of the day just delete and start over the next day. Many places you stay have a board with taxi cards on them.
Yes, good idea to delete them periodically so that you don't have the taxi number for Estella when you are in Hontanas!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Which rideshare services operate along the Camino Francés?

I've heard that Uber and Lyft operate in Madrid (or have when they're not in legal hot water), and I've heard of other services in Spain like Cabify, Free Now, and BlaBlaCar.

But my question is which of these services operate along the Francés, either in the bigger cities or in smaller towns and in between.

I'm partly asking in order to arrange transport to and from airports/train stations, but also because of one time we got stranded with a leg injury in a town that had no bus service or cab stand. We got out of that with a combo of hitchhiking (quite pleasant) and walking on the injury (not so fun). It would have been great to have an app to call a ride, even if it was an expensive one.
I've never tried a rideshare on the CF. The last time I hitched on the CF, it was long before any of the services existed. I did, however, use BlaBlaCar to get me from SdC to Porto after my last Camino. I wouldn't be surprised if the service operated between the larger towns (Pamplona - Logroño - Burgos - Leon etc.). You might be able to arrange a ride from a larger town to a smaller town or village with someone who is passing through. From a smaller town or village would be a lot harder, I'd expect. Probably much easier just to call a taxi.

All this info is based on pre-Covid experience. Now, who knows?
 
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Marianjhart

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018)
Which rideshare services operate along the Camino Francés?

I've heard that Uber and Lyft operate in Madrid (or have when they're not in legal hot water), and I've heard of other services in Spain like Cabify, Free Now, and BlaBlaCar.

But my question is which of these services operate along the Francés, either in the bigger cities or in smaller towns and in between.

I'm partly asking in order to arrange transport to and from airports/train stations, but also because of one time we got stranded with a leg injury in a town that had no bus service or cab stand. We got out of that with a combo of hitchhiking (quite pleasant) and walking on the injury (not so fun). It would have been great to have an app to call a ride, even if it was an expensive one.
I took a Blablacar from Santiago to Porto.
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Which rideshare services operate along the Camino Francés?
BlaBlaCar is a viable way to get around. I know one person who "did the entire pilgrimage" by BlaBlaCar. (This is not an invitation to debate the merits of a "pilgrimage" by car).

I don't think it's the go to choice for a person who finds themselves stuck mid-way along a stage and in need of transportation - A local taxi is handier for that kind of spontaneous need. As others have pointed out, you can find the numbers of local taxi firms on albergue corkboards and fenceposts. Failing that, Google works well.

But for a less spontaneous need - say if one person in your party finds that they need to take a rest from walking for a day or two and they're looking for a cheap way to leap ahead to a major city on the camino, BlaBlaCar works well.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Year of past OR future Camino
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. Hoping to go back in 2022.
Thanks, all. Maybe I should have been more specific: mostly I want to know which rideshare services would work in (say) Pamplona, Burgos, León, maybe Logroño, etc.

But in the case of my trail story, we did ask at the bar, where a kindly server sent us on a wild goose chase down a pretty country lane to a bus stop with no buses. Note to self: next time don't ask the person clearing tables, ask the boss.
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Thanks, all. Maybe I should have been more specific: mostly I want to know which rideshare services would work in (say) Pamplona, Burgos, León, maybe Logroño, etc.
Within the cities? No peer-to-peer rideshare services (like BlaBlaCar) would work. Nobody wants to pick up passengers on their way to the supermarket.

Between those cities? Blablacar.

EDITED - Added "peer to peer"
 
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Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Year of past OR future Camino
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. Hoping to go back in 2022.
Within the cities? No rideshare services would work. Nobody wants to pick up passengers on their way to the supermarket.
Well, Uber was alive and well in Porto the last time I was there. So I think rideshare can work in Iberian cities. (Whether that's a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion.)
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Within the cities? No rideshare services would work. Nobody wants to pick up passengers on their way to the supermarket.

Between those cities? Blablacar.

Well, Uber was alive and well in Porto the last time I was there. So I think rideshare can work in Iberian cities
I think that it depends on your definition of "rideshare."
Uber will definitely pick you up to or from the supermarket. Blablacar is a more long distance service and not must be arranged farther in advance than Uber or a taxi.
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
I think that it depends on your definition of "rideshare."
Thanks Trecile. After checking definitions to this vague and abstract inquiry I see that rideshare is used to describe commercial platforms that match vehicles for hire with passengers. In that definition, Uber is ride share.

Unfortunately, OP still hasn't described the situation / use case for which he wants a solution. And he seems to want to argue with me about what business models are "viable in Iberia." This feels more and more like a lawyered argument that I want no part of.

OP - If you explain the use case for which you need a solution, you might get a valuable response. Buen camino.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Year of past OR future Camino
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. Hoping to go back in 2022.
I think that it depends on your definition of "rideshare."
Yeah, "rideshare" is a terribly generous term for Uber, Lyft, etc. But it is the standard industry term used in journalism, policy, and travel writing, at least in my country. Cf Wikipedia.

@Raggy, you ask about a use case. Here's one: last time I was in Burgos I wanted to go to Decathlon on the edge of town to look at some gear. But information about buses was confusing and hailing a taxi would have obligated me to an unknown expense, plus the uncertainty that I could easily hail one for the return trip. So I didn't go. Uber, Lyft, or a similar service would have let me know the cost in advance and also reassured me that I could easily make the return trip.

Use case #2: I was stranded at a bus stop in the countryside outside Burgos with no buses operating that day. There were no bars or other sources of information. I knew my location according to Google Maps but not in terms I could have used to explain it precisely to a cab driver. I managed to find the number of one taxi company who just told me that they thought a ride "would be too expensive" so they wouldn't come get me. Uber or Lyft would have been able to send a driver to my location at a known cost, even if it was a high one.

I get it that Uber and Lyft have their downsides but they have their uses, too!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
I think that it depends on your definition of "rideshare."
I see "rideshare" commonly used for services like Uber. Maybe at one point, Uber actually was a platform for people sharing rides, getting others to share the car and the cost of gas. I don't think it has been that way for quite some time. Now Uber, Lyft, and other similar platforms are essentially taxi services that call themselves ride sharing to avoid the regulations that other transportation companies operate under.

BlaBlaCar, in my experience, did seem more like a ride sharing platform. I got the impression (perhaps mistaken) that the person driving was actually going from Santiago to Porto for their own purposes and looking for people to share the ride, rather than driving back and forth from Santiago to Porto and then immediately back to Santiago to make their daily wages from the fares.
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Maybe at one point, Uber actually was a platform for people sharing rides, getting others to share the car and the cost of gas.
No. From Wikipedia -

"Uber was founded in 2009 as "Ubercab," by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick... Originally, the application only allowed users to hail a black luxury car and the price was 1.5 times that of a taxi.... In 2011, the company changed its name from UberCab to Uber after complaints from San Francisco taxicab operators.

call themselves ride sharing to avoid the regulations that other transportation companies operate under.

Bingo.


But it seems that the accepted definition of rideshare now encompasses Uber and other similar services so it would be tilting a lance at a windmill to insist otherwise.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
No. From Wikipedia -

"Uber was founded in 2009 as "Ubercab," by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick... Originally, the application only allowed users to hail a black luxury car and the price was 1.5 times that of a taxi.... In 2011, the company changed its name from UberCab to Uber after complaints from San Francisco taxicab operators.



Bingo.
That's why I started with "Maybe". :)
 

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