New Web site allows passengers to share a cab from Sea-Tac Airport

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 5 at 11:58 PM

SEATTLE - Have you ever wanted to catch a cab at Sea-Tac Airport but cringed at paying the fare? Two guys from Microsoft have come up with a free service that allows you to share a cab, all you need is a computer or a smartphone.

The service is called Ridepenguin. It's a simple Web site that allows Sea-Tac passengers leaving for common destinations to share a cab. Some passengers say they already do it on their own.

"Just been in line for a taxi and suggested sharing a taxi going to a similar location," says Pete Hutchinson of Snohomish. "It's worked out fine."

Twenty-one-year-old co-founder Ben Eidelson says you start off typing a display name, destination, and when you want to leave.

"So the idea is you broadcast and hopefully within the first 5 minutes and of you saying 'hey this is the direction I'm going,' someone else does a search and you find at least one match.

If another passenger is looking for a ride to the same area, within seconds, you receive a text message confirming a match with a link that allows you text that person to arrange a meeting.

Ridepenguin launched a little more than a week ago, and Eidelson says about a thousand people have checked out the site; 20 to 30 have found successful matches.

Still some passengers are reluctant to give up their private information.

"I want to try and protect what is left of my privacy but i think it's a good idea," said one.

Eidelson says the next step for this service is to help people share a ride to the airport.

Besides Sea-Tac Airport, the service is also available at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. The service is free.

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