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We all know that carpooling is an easy way to cut down on the impact we’re making on the environment, but finding people to carpool with can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. This week Waze rolled out a new feature that will make finding those carpool buddies a lot easier.
Waze Carpool launched in 2016 in California and has been in testing in a few cities across the U.S and abroad since. Wednesday Waze officially started rolling the service out to all 50 states in the U.S.
The way it works is kind of a combination between Uber and Airbnb. Riders and drivers both create profiles and then select whom they’re willing to ride with. As a driver, you can specify criteria—maybe you only want to drive with coworkers, not anyone going the same way. Or perhaps you only want to ride with people of the same gender. So you have a bit more control over who hops in your car than your average ride share.
Both riders and drivers are given a star rating on the site, so you can weed out folks that might have gotten booted from their last ride for bad behavior (or bad driving).
To be a driver, you use the traditional Waze app. Riders need a special Waze Carpool app. Both are available for both iOS and Android.
Drivers can start the process by tapping on the small man icon at the bottom right side of the app. From there you’ll be prompted to enter your home and work address (which are kept private) and information about when you head to work and when you come home each day. You’ll also be asked to connect your Facebook or Google account, both to verify your identity and help highlight any mutual friends you might have with carpoolers.
Once you’ve created your profile, other Waze users (using that Carpool app) can ask you for rides.
The rides are cheap, but not free. Riders are currently charged $.54 a mile (the IRS reimbursement rate) per passenger. So if you’re driving, it’s not really a get rich quick scheme, but it can be a way to help offset some fuel costs, as well as some carbon emissions.