Zimride is a ride sharing network that helps users find greener ways to get around. The user can begin by searching for available rides by origin, destination and date. The homepage also lists a live feed of most recently added rides along with the location and price details. The application lets drivers list available seats in their vehicle. Passengers can book rides on the site and pay through Zimride using a credit card. The card is charged when the driver accepts the ride request. Zimride guarantees a full refund if the driver does not show up. Drivers, on the other hand, can earn cash by providing rides. Payouts are made through Paypal and arrive one day after the ride has ended. Round trips are paid out after the return leg of the journey.
Zimride was founded in 2006 by Logan Green and John Zimmer. The application was intended to help users in Tahoe, Los Angeles and San Francisco find rides. The service has taken off with positive user reviews and mentions in many popular blogs and websites. TechCrunch called Zimride a “carpooling startup that actually makes money.” Zimride’s most notable customers include Harvard and Stanford Universities, Facebook, Intuit and LiveNation. The application is currently used to network rides across 100 large companies and universities.
Zimride offers a service that many other websites also offer, but does so with a stronger following. The application offers a full refund if the driver does not show up, which is a nice benefit that might make more users comfortable with prepaying for rides. The application is also available on Facebook, providing more ways for users to hook up and share rides. The service offers many of the same features that its competitors provide.
Zimride has a very professional feel that helps make a good first impression with visitors. The blue and white color scheme features hints of creative design elements, such as sun ray patterns and the simple but effective logo. The interface is very clean and well-organized. Anyone can figure out how to search for rides or add a ride to the site. Zimride manages to marry functionality with personality in a way that remains user friendly.
A new user can join the Zimride community by clicking the black “Sign Up” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. A pop up box appears containing a blue “Sign up with Facebook” button. The user must click the button and sign in to their Facebook account. All users must use their Facebook account to join Zimride. The site provides a list of reasons it requires Facebook, however a few extra login options would be a nice touch.
Zimride is available to all users for free. There are no subscription fees and the user doesn’t have to make any purchases to keep their account active. Drivers will charge a fee to take on a passenger, which is determined by the driver. The site makes a suggestion based on distance, but this can be modified by the driver. Drivers cannot modify prices once they have taken on a passenger.
Zimride is ideal for users in Tahoe, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. Users in other areas will not find any rides (unless they plan to travel within those communities at a later date). The service is practical and helps users find ways to get around that cost less than many public methods. Users can also earn cash by offering seats before going on a trip or making a regular journey.