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Getting started with Waze Carpool

Share your commute.

Matt Elliott Contributor
Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Matt Elliott/CNET

After running tests in select markets, Waze has expanded its carpooling service nationwide. Whether you are frightened by the alarming report on climate change earlier this week and want to reduce your carbon footprint or are simply looking to make a few bucks or new friends during your commute (while also reducing traffic and carbon-dioxide emissions), Waze Carpool is worth checking out. Here's how it works.

Watch this: Essential goes back to the drawing board, Waze Carpool rolls out nationwide

Waze Carpool for drivers

If you want to pick up a few riders and continue driving your car to work, then you can continue use the normal Waze app. Tap the button in the lower-right corner to set up your driver profile. You'll enter your home and work addresses (they are kept private) for your commute and the times you leave home in the morning and work in the evening. You can also enter your work or school email address to carpool with co-workers or fellow students. After setting up your account, you can go to settings to specify the number of available seats you have for carpoolers and enter details about the make and model of your car to make it easier for carpoolers to find you the first time out.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

With your Carpool Driver account set up, tap that button in the bottom right again and the Waze app will search for riders that match your criteria. It will suggest a price for each rider, but you can lower it via a slider. According to Waze, rides are capped at $2 for the rest of the month, after which time they will cost 54 cents per mile (the IRS standard mileage rate). So that Waze Carpool drivers don't quit their jobs and become Uber or Lyft drivers, you can drive only two carpools per day. Waze will also give you $20 when someone you invite to use Waze Carpool competes their first carpool. All payments are handled through the app.

There are two ways to filter the riders in your carpool. You can set it so that you carpool with riders of the same gender only, and you can set it so that you carpool with only coworkers or classmates.

Waze Carpool for riders

If you want to catch a ride with someone, you'll need to install the new Waze Carpool app. Set the parameters of your commute -- addresses, days and times -- and you can then search for carpool drivers based on their profile, rating and price. As on the driver side, riders can filter for same-gender and coworkers or classmates only.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Waze Carpool is currently available in the US, Brazil and Israel.