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Germany passed legislation covering Mitfahrgelegenheit ("opportunity to share a ride") early on. It limits the amount you can charge for a ride to covering costs and makes it illegal to make a profit. Even when Uber was attempting to operate in Germany it was forced to obey Mitfahrgelegenheit legislation, and for about a year in Düsseldorf & Cologne you could get across town in an Uber for less than a dollar. It could easily work out cheaper to take a car between the two cities than to take a regional train and around ⅛ of the cost of taking a taxi. Eventually Uber got tired of subsidizing rides and pulled out of the market. Incidentally, another mismatch for Uber in Germany was that many cities didn't artificially cap taxi numbers in the way that US cities do. Taxis were already plentiful and relatively affordable in Berlin, so apps like MyTaxi offered the hailing and pay-by-tap functionality of Uber to regular cab drivers who are mostly independent drivers who pass the commercial driving exam, buy commercial insurance, and register as cab drivers with the city.

I don't have any data to back it up, but I suspect that BlaBlaCar has been under pressure in Germany in the past few years. For a long time competition in intercity buses was restricted, and while cheaper than taking the train, was still quite expensive. BlaBlaCar was cheaper, and expanded into a lot of non-consumption of intercity travel at the time. Once low-cost bus service came in from companies like FlixBus it was often cheaper to take the bus than to rideshare, with more predictability and less co-ordination problems. Deutche Bahn as also provided more low-cost runs in response to this competition, though they seem to purposely make it hard to find these trains on the bahn.de website, while they are easy to get through aggregators that show cheaper modes of travel.[1]

That said, there are a lot of operators on BlaBlaCar that operate counter to the law. Many people I know who use the service regularly have a story of going to meet with a driver who looked like a 25 year old blond German woman in the profile picture and discovering they were riding in an 8-seat van driven by a 40 year old immigrant.

[1] You can get an idea of different costs at the aggregator busradar, though they don't list every provider. https://www.busradar.com/search/?From=Berlin&To=Düsseldorf&W...




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