The following is a paid review:
How much money could you save by carpooling? Using the calculator on RideSearch, I found out and it’s a shocker. I don’t pay for parking anymore, otherwise it would be worse. I’m paying about $200 a month in commuting to work, though. Ouch.
If I carpooled with someone, I could cut that in half or better. That’s much less wear and tear on the car and probably a lot more relaxing for me. An added benefit would be to leave for work and leave from work on time – as well as reduce the wear and tear on my car.
I know there has to be a ton of people doing the same commute as I do, from the South Side of Indianapolis to the North East Side near Fishers… but how would I find them? That’s where RideSearch.com comes into play. The site is still beta, a little bit buggy, and could use a makeover… but the folks that have started the job here are onto something.
RideSearch allows people to find people, organize the ride, pool the payments, and everything! Rather than simply going from a home address, Ridesearch also encourages users to put in a location nearby. So I might put in a major corner outside of my neighborhood where I could park and meet my carpool buddy. I can also put in driving, smoking, and even air conditioning preferences!
Then you just have to sit and wait for some results! The site also has a ton of info on making it work as well as keeping it safe.
Using ESRI for the mapping was interesting. I thought they were a bit too steep for a startup company. On the bright side, since the maps aren’t Ajaxian in nature, the site could probably be modified for mobile usage (something that could give a nice marketing buzz).
I’d also recommend them trying to match folks on income levels or work industries as well… I spend an hour and a half (at least) each day on my commute so finding someone in the same industry would be cool. I wouldn’t have as much to talk about with someone outside my geeky interests. Plus, I wouldn’t want anyone to jump out and risk their lives in traffic rather than spend another minute with my talking about POS Integration.
The front of the site doesn’t say too much about who’s already involved. Since they are new, I think I’d avoid having the number of people displayed, but it would be cool to have a couple lists of cities where carpoolers are waiting!
So if the last bugs get cleaned up, the site gets a makeover (and some search engine optimization love), tighter matching of prospective rides and a mobile version evolves, RideSearch is a winner!