People helping people, get to work a little easier.
Earlier this week, Waze, The Israeli traffic mapping company acquired by Google in 2013, rolled out a new product in Tel Avi called, Ride With.
The idea is simple: match people who have similar rush-hour commutes so they can share rides and split the financial burden of traveling to and from work.
unlike urban workers who rely on public transportation and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, Suburban commuters who need are generally dependent on taking their own car or longer/more costly public transit options.
The app allows users to connect with people in their neighborhood or area who might be open to have others along for the commute to reduce commuting costs. The app also includes a “pitch-in” come which calculates gas, mileage, and a “nominal” fee for using the service.
There are three reasons this program is a big deal:
Service only operates during “standard rush hour times” which is a maximum of two trips a day. Rather than the “on demand” model used by Uber and Lyft, RideWith operates strictly during commuting hours, which are predetermined with the driver and passenger. It’s focused on a specific time-range and not the more common, “when I need it” model.
Many cities around the world are struggling with infrastructure and commuting issues. Everything from gridlocked highways, jam-packed subways and trains, to oversold busses. While it won’t fix every problem, the RideWith model helps facilitate carpooling which eliminates cars on the road, frees up parking and helps the environment.
And finally, the big win for RideWith: drivers aren’t paid for their service. While Uber and Lyft are currently tied in a various legal battles around the world for their stance on employee status, RideWith has positioned itself as a service that helps connect drivers, rather than a ride operator. They built the platform to connect people to find rides from other people. Just people helping people.
Julie Mossler, the company’s head of global communications, said “Waze regularly experiments with new ideas,” so if this trial period proves successful, I think we can expect to see RideWith rolling out into more cities with heavy suburban commuter populations.
Find out more about RideWith in the official statement from the Waze team.