smart spending

5 ways a sharing economy helps save money

Ride sharing
Ride sharing © Edyta Pawlowska/Shutterstock.com

Americans spent on average almost $9,000 on transportation costs in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But car sharing can help to save money. A slew of downloadable sharing smartphone apps like Lyft and Sidecar match drivers and riders who pay for their rides to reduce driving costs. "The cars are usually in better shape than cabs, too," Gorenflo says. Drivers are vetted for safety, and riders and drivers rate each other.

Drivers in the Washington, D.C., area are pioneering a new way of instant carpooling called "sluglines." Drivers simply pull up at a "slugline," which is a line of riders waiting at designated places to ride into the D.C. metro area from the suburbs. Drivers pick up a rider, and the process moves thousands of passengers daily into the city.

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