Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Google has announced that it is expanding its ridesharing service known as Waze in California.
Google stated that it will expand the ridesharing service in California over the coming week. The company claims that the new rollout will include the main car hubs in Los Angeles and that the expansion will be its biggest rollout ever. Google is one of the numerous companies that have been attracted by the rapidly growing ride services industry alongside major players such as Uber. It has also motivated vehicle manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM).
Waze users in California to benefit starting June
California residents will be able to enjoy the Waze services starting June 6 throughout the state courtesy of the new roll out. Prior to the expansion, the ridesharing service was only available in the San Francisco Bay area as part of Google’s pilot program. The company had previously hinted that it would expand Waze to other areas if the initial launch in the Bay Area proved successful.
“Carpooling takes density and doing it in a limited capacity, you can only learn so much.We wanted to expand to a Waze hub. It’s our first attempt to see if we can go big into a region,” stated Waze carpool chief, Josh Fried.
The massive expansion of the ridesharing service in California will allow more people to enjoy it. The Waze app will pair up passengers and drivers across a wider area, including the heavily congested highways of Southern California. The massive rollout of the service also provides an opportunity for Google to bring it to the masses. It also poses a huge threat to other ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.
Despite the expansion, the service still remains less attractive to drivers compared to its rivals. This is because the carpooling drivers will receive a payment of 54 cents for every mile they drive which is less than what the drivers on the rival carpooling services get paid. Waze targets people who make daily commutes such as going to and from work while the rivals mainly attract customers traveling for social or recreational reasons according to a recent survey.
Alphabet stock closed the latest trading session at $988.29, after rising by $1.20 or 0.12%.