The U.S. government has released a new study that suggests people could cut their trips by an average of 70 minutes by using a carpooling service.
The National Transportation Safety Board said a car-pooling program called RideShare would help people who don’t have a car but want to take advantage of a transportation option like carpool.
RideShare, which launched last month in the U.K., Canada and Germany, is based in San Francisco and has about 6,000 members in the country.
It’s one of several car-sharing services that are being tested in the United States.
It charges $3 a month and has a membership fee of $25.
Rideshare’s program doesn’t provide for paid parking, but participants are limited to one vehicle per vehicle and have to use the service during daylight hours.
The program does offer free parking for participants who park in public areas.
Drivers in the study, conducted by researchers from the Transportation Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, found that if they had a vehicle with a safe, working rear-view mirror and were paying $2 per minute, the trip would be reduced by roughly 70 minutes.
Those participants who took the $2 discount would save an average 54 minutes, or 1.4 hours, on their trip.
Riding a bike is another option that can be useful for commuting, but it has a steep price tag, said the study’s lead author, Michael Clements, an associate professor of transportation planning at UC San Francisco.
Riders who use a bike typically pay for a helmet and other gear, and those who take the RideShare discount pay for their own bike insurance.
Rodeo Drive, a San Francisco-based ride sharing company, said it is testing the Rideshare program.
The company has plans to offer a ride for $1.99, with an additional $1 per mile paid for in the form of a helmet, the company said.
Rent a bike in San Jose’s Downtown Mission District.
RideShare has a $1 fee to park for a driver, but those who don the Ride Share discount get to park their bike for free.
Ride share has more than 4,000 member in the Mission and Oakland neighborhoods.
A RideShare membership can be extended for up to three years.
Ride shares start at $6 per month and range in price from $5 to $14 per month.
It also offers a free smartphone app for customers.
The ride share service is available in the Bay Area, San Jose and Santa Clara counties.
RiderShare is also available in Los Angeles and San Diego.