Local rideshare app offers free car rides for Vancouverites this Tuesday

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      Vancouverites get a lot of flak for supposedly being cold, distant, and unfriendly. But three B.C.–based entrepreneurs are hoping to challenge that stigma by offering free car rides to Vancouver commuters this Tuesday (June 21).

      Interested commuters must book a spot online through local carpooling service Spare Rides, and live in the Metro Vancouver area. (That covers Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, New Westminster, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, and Coquitlam.) The complimentary rides will be offered between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., with drop-off points available across the same Metro Vancouver region.

      There is, however, one catch: during the trip, riders must answer one “thought-provoking” question provided by Basecamp Cards Co., a B.C.–born company that crafts playing cards inscribed with conversation-prompting questions like, “What is the most exciting thing you have ever done?”, “Describe what makes you the happiest”, and “Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?”

      Spare Rides drivers will have Basecamp decks on hand, and passengers are expected to return the same question to drivers, thus engaging the two in a thoughtful chat and potentially building a friendship. Because Spare Rides is focused on commuter-sharing, each trip may carry up to four passengers, creating more opportunities to make new mates.

      Passengers must answer one question provided by Basecamp Cards Co. during the trip, which is meant to provoke thoughtful conversation between commuters.
      Basecamp Cards Co.

      “We wanted to do something that shows our love for Vancouver, and really opens the doors for Vancouverites to connect authentically,” says Daniel Dubois, one of the event’s organizers, by phone.

      Dubois, who is the founder and chief innovation officer of ShareShed, a mobile app that allows users to rent outdoor and adventure gear from locals, connected with Spare Rides cofounder Kristoffer Vik Hansen and Basecamp Cards Co. cofounder Aiden Gay earlier this year through Axe’s mentorship program. The three hope that Tuesday’s event will help break down the walls between Vancouverites.

      “We’re hoping that Vancouver will pick up our call by coming out and connecting,” adds Dubois. “It’s really about creating meaningful relationships and helping people connect.”

      Confirmed passengers will receive an email or phone call prior to being picked up this Tuesday (June 21). Vancouverites can also match up with a driver using Spare Rides’ free mobile app the morning of, though those who book in advance will have a better chance of participating.

      The company notes that passengers who request a ride near downtown Vancouver are more likely to be matched with a driver. Participants of the event will also receive a free $15 credit to use toward Spare Rides, and a free Basecamp Cards set.

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.