New app simplifies carpooling

Published: Dec. 9, 2015 at 8:42 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 11, 2015 at 9:47 PM EST
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(NPN) - A new apps is claiming to save commuters time and money.

Irys Kornbluth and Dustin Boyle believe they have great incentives for sharing their commute each day.

"I like having people in my car to get more people off the road, decrease the traffic, and also, you know, hopefully make a little less of a terrible impact on our environment," Kornbluth said.

"It saves time and money," Boyle said.

The two also enjoy the company.

They use one of a handful of new apps to simplify the ridesharing process.  In their case, it's Carma that connects them.

"Carma works by downloading a smartphone app to your phone and entering your regular commute schedule that you'd be willing to carpool with someone. It immediately goes out and finds the best possible matches for you based upon your travel patterns, where you work, whether you're male or female," said Paul Steinburg.

Customers pick their preferred match, connect and hit the road from there. The app automatically computes mileage and what's due for gas.

"My carpool joins my ride and then it starts the clock and when he gets out he leaves my ride," Kornbluth said.

But "starting the clock" is different than other on-demand riding apps like Uber or Lyft.

With Carma, the driver is headed that direction anyway, so the rider's contribution covers a portion of the gas.

"It calculates for you how much you should be getting paid as the driver and it automatically deducts that money from the carpolee," Kornbluth said.

Paul Mackie of Mobility Lab said 85 percent of the cars on the road have only one person in them. These apps are changing that.

"This on-demand economy is really taking off in the transportation sector.  Carpooling globally is going to grow six fold over the next 10 years, by 2024," Mackie said.

Meantime, he said research showed ride-sharing apps decrease the number of cars on the road.

"App use has been shown in research to increase transit usage, and that's not just with people already riding transit, but it's getting new people to ride transit," Mackie said.

There's also, and Carpool, the school edition, which helps parents connect with other parents to create a ride share to simplify traditional carpools.

And drivers are enjoying the ride.

"It makes the commute more fun, less boring, less of a pain," Kornbluth said.

Even the on-demand driver services are branching out to ridesharing apps with services such as Uberpool and Lyftline, designed to match multiple riders - headed to a similar destination - with one driver.

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