Carpooling for the masses

Zimride, which started as a carpooling network for college campuses in 2007, is ready to go mainstream. To attract new users, the company has set up what it calls “sponsored routes,” such as Los Angeles to San Francisco, and is offering a $20 bonus to drivers who sell seats in their vehicles at a predetermined price. “If you look back at other forms of transportation … there’s always that idea of networks and the idea of routes,” co-founder John Zimmer said. “So we feel that this is the natural way to move toward a ubiquitous form of transportation where anyone anywhere can say, ‘How am I going to get to L.A. this weekend? I could take a Southwest flight, I could take the bus, or I could Zimride.’ We want that new transportation verb, Zimride, to be available to everyone, everywhere.” The connections still happen through Facebook, which is reassuring to some (at least compared to the anonymity of a service like Craigslist) but may be off-putting to those who don’t want to share their life history with a carpool partner. And whether this will help Zimride make it into the dictionary is anyone’s guess. Link to full story in Mashable.

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