With 200 million miles shared on the Zimride platform, it’s safe to say that ridesharing is well on its way to becoming a mainstream form of transportation. Zimride has grown steadily since its 2007 launch, hitting the 100 million miles shared milestone last July. One year later, Zimride’s growth has doubled to pass the 200 million mile mark, which is the equivalent of driving around the world 8,000 times.
Today, Zimride opens its ridesharing platform to East Coast residents, beginning with a route between New York and Washington D.C. As the largest online ridesharing service in North America, Zimride has over 360,000 users based primarily on the West Coast and across 140 universities and corporate campuses. Zimride’s expansion to the East Coast today marks the first time this new form of transportation is available to residents traveling between cities along the nation’s most traveled driving corridor. Currently, Zimride’s top performing route is between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with thousands of empty seats in cars booked through Zimride each month.
This isn’t yesterday’s carpool. It’s the rideshare reinvented using online social networks to connect drivers and passengers heading the same direction. With the current economic climate, high gas prices and the prevalence of Facebook, the timing is perfect for ridesharing to go mainstream. The financial benefits of ridesharing are simple: the average passenger from New York to Washington D.C. pays $25 for a seat, and the average Zimride driver makes $150 on a round trip selling three seats. Today’s announcement of 200 million miles shared on our platform translates to over $100 million saved in car expenses, and 190,000 barrels of oil reduced.
By requiring Facebook for log-in, Zimride users can see friends in common, where a person works or went to school, and music preferences. Through this online connection, users can essentially “meet” prior to riding in person, and make a decision whether to ride with one another. With the right social information upfront, the online interaction opens up a true local community. A city like New York, for example, is filled with strangers with common interests. Zimride creates the potential for new meaningful connections, from users who meet a new best friend to a couple who was recently married.
In addition to the East Coast expansion, Zimride has also launched new features to improve the service’s ease of use. Zimride’s new driver and passenger reliability ratings indicate the average response time in hours and response rate for each user, which has already increased user responsiveness. Zimride also announces SMS integration, so users can be alerted by text message upon receiving rideshare requests. Ratings and SMS join existing features that include user feedback and the ability for users to vouch for friends via Facebook if they’re new to Zimride.
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