Santa Monica commuters can ride to or from Santa Monica for just $2 until Nov. 17.

The GoSaMo Transportation Management Organization (TMO) partnered with the Waze Carpool App to bring the $2 rides program, which started on Sept. 17, to Santa Monica. The Waze Carpool app matches drivers to riders with similar commutes, based on their home and destination addresses.

Users can schedule rides up to seven days ahead of time or request them on-demand, but both drivers and riders are limited to two rides per day. Multiple users can plan to carpool together through a group setting. The app also allows users to filter drivers or riders by gender, employer, mutual friends, or star ratings.

After Nov. 17, rides will cost less than $0.54 per mile – the IRS reimbursement rate for business travel by car – with a maximum cost of $15. Drivers commuting to and from Santa Monica with Waze earn an average of $5.60 per drive.

TMO executive director Puja Thomas-Patel said the organization partnered with Waze to promote carpooling and make it easier for commuters. TMO already encourages Santa Monica employers to incentivize carpooling, she added.

“Carpool tends to be informal and not super trackable,” she said. “We’ve been looking for a way that’s modern and more convenient.”

Waze Carpool first launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016 and expanded into five states, as well as its country of origin, Israel, before launching nationwide on Oct. 10. It now has 100 million active monthly users around the world.

“Traffic is at an all-time high in the U.S., yet over 75 percent of commuters journey to work alone in a car,” Waze founder and CEO Noam Bardin said in a statement earlier this month. “Waze is in a unique position to help facilitate carpooling on a national level. By leveraging the Waze community … we can empower everyone to reduce the number of cars on the road now.”

Thomas-Patel said the program should be especially helpful for people commuting to Santa Monica from the San Fernando Valley, as public transportation options between the two are limited.

“It’s all about options and choices,” she said. “For some, carpooling works; for others, trains or bikes. We hope this is something that resonates with Santa Monica commuters.”

madeleine@smdp.com

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