UCR Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) has recently partnered with Waze Carpool to help students and staff at UCR find someone to carpool with on their drive to campus.

In an interview with The Highlander, Transportation Demand Management Specialist Tara Elizabeth Pueschel stated that most people already know Waze as a GPS navigation system that provides real time information on traffic conditions. “They have recently launched Waze Carpool which assists nonprofessional drivers to offer rides to people who are traveling on a similar route for a nominal fee,” stated Pueschel.

Riders are charged a maximum rate of 58 cents per mile which is the current IRS reimbursement rate for business travel by car. Pueschel stated that the idea is to reimburse the driver for driving-related costs, such as gas. “UCR Transportation Services (TAPS) is promoting the Waze Carpool app as a tool to help connect students and staff so that they can potentially carpool and save time and money on their commute to campus,” stated Pueschel.

According to Pueschel, ridesharing in general helps alleviate parking congestion as every two person carpool takes one vehicle off the road. TAPS is currently piloting the new 3+ Undergraduate Program and using rideshare matching tools such as Waze Carpool or Zimride can help people find a carpool partner, claimed Pueschel. She stated, “Hopefully by using Waze, they might be able to find a permanent carpool arrangement and take advantage of the 3+ Undergrad program.”

Waze Carpool is also working with several other UCs to promote carpooling. There is no cost to UCR and no agreement required. Waze provides TAPS with marketing materials and artwork to promote the initiative. They are also willing to work with TAPS on special promotions. Pueschel noted that, “During the month of October Waze offered $2 rides and they paid the driver the balance. We are hoping to hold another promotion in the spring.”

Pueschel stated that students and staff interested in participating in the program would need to download the Waze Carpool app on their smartphone. Students and staff can go online to bit.ly/UCRCarpoolers for more information. When registering, students and staff should use their UCR email address so that they will be able to participate in any UCR specific promotions. Students and staff have the ability to filter the matching so that the user will only be matched with others commuting to UCR or matched with same gender only.