The rise in fuel prices has led the ride-sharing application Blablacar that connects drivers with potential passengers, to set a record for the number of its registered members in Malaga. In the province nearly one in three inhabitants have shared a registered car to travel at some point, according to data provided by the company.
The main connected urban areas are Malaga city, Marbella, Fuengirola, Estepona and Torremolinos. Residents tend to use these services to travel to or from Granada, Marbella, Seville, Madrid and Cordoba, although it is also possible to find frequent departures to points in Cadiz and Almeria.
The average length of journeys made is 240 kilometres, and the price is around €12, which is two euros more than in 2021, largely due to rising fuel prices. Blablacar connects 27 Malaga municipalities of less than 1,000 inhabitants, meaning that almost all the towns in the province have users. Atajate is the smallest connected village, with its 169 inhabitants, thanks to the so-called "Boost technology".
Itziar García, Blablacar's director of communications for Spain and Portugal, explained that this allows, "through the use of artificial intelligence algorithms", to connect towns that are on the way on a given route, so that for the driver it increases the possibility of savings, and for the passenger it means they can go directly from point A to point B rather than be picked up in a larger out of the way town.
According to Blablacar, the age range of most users has risen, from the twenties to the thirties. The age range with the highest number of travellers is 31-40 years old, with 31 per cent, followed by 26-30 years old, with 22 per cent. Among Malaga users, there is almost gender equality: 52 per cent are men and 48 per cent women, varying slightly from the Andalusian average of 53 per cent and 47 per cent.
In relative terms, Malaga is the second Andalusian province with the highest number of Blablacar users, both in gross terms (behind Seville) and relative terms (in terms of population, followed by Granada). In Spain, the platform has eight million users, of which 29 per cent are from Andalucía (2.3 million). In the autonomous community, growth has been 8.6 per cent compared to 2021, and is ahead of Madrid (1,300,000) and Valencia (950,000).