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Waze Wants To Be a Carpooling Matchmaker

The Google-owned company has the data to connect commuters to possible carpool buddies, Whether Waze can stem the long-term decline in carpooling remains to be seen.
July 5, 2019, 5am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Waze Carpool, a spinoff of the Google-owned direction company, Waze, is a kind of Tinder for carpooling. It uses data from its navigation app to pair commuters who have similar trips with each other. "Waze sees carpooling as a natural extension of its crowd-powered navigation app, which integrates information on traffic and road conditions from users into its directions," Andrew Small writes for CityLab.

Carpooling has a number of benefits for cities in that it can reduce total emissions and congestion. Waze could use the good press, as it has drawn criticism for increasing traffic on once-quiet streets. Waze Carpool, which launched last year, has to contend with a decades-long trend away from carpooling. Carpooling was more common when the suburbs were less built out and gas was more expensive. Now the percentage of Americans who own cars and the number of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) have steadily increased, so the task of inspiring more Americans to carpool is a big one.

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Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in City Lab
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