GoOpti – Ride-sharing the Long Haul to Milan

One thing that Ljubljana does not have is very good travel connections to Italy. When researching, flights were not real practical as they almost always connect through some other European capital and there is not direct train service between Ljubljana and Milan, my next destination. But, in checking on TripAdvisor’s forums, I found mention of a relatively young company called GoOpti which is a ride sharing service based in Slovenia.

Here’s how it works. You put in your desired route. If they serve it, you have a few options. First, you can pay the lowest amount and tell them when you want to arrive at your destination “no later than.” They will give you a four hour window when you might be picked up and you will only have a better idea of actual time one day before departure. For a bit more, you can buy a shorter, two hour window for pick-up. For even more, you can be the last person picked up and know your exact time. And, finally, you can pay a huge amount for private transfer where only your party will be on the vehicle.

I opted for the two hour window – between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. – and paid 114 euros. Perhaps because of the location of my hotel by the highway and well out of town, my 24 hour notice told me that I would be picked up at 7:30 a.m. so I got that benefit without paying for it.

Now, the downside of being the last one picked up is that you get whatever seat is left. For me, this was the middle passenger in the front seat. I don’t believe I’ve sat in that spot since I was 8 years old and driving with my family across the vastness of the U.S. Back at that age, it was a real treat, liberating one of the three children from sharing the back seat with their siblings.

This wasn’t so much of a treat. All was okay if I held my arms out in front of me and remembered to move my left knee to the right when the driver needed to shift the manual transmission. It wasn’t quite a full seat so not all of my arse was ever on the seat at the same time. But, I did have an air conditioning vent right in front of me, so that was nice.

I only had to ride this way until Treviso, Italy – about 2.5 hours – where we let a few passengers off. After a further stop to let a couple of more passengers off, we were in Milan at the central train station right at 2:00 p.m., the promised time. Everything ran exactly on time and the driver could not have been more professional so I would definitely consider this again.

One note to the Spanish speaking lady on the trip..if you want to primp your hair and face for over an hour, that is your prerogative but please don’t use hairspray when doing a ride-share. It is rude.