Washington state residents can now hitch a ride to work with Waze Carpool

In some good news for the environment, it would appear that carpooling is gaining in popularity — if Waze Carpool‘s success is an accurate gauge, that is. The Google-owned map app first introduced its ridesharing program in fall 2016, and following successful trials in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Monterey, it expanded the service to all of California in May 2017. Soon thereafter, the service launched in Texas, and now, Waze Carpool is available in the state of Washington.

 While Waze is still first and foremost a navigation app, one of its most defining characteristics is its dependence upon its community. Waze users report everything from bad weather to traffic jams to police presence, sharing this veritable treasure trove of information with other users. And now, they can also share their cars.

The concept is simple. As Waze explains on its website, you simply need to tell Carpool where you live and work, and you’ll be matched with a fellow Wazer headed in your direction. “When it’s time, one Wazer picks up the other and off they go,” Waze explains.

As for payment, it’s set in advance based on distance. You’ll share the cost of the ride (gas, mileage, etc.) with your driver, and you’ll be charged when you’re dropped off. It’s certainly a cost-effective alternative to Uber or Lyft, as Waze drivers won’t make any more than 54 cents a mile. So suffice it to say that you shouldn’t quit your day job if you’re looking to use WazeCarpool to actually make money. After all, the point of Carpool is more about getting cars off the road and ensuring a more efficient manner of travel than it is about turning a profit.

In addition to bringing Carpool to another state, Waze also recently updated its app to allow users to select who they would be carpooling with. Previously, passengers were subject to luck of the draw, and were matched blindly to other riders. But now, carpoolers on both the driving and riding side can make decisions about who they let into their cars or whose cars they join based on star ratings, profile information, and mutual connections. Waze also now allows you to filter carpoolers based on gender, or make it so that you’re exclusively sharing a car with your co-workers.

Updated on March 20, 2018: Waze Carpool is now available in Washington state.