New carpooling service being tested by Waze in San Francisco

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Crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app Waze is testing a new car pooling feature that it hopes will lead to less congested roads. Waze, which is owned by Google, has partnered with companies in the San Francisco Bay Area that have a total of 25,000 employees. They will download a free app allowing them to start or join a current carpool with other Waze users that have the same or similar commute each morning and evening.

The free app is called Waze Rider and the companies participating in the test include UCSF, Adobe and Walmart Global eCommerce. These companies were selected for the carpool test because they are close to Google's offices. Since Google had already tested Waze Rider with its own employees, adding these companies is sure to result in additional carpools since all of the firms are in close proximity to each other.

Waze carpool drivers request that riders pay them the IRS carpooling average of 54 cents per mile per rider to cover gas and wear on their vehicle. For the test period, Waze will not receive a cut from the drivers. In a similar test conducted last year in Israel, drivers paid Waze 15% of their take.

If the test is successful and Google expands it nationally, this could turn out to be a decent source of revenue for Waze (and in turn, Google). While their are other carpool apps available, none of them have as many members as Waze does, and only Waze has the backing of Google behind it.

source: Waze via SFGate, AndroidCentral

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