Upon first discovering this app, I was taken aback. An app that helps you find people who are willing to pay for rides to work, school or even across the country? Sounds like a serial killer’s paradise to me. That point aside, let’s take a look at the app.

Ridejoy started life as a social website devoted to helping people find carpools. Here’s how it works. You sign up for a free account through their website, ridejoy.com. Then, you list your travel plans. Ridejoy will match you with a user who has similar travel plans and voila! You have your Ridejoy trip. You and the other user, or users, share the ride and the trip expenses.

So, how do you know if you can trust the person you are accepting a ride from or giving a ride to? It’s simple. You don’t. Ridejoy does provide a page of safety tips on their website, but in all truthfulness, I can’t say I would recommend getting into a car with a complete stranger. Don’t you remember your mom telling you not to get into the car with a stranger, even if he was offering you candy?

On the very positive side of this idea, I could see this being extremely helpful for carpooling to work or finding carpool moms for kids at the same school. Let’s say you are a mom in a new area and you need help finding a carpool, this service might be very helpful to get in touch with those already doing that. The same is true for the work carpool. If you have never carpooled before and want to start, the likelihood that someone that you work with knows someone trying to give rides is pretty high.

I guess the part of this service that gets me is the long road trip aspect. I can’t imagine accepting a ride from someone for a trip that would take me across the country. Regardless of my opinion of other people’s motives when using this app, it is well-designed and the process to set up a request for a ride or to offer a ride, is very smooth. If you are interested in this sort of interaction, give Ridejoy a try, but please, be cautious about who are riding with.