Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft were originally envisioned as one of the ways to lessen the number of cars congesting our cities. However, they’ve become glorified taxi services and have even contributed to those migraine-inducing bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic. Waze believes that the solution is not flying cars, driverless vehicles, or magnetic tunnels because the problem is basically Single Occupancy Vehicles. Now they’re launching the Waze Carpool program in the US as their contribution to the decongestion solution.

The program or service is now available nationwide in the US starting October 10 and you will be able to join either as a rider or a driver. The idea is to share your ride to and/or from work with up to four other people or you can leave your car at home and be a rider with another person who wants to contribute to the decongestion. They have teamed up with cities, transit agencies, businesses, and even Amazon Fulfillment Centers to promote and use this service.

If you’re an employer or even an employee, you can encourage your company to join Waze Carpool so that those who live near each other can just ride together to save up on gasoline or commuting costs. Waze is also encouraging government officials to limit single occupancy vehicles by coming up with regulations and incentives that will encourage carpooling.

How it works is that riders and drivers will be able to choose their carpool buddies based on the profile star ratings, common friends, and you can also filter based on gender, whether they’re a co-worker or classmate, and of course, proximity to the route. All the necessary payments are handled through the app which should make it more secure. You can even schedule rides seven days in advance and also create carpool groups so you can automatically connect with people you know and ride regularly with.

Of course, to get people to use Waze Carpool, they’re offering some incentives to start things off. Drivers can earn up to $200 with a maximum of 10 referrals and riders can earn up to $200 of credits for 10 referrals as well. For a limited time, they can also enjoy just paying $2 for 21 days. You can download the Waze Carpool app from the Google Play Store.

SOURCE: Waze