Hitchhiking is a time-honored, if a bit unsafe, way to get around. Ride sharing apps, on the other hand, are much less age-proven, but a bit safer. Companies like Uber and Lyft ask drivers who download their app to register before they can offer rides to others, putting in a large number of details in the process. This brings accountability into the equation and ensures that drivers who wrong their passengers will face consequences, a guarantee that the average hitchhiker does not enjoy. Waze is looking to change that soon, though mostly just on a local level, and Uber may follow suit.
In a move that will mark Waze's entry into the ride sharing space, a special app is offered that will be locked at first, but will add users to a wait list on the rollout for the service. In the areas that the service is available in, riders are able to use the app to set up a request. Commuters who will be encountering the rider's location on their usual commutes will be able to approve a rider's request, then simply pick the rider up along the way. The rate is far cheaper than comparable services, with the current pilot's highest rate being 54 cents per mile, and gives those who would otherwise drive along the benefit of being able to use the carpool lane and put a little bit of the gas that they use for commuting back into their tank. Right now, there is no concrete timeline for a wider rollout beyond the pilot area of San Francisco Bay.
Uber will also be getting into the action, with reports saying that the ride sharing giant is planning on launching their own pilot in New York in the near future. According to Uber's General Manager in New York, Josh Mohrer, the upcoming 18-month suspension of a good part of the city's subway system could flood traffic to local hotspots, especially the Williamsburg bridge. Mohrer urges people to use Uber's new carpool service to reduce traffic and get to use the carpool lane. Uber's pilot program will be called Commuting Together, and a timeline for launch has yet to be announced.