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What is Carpooling?

This article will explain the pros and cons and provide the information you need to launch your carpooling program.


Introduction to Carpooling

Carpooling is the original ridesharing tactic employed during war time in an effort to ration supplies.

Carpooling is the act of sharing a single vehicle between one or many passengers going a similar direction. There is typically a pre-arranged agreement to share the cost of the trip. In more recent models, a transaction is processed through an app in order to share costs. In addition to this, there are non-cost sharing models supported by customised rewards and smart parking integrations superseding existing models.

What are the Differences?


Carsharing is the act of pooling vehicles together for individuals to book and use. Similar to a hire car, car-sharing enables the public to book a fleet vehicle through an app.


Ridesharing is a broader term that overarches carpooling. Popularised by the likes of Uber and Lyft, ridesharing is the term used when individuals ride in a privately owned vehicle. This trip may be free or a paid service.


Ridehailing is a trip taken by a passenger in an unlicensed ‘taxi’ service. Vehicles are privately owned and individuals can ‘hail’ a vehicle for a fee.

History of Carpooling

During the great depression, it saw hundreds of newly invented automobiles flood the streets. On the West Coast of the U.S., opportunistic car owners started using their empty seats as a way of sourcing income. This became known as the ‘Jitney craze’. Fairs for a carpool seat were offered at the same rate as a street car (called a Jitney).

During World War II, the U.S. Government and Oil industry mounted an eight million dollar campaign to revitalise carpooling. The aim was to conserve resources for the War. It was not until 1974 when President Nixon signed the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act. This would enable the federal government to provide funds for ridesharing services.

The 70’s and 80’s were amongst the most active decades for ridesharing in American history. Back then 23.5% of the population carpooled. 

A study in 2017 shows this number has dropped to 9%. This represents a drop in approx. 26.5mil people carpooling.

With the introduction of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for carpools and vanpools, Slugging came into popularity. Slug lines are people that line up at the start or a known pickup location just before a HOV lane. Drivers then pick them up to satisfy occupancy requirements. There is usually no money exchanged in the carpool as there is a mutual benefit.

Wartime Carpooling Poster

Types of Carpool Services

What is Dynamic Carpooling?

Users can setup a trip and instantly return a result of a matched carpool driver or rider. This gives carpoolers more flexibility to book around their schedule and minimise the time waiting for matches to occur.

What is the Best Carpool App for my organisation?

Carpool software that is easy to use, matches trips in real-time and helps organisations minimise the impact of single-occupancy vehicle use should support your choice.

Pros & Cons of Current Carpooling Models

Slugging & Casual Carpooling


Casual & flexible
No need to book


No confirmation of pickups
Must wait in line
Waiting in bad weather
No data access

Static Matching


Easy to post a new ride
Existing rides listed for selection
Low or no cost
Website or app is easier to access


Wait times for ride matches
Manual setup of cost sharing
Manual matching or slow matching
Minimal data capture
No parking integration capabilities

Scheduled Matching


Typically app based and easy
Cost sharing for riders and drivers
Faster matching


Must wait for scheduling algorithm to run
Minimal trip validation (carpool fraud)
Fair clip model makes it expensive for organisations with large employee numbers
User verification needed and open to the public

Dynamic Matching (pay per trip)


App based and excellent user experience
Instant matching


Payment details required
Limited access to data
Minimal trip validation (carpool fraud)
No ability to do closed and exclusive networks

Liftango Dynamic Matching


App based and excellent user experience
Instant matching
No payment details required to be entered
Full data ownership & access for organisations
State-of-the-art operations portal
Carpark integrations
Customised rewards for users replaces cost sharing
Trusted & exclusive carpool networks


No in-app payments for cost sharing

App Features Comparison



No in-app payments required
Dynamic & real -time bookings
Advanced bookings
Recurring bookings
Regular rides quick booking
No passenger payment required
Carpool rewards
Parking rewards

Smart Parking

Guaranteed parking
Car park bay auto-assignment
Car park 'easy-decline' assignment
Facility hardware integration
Dynamic parking entry pricing


Full access for admin team
360 degree real-time operations view
Security access login tiers
Real-time car park allocations
Client-side service modifications
Closed network setup
Car park configurations
Parking permit allocations
Scheduled reporting
Real-time reporting
Commute platform integration capability


Branded app design
White-label app design

Client Marketing Support*
*standard support included, additional work may incur fees

Launch plan development & execution support
Digital advertising scheduling
Graphic design support
Web design support

Parking Facility Management Upgrades*
*standard support included, additional work may incur fees

Operations platform
Configurable car park design
Parking bay assignments
Permit assignments
Real-time & scheduled reporting


Features available

Compare the carpooling features Liftango offers vs. 8 other carpooling apps.

Download PDF

Do drivers and riders need to share costs?

The genesis of carpooling came from sharing and reducing cost. With the advent fo smartphones, carpool programs have become more sophisticated. Using different incentives that replace the typical 54c per mile, we are seeing car parking and customised rewards gain popularity. The results are greater uptake and rapid results for organisations.

What are the benefits of Carpooling?

Reduced parking pressure

Less cars means less frustrated employees and customers.

Reduce the cost of car ownership

Too many organisations undervalue this. To reduce the cost of the commute can mean the difference between a loyal productive employee and a disgruntled demotivated one.

Improving your environmental footprint

Every car taken off the road provides a CO2 savings. Today’s carpool platforms facilitate this data capture for use within sustainability programs.

Reduce the cost of parking infrastructure

Rethink the requirement for parking. Millions are saved by changing commute behaviour.

Get rid of paper permits

What an administrative nightmare! We have seen great results from universities removing paper permits in favour of digitising their carpool programs. By providing smart parking integrations, all the administration is taken over by app data. No more spreadsheet tracking and physical permits.

How do I start a Carpool program at my organisation?

Engage an expert to understand the main challenges and overall objectives of the program. Setting up a carpool service is easy to do but hard to do well.

Make sure you partner with a team that will help to overcome all these aspects. We know, from our experience, to make carpooling work quickly and effectively you need certain conditions to be met. We can accurately assess your needs and then co-create a solution that will work for you.

Let us guide you on your journey.

Get started in 3 easy steps.


Engage us for a consultation

We’re here to listen to your transportation pressures and customize the solution. And we'll assign you a dedicated account manager who's with you every step of the way.


Tailor your solution and business plan

We'll work with you to co-create a white-label custom carpooling app and operations platform. You also get full data ownership and access, plus connections to our network of trusted partners.


Launch your carpooling service with confidence

You can be up and running in two short weeks. We stand behind you after launch 100%. Benefit from our 24/7 tech support, ongoing feature development, real-time reporting, partner integration support, and more.


Ready? Let's Go!

Speak to a mobility specialist today, and we’ll co-create a carpool solution just for you.

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