Under the €101m deal, SNCF will become a shareholder in BlaBlaCar while BlaBlaCar will acquire SNCF’s Ouibus subsidiary and enter the European long-distance bus market.

By the end of this year, Oui.SNCF will start to include BlaBlaCar carpooling options for journeys alongside rail and bus services. From summer 2019, Oui.SNCF users will be offered rail and bus intermodal services, with rail and carpooling intermodal options following later. SNCF says it will then be possible for customers to combine train, bus and carpooling to go from their point of departure to their point of arrival in a few clicks.

“This project is a first and it is essential to bring to each of our customers the freedom to move easily from door to door,” says Ms Rachel Picard, executive director of Voyages SNCF.

The project is part of SNCF’s strategy to develop partnerships with other mobility providers to be able to offer passengers an online personal mobility assistant by spring 2019.

Ouibus was set up by SNCF in 2012 and operates a network of long-distance buses in 10 European countries serving 300 cities. BlaBlaCar was founded in 2006 and has 65 million members in 22 countries. Since August 2017, it has helped to transport 50 million passengers with an annual growth rate of 40%.