Google to Launch New Ride-Share Service: Report

It'll target commuters in SF, is based on Waze: WSJ
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2016 8:54 AM CDT
Google to Launch New Ride-Share Service: Report
A driver uses his Waze app in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

There's about to be a new ride-sharing service in town—at least in San Francisco. Google will soon launch a carpooling service in the city using its Waze app, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company has been using employees of Google, Adobe, and Walmart to test a program that allows Waze users to connect with nearby commuters heading in the same direction and plans to make it available to all San Francisco users this fall, a source says. Should Uber and Lyft be worried? Perhaps not yet. For now, riders can take only two rides per day—the idea being that the service be used solely for commuting.

And though anyone can sign up as a driver—drivers won't be vetted, but users will leave reviews, the source says—they won't earn much: Riders are charged a maximum of 54 cents per mile. Google doesn't take a cut, though that could change in the future, the source adds. In other words, the program "is less about making a commercial driver out of every casual driver and more about helping drivers offset the costs of car ownership or gas," writes Johana Bhuiyan at Recode. "It's not the always-there, on-demand service Uber is spending billions to perfect." Uber and Lyft have tested similar carpooling services, but not with much success. (Waze is getting rid of left turns.)

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