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Google Waze Rider steps on Uber's toes in San Francisco

By Time Out San Francisco editors

After a successful test run in Israel, Google's Waze Rider is coming to San Francisco. The new carpooling app doesn't intend to move into Uber's well-worn turf, but Google is definitely dipping their toe in the private transportation pool. 

Waze Rider launched this week in San Francisco, allowing app users to skip the corporate bus and hitch a carpool ride to their tech job in Silicon Valley; 25,000 employees of select start-ups are part of Waze's pilot program. The app connects riders and drivers with nearly identical commutes, and each rider and driver pitch in for gas money. Like Uber or Lyft, the ride's cost is set in advance and transferred to the driver through the app. But unlike Uber or Lyft, Waze drivers aren't in it for the money. While the extra cargo should help defer commute costs, the concept relies on Waze's drivers heading to and from a real job. 

"Waze Carpool focuses on covering costs, not generating an income," explains the website to prospective drivers. "At most, you’ll receive two ride requests daily, located on your existing commute route at the time you’ll be driving on it."

Basically Google's Waze Rider is like Uber Pool, only everyone in the car is awkwardly on their way to work instead of a fun dinner or rowdy party. Commutes from the city to Silicon Valley run at least an hour, which seems like a lot of time to spend in a car with strangers. On the plus side, the app provides a greener way to commute and an opportunity to connect with fellow tech titans. If the pilot is successful, Waze Rider could become a regular commute option for Bay Area worker-bees. 

Check out Waze's adorable explanation video:

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