Three companies trying to take cars off the road during peak commute hours are now working together to make it easier for companies to encourage their employees to carpool.

Waze Carpool announced Thursday that it is partnering with commuting platforms RideAmigos and Luum so employers using Waze can incentivize employees to carpool, such as by giving gift cards, paid time off, gas money or parking passes. Local employers that use the platforms include Santa Monica College, Snapchat and the Milken Institute.

Luum and RideAmigos users can access Waze Carpool from within those platforms, an “app within an app” model. 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.

GoSaMo’s Transportation Management Organization (TMO) partnered with Waze Carpool last fall to provide $2 rides to and from Santa Monica for a limited time in order to promote carpooling and introduce users to the app.

RideAmigos and Luum provide a similar service but partner with employers as an end-to-end commute platform, specializing in carpool incentives and benefits. TMO executive director Puja Thomas-Patel said the organization already encourages Santa Monica employers to incentivize carpooling.

“RideAmigos and Luum already work with hundreds of organizations including top employers, state and regional government agencies, and large universities across the nation to help simplify employee transportation demand management, including measuring daily commute trends, and offering commute incentives for employees,” said Josh Fried, head of Waze Carpool.

The partnership between the three companies will allow companies using Luum or RideAmigos to incentivize carpooling to reward employees for the trips they take on Waze Carpool, said Kelly Hostetler, Luum’s corporate affairs and marketing manager.

“Employers get data about when, where and with who employees are carpooling, so they can analyze that data and target incentives,” Hostetler said. “Some employers will even pay for Waze Carpool trips entirely.”

Using transportation management platforms like Luum helps attract and retain employees and saves time on administering a parking program, she said.

“Employers have to plan and pay for parking, and Luum allows them to incentivize their employees to carpool, take public transportation or bike instead,” Hostetler said. “Similar to how employers started providing healthcare, I think in five to 10 years commuting benefits will be a must-have, not a nice-to-have, from employers.”

 

madeleine@smdp.com

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