Hitch a Ride to Bay Area With Waze Carpool

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Waze, the Google-owned traffic navigation service, is inviting a handful of San Francisco-based employers and commuters to test a new carpooling option.

Environmentally conscious users, or folks without a car of their own, can grab a ride from a Waze driver heading in the same direction—cutting down on commuter traffic and parking lot congestion. Coordination, communication, and payment (riders and drivers share the cost of gas—54 cents per mile—for the trip) are automatically handled through the mobile apps.

Pilot participants can download the Waze or Waze Rider apps and register with a corporate email. Everyone else is encouraged to sign up online to receive updates when Waze expands the program.

"Waze Carpool connects riders and drivers with nearly identical commutes based on their home and work addresses," according to the company's FAQ.

The employer pilot was developed to meet the needs of Silicon Valley, where the program is restricted to two rides a day, during morning and evening commute hours. Users are asked to request a lift one day in advance.

Waze Carpool passengers must be at least 18 years old, so don't expect to drop off your kids at daycare before the morning meeting. Drivers must be 21 years or older.

As SFGate reports, the service is initially available to more than 25,000 employees at select companies, who will be matched with drivers from the app's 700,000-plus Bay Area users. Early participants include UCSF, Adobe, and Walmart Global eCommerce, which were selected for their close proximity to Google offices, according to the news site.

Ridesharing company Lyft, meanwhile, recently launched its own carpooling effort, which allows drivers commuting to the Bay Area to pick up other people along their journey. Participants can earn up to $10 per trip, or $400 a month.

For more, see PCMag's reviews of Waze for iPhone and Android.

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