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Hitchhiker’s Guide

The two main obstacles to mass carpooling are trust and density-we tend to be shy of hopping into the cars of strangers, and, even if we muster the courage, there aren't enough cars to hop into. But by tapping into existing online social networks, the people behind the Palo Alto–based ride-sharing company..\n


The two main obstacles to mass carpooling are trust and density-we tend to be shy of hopping into the cars of strangers, and, even if we muster the courage, there aren't enough cars to hop into. But by tapping into existing online social networks, the people behind the Palo Alto–based ride-sharing company Zimride are making friends of strangers and fostering carpooling connections around the world.Founded in 2007 by Logan Green and John Zimmer, Zimride uses Google Maps, networks like Facebook, and a matchmaking algorithm to connect riders and drivers in places as far-flung as Finland and Singapore. The free service offers options for one-way trips, round trips, and daily commutes, as well as a chance to learn details about a potential driver or passenger, like preferred driving speed or music preferences, before hitting the road. "The real goal is to build a community around this," explains Zimmer, who last year used the service to catch a series of rides from New York City all the way to Palo Alto. "A community empowers trust relationships. On top of that, it saves money and gas mileage." And it's a lot safer than raising your thumb by the roadside.LEARN MORE zimride.comPHOTO Cristina Garcia Rivas
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