Zimride announces new route to Lake Tahoe

Just in time for the start of the ski season, ride sharing website Zimride has announced the opening of a new route between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. To celebrate this new option, they’re also giving away free gas and partnering with local resorts as well.

Launched back in 2008, Zimride is an interesting mash-up of carpooling meets social media. The site allows drivers to sell the empty seats in their cars to passengers who are traveling along the same route, saving everyone some cash in the process. Touting the economic and environmental benefits of ride sharing, the company says that it has helped facilitate more than 26,000 carpools, covering over 100 million miles, at an estimated cumulative savings of $50 million.

The San Francisco to Lake Tahoe route is expected to open on Thanksgiving Day, which is often seen as the unofficial start to the ski season as well. To commemorate the new route, Zimride is giving away a free tank of gas ($40 value) to the first 500 drivers who successfully book the new route between now and the end of the year.

Lake Tahoe has long been considered one of the truly great ski destinations in North America. Nestled high in the Sierra Nevada mountains along the border of California and Nevada, the region is home to more than a dozen resorts, such as Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. Travelers who stay at either of those resorts, or one of Zimride’s other Lake Tahoe partners, will will also be entitled to discounted lift tickets, VIP parking, and more.

I’ve never personally used Zimride, but it sounds like a great way to not only save a little cash, but also take a road trip with some like minded people. It sounds like fun to share a ride from San Fran to Tahoe for a weekend on the slopes. Considering the price of gas these days, it never hurts to split the costs either.

Find out more at Zimride.com.

Zimride Makes Ride Sharing Safe & Easy

Gas prices are rising. The economy is tanking (no pun intended). You want to share a ride somewhere to split costs. You could try Craigslist but that seems like a crap-shoot. I mean, you want to find someone to share gas and toll expenses, not a casual encounter. Well, now there’s a more reliable resource for drivers looking for hop-ons or travelers in need of a ride: Zimride.

Zimride combines the technology of Google Maps, the growing power of social networking sites like Facebook and their own matchmaking algorithm to match drivers. The site offers rideshares for one-way trips, roundtrips and even daily commutes. And the social networking aspect of the service encourages people to learn about their potential travel companions before they buckle up and hurl themselves down the asphalt together.

In fact, upon registering, Zimride immediately asks you if you have a Facebook account. If you do, it will ask you for permission to access your Facebook profile. It populates your Zimride profile with information from your Facebook account. You then have the option to edit that information and add details about your vehicle, your preferred driving speed and even your favorite travel music.

Not sure I’d go cross-country using Zimride (though the founder, John Zimmer, did just that when traveling from New York to Palo Alto, CA to prove the site’s usefulness), but it might be a better alternative to taking the bus or train for short trips. And who knows? You may also find a casual encounter out of it.

Have you shared rides? Used Zimride? Have better ideas for finding travel companions? Share your thoughts in the comments.