Sharing a car with a stranger is nothing new, as any "slug" in the D.C. area can tell you. For the past four years, Zimride has been working to update the sort of semi-official, ad-hoc "instant carpooler" that's common around D.C. into an internet-based social ridesharing program that works in areas around the nation. To mark the busy travel weekend that is Thanksgiving in the U.S., Zimride is promoting its new public routes, which are open to anyone traveling between select popular destinations. The public routes are in addition to the university and corporate routes that have long been the standard Zimride offerings. A new route between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe opens up Thursday.

While technically open to anyone, Zimride supports a Facebook connection service that makes the "stranger" about to get into your car a little less strange. Through the Facebook app, drivers with extra seats in their cars can "sell" them to people looking to go to the same place. Riders pay a predetermined amount (negotiated between the parties), and for the first 500 Zimrides on the new Lake Tahoe route, the company is offering $40 worth of gas as an incentive. Zimride also has a public route between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Thus far, Zimride claims to have facilitated over 26,000 shared rides (which represent over 100 million miles) and saving users "over $50 million in car expenses."
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Zimride Announces New Public Route to Lake Tahoe

Innovative Social Transportation Company Pays for 500 Road Trips to Tahoe with Free Gas

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zimride, the largest online ride-sharing service in North America, today announced that a new route between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe will open to the public beginning Thanksgiving day, bringing Bay Area residents convenient, inexpensive access to one of the country's top winter destinations. To celebrate the route's launch, Zimride is giving away $20,000 worth of free gas to riders on the route.

Zimride will give a free tank of gas ($40 value) to the first 500 drivers who successfully book a ride along the Tahoe route, through the end of the year. On average, it will pay for a roundtrip drive between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe!

Zimride allows drivers to sell the empty seats in their car to passengers who need a ride along popular routes, like San Francisco to Tahoe. As part of their mission, the company not only facilitates monetary transactions, but connects individuals, many of whom list the personal connections they've made as a key benefit of the service.

"We've been looking forward to opening the Lake Tahoe route all Fall, because we know it will be a popular destination for our Bay Area users-from college students to weekend travelers, skiers to snowboarders," says Logan Green, co-founder and CEO of Zimride. "Tahoe has over 3 million visitors every year, and over 20% of the people headed to the South Shore come from the Bay Area1. Even more important, nearly 80% of North Shore visitors arrive by car2. So that's a lot of potential for Zimriders to save money and gas, while making friends. And even better, we're paying for their drive!"

To support the Lake Tahoe route, Zimride has also partnered with several top resorts in the area including Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley USA, Sugar Bowl, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort, as well as several others. Added incentives for riders who Zimride to the resorts include promotions such as free and discounted lift tickets, VIP parking, and other giveaways.

Zimride is already a key resource on many university and corporate campuses across 30 states in the US. Recently, expanding on their growing success in the college and corporate market, Zimride launched their first public route, San Francisco to Los Angeles, in August.

For the drive between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Zimride is suggesting a $25 price per seat, each way. Drivers selling their empty seats, however, can name their own price.

Since launch, Zimride, which aims to transform transportation infrastructure by integrating social networks and ride sharing, has facilitated more than 26,000 carpools, helped users travel over 100 million miles and created over $50 million worth of savings in vehicle operating expenses.

Key to Zimride's success is the combination of social and accessibility; Zimride users connect via Facebook, which adds a layer of trust to the system. Before a rider accepts a seat in a car or a driver accepts a passenger, he or she can view the person's profile information to ensure he or she is comfortable with the match.

To sign up for a Lake Tahoe Zimride and have the chance to earn a free tank of gas, visit: www.zimride.com

About Zimride:

Zimride, the largest online social rideshare community in North America, is building a marketplace for drivers to sell empty seats in their car by matching them with passengers traveling along the same route. In addition to public routes like San Francisco to Los Angeles, Zimride has implemented networks for over 120 of the nation's leading universities and companies including Stanford, UCLA, University of Michigan, Facebook and Jet Blue.

Zimride makes sharing rides for drivers and passengers fun, easy and social. It's a new spin on ridesharing, using social networks to enable real connections. In seconds you can set up a profile, see and book a ride in your area, or post a ride of your own. With Zimride profiles, you can view photos, music and radio preferences to ensure an enjoyable ride.

Zimride proves that "life is better when you share the ride": www.zimride.com

1 http://ltva.org/documents/LTVA_Intercept_Survey_Summer2010.pdf
2 http://www.deanrunyan.com/doc_library/FinalReportCA.pdf