This is How Waze Carpool is Helping People Cut Down on Commuting Costs

We all know carpooling is one way to cut commuting costs. But finding someone to actually share a ride with can be tricky.

The Google-owned navigation company Waze is trying to make things a little less difficult with a new app to help commuters match themselves up with carpool buddies.

The service, previously tested in Texas, California and Israel, made its first public launch in Washington state last week, The Seattle Times reports.

It’s great news for commuters in Seattle, a city known for having some of the worst commutes in the nation. The Seattle Times article states Waze Carpool plans to grow organically, eventually expanding across the country.

How Does Waze Carpool Work?

The app works by matching commuters based on where they live and work, suggesting carpool connections that will add only between one and five minutes of time to the route.

Users can choose whether they want to drive or ride. Riders help reimburse the driver for the cost of fuel, paying no more than the IRS mileage reimbursement rate of 54 cents per mile.

Waze doesn’t take a share of that money, either, according to the report. Instead, the company profits from the ads displayed within the app, which is free for users to download.

Riders schedule their trips by the day, so they can adjust pick-up times to accommodate varying meetings and appointments. Rides can be scheduled up to a week in advance.

Once carpoolers are matched and start the day’s commute, Waze navigates the driver using carpool lanes when available.

Making Carpooling Less Miserable

To take away some of the awkwardness of riding with a stranger, users can view the profiles of potential riders or drivers in advance, and rate each other based on ride satisfaction afterward.

Engadget reports users can filter potential carpool buddies so they can choose to ride with co-workers, people of a particular gender or someone with mutual friends.

Users can also message or call each other beforehand to gain some familiarity, Curbed Seattle reports.

GeekWire reports the service is intended more for those with longer commutes instead of short trips to work. And it can help riders save significantly over other ride-sharing options. GeekWire gave an example of a ride from downtown Seattle to downtown Tacoma costing over $50 on UberPool, but only about $7 with Waze Carpool.

Watch this video to learn more about how Waze Carpool works or click here to download the app.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.