Determined to revive traditional carpooling, Waze Carpool is expanding across California with the hopes of minimizing traffic and making commutes convenient.
Founded in Israel and purchased in 2013 by Google, the app first emerged in May 2016 as a small pilot program in Silicon Valley and eventually expanded to San Francisco. As of June 6, the app is available across California.
Drivers and riders with similar commutes can team up and lessen their load by riding to work together using the carpooling app. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Waze Carpool does not pay drivers and does not take commission from rides, rather riders and drivers share the cost of gas and riders will pay no more than the federal mileage rate of 54 cents per mile.
Waze Carpool also distinguishes itself from other carpooling apps as they plan to make money by showing advertisements in the app that will allegedly engage both riders and drivers during the trip. Additionally, Waze Carpool has guidelines like limiting carpool trips to two per day and requesting that riders be 18 years or older.
The company doesn’t require background checks for drivers like Uber and Lyft do because, according to Waze, drivers “are everyday people who use Waze to drive to work.”
Uber and Lyft rely on being convenient at any given time while Waze Carpool sets out to made direct morning and evening trips.
An estimated 500,400 vehicles were registered by the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco in 2016, a number that has since increased. Waze Carpool wants to lower this number by “creating a community where drivers and riders help each other out, reduce traffic for everyone else on the road, and share the financial burden of commuting by car.”
In 2013, 69.8 percent of workers commuted by private vehicles in San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward, according an American Community Survey report, with 3 out of 4 commuters driving alone.
According to App Annie, the app has been downloaded an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 times as of June 7. The company also plans to expand to Brazil.