Editor's Note: 'Our Colorado' stories help natives and newcomers navigate the challenges related to our rapidly growing state, including real estate and development, homelessness, transportation and more. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at OurCO@TheDenverChannel.com . See more 'Our Colorado' stories here .
BOULDER, Colo. -- We've all been there: you're heading home after a long day of work, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic while drivers zip through the car pool lane next to you. While the state is working overtime to keep up with the congestion in our growing Colorado, you're going to have to make some sacrifices if you are looking for relief for your commute, but you can also make some money doing so.
Waze, the driving platform bringing together drivers to outsmart traffic together, announced the launch of Waze Carpool across the United States on Wednesday. Colorado was one of 13 U.S. test markets to launch the app in beta last month. Waze Carpool is now available in all 50 states.
"Waze Carpool is an app that connects everyday commuters who are headed in the same direction and allows them to carpool together,” said Kate Balingit, head of business strategy for Waze Carpool. “Doing it with an app based system, doing it on a per trip basis and helping you learn more about the people that you are going to commute with ahead of time.”
Anyone can download the app, create a profile and start matching with people nearby who share a similar commute. Ultimately the goal is to help drivers and riders save time, money and the environment by lowering congestion on our roads.
“We are a very car centric society,” said Steve Erickson, Communications Director for Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). “There are roughly a million people on the road at rush hour today, a million cars. Seventy-five percent of those cars people are driving alone, it’s just the driver in that vehicle.”
With a projected 3.4 million residents calling the Denver metro area home by 2040, the time commuters spend in traffic is expected to soar from 66 to 104 hours a year.
Waze Carpool is designed to lower the trend by encouraging drivers to fill their empty seats and take cars off the road.
As a driver, you only make two trips a day and you can even make a little money on the side by sharing your ride.
"You can make up to 54 cents a mile as a driver to help kind of cover the cost of gas, but it is not intended to be a professional service,” said Balingit.
DRCOG’s Way to Go program has teamed up with Waze to offer free rides for Go-Tober participants through Waze Carpool. There are 56 companies and nearly 60,000 employees invited to participate in the month-long challenge.
Waze is offering rides for a flat $2 fee to all new users in Colorado when they download Waze Carpool, good through Oct. 31.