Google-owned ride-sharing service Waze Carpool seems to be going places (pun intended). The service has introduced a new feature that makes it easier for drivers to add more people to their ride.
With the tap of a button, drivers can now see people who would add minimal detours to their route. They can then add them to their carpool, thereby reducing the number of cars on the road, which cuts down on traffic and pollution.
Aside from this new feature, several other elements make Waze Carpool popular among commuters in metropolitan areas. Here’s a summary:
The Rider Invitation System Has Been Modified
Waze officially unveiled the new feature on Monday in a post on Medium.
The new system can be best explained with an example. You set out in your car to reach your workplace and wish to add riders to occupy the extra seats in your vehicle. You open the Waze Carpool app on your smartphone and see a new + button. You tap this button and are asked to set the number of riders you’d like to add to your commute.
The app allows you to fill a maximum of four seats, but you can choose to fill only one if you’d like. After you’ve decided how many riders you’re going to take, you’ll start receiving requests from riders to join. You can see on the app’s dashboard where the rider is headed and how much you will end up saving by taking them to their destination on your way to work. If you’re willing to include a rider on your trip, just tap Accept.
With the new feature, Waze gives you a brief profile of each rider and shows you your mutual Facebook friends. There’s also a rating for each rider, which can be a helpful tool when deciding who to include in your carpool.
The Journey Made More Comfortable
Traffic management personnel in modern cities have created designated lanes called HOV lanes, where only high occupancy vehicles are permitted. Many of them have additional limitations, like HOV 3+ lanes, which are only open to vehicles with three or more occupants. By using the Waze Carpool app to fill two or more seats in your car, you can take the HOV 3+ lane and avoid the slow-moving traffic in the other lanes. Waze even gives you the option to look for routes that have HOV 3+ lanes.
Another feature Waze drivers enjoy is the advance information on tolls en route to your destination. This is particularly useful in countries like the U.S. and Canada where tolls are fairly common on high traffic routes.
As you look to add riders, you’ll be guided by Waze towards riders who won’t add too much time to your commute by requiring you to take detours to pick them up or drop them off.
All of these features allow you to have a shorter commute, get better quality riders and save on the cost of the trip.
Keep in mind that Waze does put a cap on how much money you can make. The underlying objective of Waze Carpool is to make sure your urban mobility is less of a burden on your wallet. It’s not designed to be a full-time job where you’re regularly picking up and dropping off riders throughout the day. For this reason, drivers are limited to two carpools per day, the normal amount for a typical commuter.With growing awareness of the consequences of excess pollution and the general upward trend of gas prices, carpooling with services like Waze Carpool will likely become more popular in the years to come.