Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

Carpooling finally catching on thanks to apps and the web

John Moe Jul 5, 2012

Everyone knows carpooling is a great idea in all kinds of ways but if you drive down a busy freeway during rush hour you’re still likely to see a whole lot of people driving alone. It’s just hard to round up people who are going your way at the time of day you’re going there. Apps to the rescue! The New York Times reports on a boom in carpooling as apps and social networking sites begin to solve the logistical problems.

From The Times:

Long-distance travelers as well as commuters are connecting on sites like,,,, and
This summer, a German company with a quintessential American name,, will try to break into the United States market with a trial run in the Northeast. In June, the company announced that 30 million rides had been offered through its 10-year-old network, which now has 3.8 million registered users.

The challenge is a steep one:

On any workday, however, most drivers are riding solo. The percentage of people car-pooling has hovered near 10 percent for several years, according to Census survey data. About 5 percent of commuters use public transportation, and 76 percent drive alone.

I plan to take a carpool to celebrate the upcoming Things That Didn’t Catch On Day. We’ll have some wraps and maybe catch a Chris O’Donnell film festival.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.