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Matchmaking services for commuters gaining speed

WASHINGTON – Carpooling is on the rise, and social media and apps have a lot to do with that increase.

While slugging is common for commuters in the D.C. metro area, ride sharing has long been a hard sell in America. Folks have different places to go, and there are safety concerns about riding with strangers.

But The New York Times reports commuters are using technology to find new ways to connect with one another.

Websites, including zimride.com, ridejoy.com and erideshare.com, are popping up like dating sites.

Ridejoy.com addresses safety issues by verifying identities and conducting background checks, and eRideShare is currently testing a mobile phone app to match drivers and passengers.

Some of these carpooling websites take a part of the fee drivers charge riders, but it’s free to sign up.

Locally, Commuter Connections matches drivers and riders and helps drivers calculate the costs of commuting.

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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