Google brings Waze Rider ride-sharing app to San Francisco

For people living in the San Francisco area, you now have another option to get to your office or whichever destination in the city. Google, or rather its main company Alphabet Inc, has quietly expanded its Waze Rider ride-sharing service to people in the city who want to give a ride to someone or let someone give them a ride. The city was actually a pilot program for the service but now they are quietly letting others who are interested in such a thing to be part of it.

If you live in San Francisco, you will now be able to download the app Waze Rider, connected of course to popular navigation app Waze, and then request rides to and from work from drivers who are participating in the program. It is now technically a direct competitor to services like Uber and Lyft but the difference is that the drivers of the latter and their kind operate as taxi drivers. With Waze Rider, it matches riders and drivers that are headed in the same direction.

The new service also restricts both riders and drivers to two rides a day (maybe just for now) so the latter will not be able to actually make a living from it. Google specifically made it that way, probably to avoid some regulatory issues. They are looking at it as just a platform to connect riders and drivers going in the same direction. A 20-minute ride will give the driver around $6.30 and charge the rider around $3, which is still slightly cheaper than a subway ride for that distance.

If Waze Rider does catch on, expect Google to expand this to other cities. There are still some glitches that they need to fix, like the driver can’t use Waze during the ride or the rider can’t see where the driver is before pick-up. These are things they’re probably working on. But if you’re in the San Francisco area, let us know your experience if you ever try it out.

VIA: Wall Street Journal