Introducing Zimride Inbox

Our goal with Zimride has always been to make sharing rides simple, convenient, and social. But until two weeks ago, organizing your Zimride required you to take conversation matters into your own hands, relying on your own methods of communication to coordinate your rides with other users. Many Zimriders found it frustrating trying to organize their carpools, as each user prefers a different method of communication, whether it be emails, phone calls, or text messages.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce your Zimride Inbox, a new messaging platform. Now, when you login to your Zimride account, you’ll see a summary of all new and ongoing conversations in your Inbox prominently displayed. There are three key features that we are really excited about:


Every conversation on Zimride is about a particular ride, so we’ve added a lot of contextual information about those rides. Starting with the first email notification you receive when you get a new message, you’ll see the other user’s route and how far away they are from you. Within each conversation you can see a map displaying both rides, so that you can easily figure out pickup and drop-off locations that make the most sense.

Better privacy

Privacy is one of the most important aspects to the Zimride user experience, and we are excited to have made significant improvements with this new messaging system. Previously, when you wanted to contact another user on Zimride, you would need to send them an email, and the conversation would take place from your email inbox. Now with the new messaging system you can contact other users without ever revealing your personal email address. When you receive a new message, Zimride will send you a copy of the message in an email notification – and the other user will never see your email address.

Movable messaging dialogue

Previously, the messaging pop-up dialogue box wasn’t movable – so when you clicked “send message” a messaging pop-up dialogue would appear and cover up the user’s profile and ride information. Time and time again we saw users frustrated with this, as they would need to refer to information on the profile while typing their message. Now you can simply move the messaging box anywhere on the page as you type your message. For the techy folks, we made this change by switching from Facebox to the much more flexible jQuery UI dialog.

At Zimride, our users always come first. We’re listening and would love your feedback. Leave us a comment, send us an email, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy messaging, and remember, life is better when you share the ride.

Spend or Share: The Rise in Collaborative Consumption

After having read Rachel Botsmans book titled “What’s Mine Is Yours,” I started looking into the idea and philosophies behind collaborative consumption. Yes, I’m an avid couch surfer, I’m a Zipcar member, and I even occasionally use TaskRabbit but I still wasn’t seeing the bigger movement happening around me. It hit me shortly after when talking with my colleagues in the Zimride office that I was in the midst of a huge movement. A movement to share and collaborate instead of consuming and wasting. Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s the climate change. Who knows… but I do know one thing. People’s mindsets are embracing the idea of collaborative consumption and change is coming. Fast.

Since the times of hyper-consumption, economics have changed and people’s mindset’s have progressed. What used to be regarded as an indication of higher social standing, now dimly sits behind the new trend of being wisely economical. Status and happiness no longer arise from owning an abundance of material goods. It now comes from connecting and collaborating with those around you to share common goals and common goods.

The value in sharing goods and services has become so important in boosting individual’s moods, creating support networks, and savings households big money that companies have begun to pop up to specifically accomodate these nationwide priorities. Investors are seeing, understanding and appreciating the value these companies offer which explains why many of these companies have also received big funding. Taskrabbit (hire someone to do tasks), Ubercab (immediate car service), Airbnb (rent personal home space), and Zipcar (carshare) are just a few of the highly succuessful companies whom have focused their niche around the idea of collaborative consumption. Why lose sleep and increase stress over completing low priority tasks when you can easily utilize other people’s down time and hire them to compelte the task for you? Why stay in a quiet and generic hotel room when you can utilize someone’s free space in their cozy home? Why drive independantly from others going the same direction when you could share the ride, share the costs, and share the conversations?  Better yet, why not share the car and the ride?

Gone are the days of hyper consumption where consumers purchased one new piece of clothing every 5.5 days, where we quickly succumbed to the over 3,000 advertising messages we see per day, and where we indirectly supported having more malls in America than schools. Consumers now days are savvy, economical and collaborative. Why? Because saving money, space, and time will never go out of style.

Rachel Botsman's Chart on Collaborative Consumption

Rachel Botsman's Chart on Collaborative Consumption

Zimride Users Share their Stories

Recently, we reached out to over 600 Zimride users to get their stories about utilizing Zimride, and OH BOY! we get some real great ones!  We’ll share some of our favorites, and we start out with a fantastic story with quite the picture…

As you can probably guess from the photo above, this Zimrider drove through Wisconsin (I mean, where else are you going to find a cheesehead monster cow?!).  She tells her story best:

We carpooled to Eau Claire, WI, on the weekend of Sept 17 -19, and it was a fun weekend had by all!  Alyssa visited friends on the UW-Eau Claire campus and also her boyfriend at UW-Stout.  Joel visited friends on the Eau Claire campus.  And Jenny visited friends who live right near campus.  We drove over in Jenny’s Dad’s honda civic, and we listened to some great tunes in the car.  We even jammed out and sang along to some songs like Maroon 5.

On the ride home on Sunday, as we were leaving Eau Claire, we drove by Heckel’s restaurant.  In front of the restaurant we saw this great cow wearing a cheesehead and we had to get a picture.  As we drove home to Oshkosh, we listened to the Packer game in the car!

Using the ride board is a great way to make friends and save the environment!!

If you are a Zimrider (and we sure hope you are!) and you want to get some spotlight on our blog, send us your story and picture to  Happy Zimriding!

Zimride is a success at Opportunity Green Conference!

We would like to thank our supporters, investors, Moms, Dads…

No, that’s not how our acceptance speech started off, but in all seriousness, we were honored to receive the 2010 Opportunity Green Innovative Green Startup Award! There were 25 finalists, and all were very cool, sustainable and interesting companies.  Saying that they were all tough competition would be an understatement.

Our very own Lisa Galindo, Account Executive, represented Zimride at the conference and gave a one-minute pitch about the company.  I spoke with her when she returned to the office, and she said that an amazing number of people approached her after the award ceremony, and that the support was electrifying.

You can see her quoted in this recent article saying, “We came to Opportunity Green to collaborate with other credible companies who are focused on sustainable business and solutions and we’re honored to receive this award to further our goal in informing the market that we have this great and impactful social network platform which large corporations and universities can use to really make a difference.”

If you want to check out what everyone is finding so interesting and innovative about Zimride, and maybe getting it for your organization, please contact us at

Commuter Challenge at Zimride!

As adults, we might document things like what we eat, our exercise, budgets and maybe an important lesson we learned throughout the day.  And heck, we might still write about the crush we have on the person at the coffee shop down the street.

But what about keeping track on how we commute everyday?

Well, people at two Zimride communities are doing just that.   Community members at George Mason University and at University of Maryland are going head-to-head in the first ever Zimride Commuter Challenge.  Starting September 22nd, they will be off to the races!  Ahem, no pun intended.

Zimriders can form and join teams, recruit others to join the Zimride community (because life is always better when you share the ride), and track how many miles they carpool.  By imputing a few more facts and stats, each individual can also see how much CO2 they offset by ridesharing.

The winner is determined on October 22nd by three factors: the number of people who use the commute calendar (aka, Commuter Diary), the number of new Zimride users gained and the total amount of CO2 reduced.

What will the winner win, you ask?  A VERY fancy trophy.  Something along the lines of what you see at the right, but we have recruited a trophy designer that is working on it.  Yeah, we know your jealous.

If you want to hear more about how to get a Commuter Challenge at your school, email us at