Transit Startups Using Technology To Improve Bay Area Commute

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Public transit, carpools, telecommuting and bicycling are all well known alternatives to driving, but a couple of relatively new ventures based in San Francisco are gaining users, too. is the largest of several start-ups now pairing car owners who need cash with renters who pay an average of $3 to $15 an hour for use of the personal car. Head of products, Avery Lewis said that owners can make hundreds of dollars each month by renting out their cars for just one hour each day.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“When you have cars sitting idle 92 percent of the time why not make some money off of them? Why not let other people use them?” asked Lewis. The program boasts 500 cars in the Bay Area, and 100 more in San Diego.

Another program that’s taking hold is Zimride, a carpooling network with 300,000 users that is very popular on college campuses. Cofounder John Zimmer said that users like it because they can research fellow riders through Facebook profiles.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“Carpooling has been around for a long time, but it’s failed to embrace a social context,” said Zimmer. “A big thing preventing it from becoming more mainstream in the past was trust, but at Zimride we’re able to solve that with pictures, networks and interests in common.”

Zimmer said that the carpool driver charges fellow Zimriders based on mileage.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Anna Duckworth
  • Tom

    Why not let other people use them?

    Because you might never see your car back ?

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