Waze expands its carpooling service in San Francisco. Image credit
Waze expands its carpooling service in San Francisco. Image from YouTube.

Waze expanded its carpooling options by reaching out to all commuters in San Francisco, starting today. The app’s pilot program for carpooling was released in May this year but only included a few companies (like Adobe and Walmart) for initial testing.

The ride-sharing initiative can be accessed by downloading either Waze or Waze Rider and registering with a corporate email. Car owners with Waze installed on their phones will start to receive requests from users with Waze Rider to set up a carpooling schedule.

A short video explaining the internal functionings of this new service says Waze analyzes the best commuting route. It selects the best one according to “closest start and end points, commute timing, and real-time traffic conditions.”

What are the benefits of carpooling?

Carpooling is the action of sharing your daily commute with people who are going in the same direction as you. It is being encouraged throughout the U. S. for reasons which include environmental concerns, the cost of fuel and the ever-growing number of cars on the road.

Other benefits from carpooling also include less parking lot space taken and less money spent. Carpool riders will share the cost of gas through the app, which starts at $0.54 per mile. They must be 18 or older to use the Waze Rider app, and drivers must be over 21 years old.

Waze’s carpooling rides are restricted to two a day, one in the morning and another in the evening. Testing done by a Wall Street Journal’s reporter revealed some bugs that will be fixed in upcoming versions of the app. The app did not show the carpooling vehicle’s location before passenger pickup, and the driver could not use Waze while carpooling.

How much can a driver make with Waze’s new app? 

San Francisco-based ride-sharing company Lyft introduced a carpooling option also in the Bay Area in May. The service allowed drivers to earn approximately $10 per trip or $400 a month, according to another PCMag article.

The mileage reimbursement rate (mandated by the IRS) was the same as Waze’s, 54 cents per mile. Lyft Carpool was launched in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (or MTC). It was shut down in August due to a lack of drivers.

On September 22, Uber released a ride-sharing service called UberCommute, limited to China. The company will test the service in the city of Chengdu.

Source: Waze

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