The popular traffic navigation application owned by Google has started testing its carpooling service in the Bay Area this week.
Google-owned online mapping Waze started to assess the ride-sharing business by launching a beta carpooling program last July in Israel, in the Tel Aviv area. And now, the company has brought the program to San Francisco for testing it, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Through the Waze Rider free app, more than 25,000 employees from certain selected companies can share the same route for 54 cents per mile, a fee based on IRS standard mileage rates. “This is kind of an extension of what we do at Waze, to build this trusted community,” Josh Fried, head of Waze’s carpooling project, said.
Waze, which will not take a cut of the transaction, is used by more than 700,000 drivers in the Bay Area. For these trials, companies such as UCSF, Adobe and Walmart Global eCommerce have been selected, all of them located near Google’s offices. The internet giant is already testing the carpooling app among its employees, so adding additional users means more rides available in the same direction.
The carpooling option is already used by the big ride-sharing players such as Lyft and Uber. General Motor’s partner has announced this year that it will offer such a service from San Francisco to the South Bay, while Uber is testing it in Chicago.