The Colorado Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday, Sept. 1 that carpool apps have officially been made legal in the state. However, any companies wishing to participate do still have to register with CDOT.

Carpool apps allow, with certain restrictions, Coloradans to find people headed in the same direction and hop in for the ride, while chipping in for fuel and mileage costs.

The new law says any companies wishing to participate will have to register with CDOT by Oct. 1. Companies will be subject to an annual fee of $111,250 to operate their app.

CDOT suspects the carpool apps will have a lot of relevancy come ski season. Hundreds of Coloradans hit the slopes each year, so with the legalization of these apps, it will be easier for skiers to find joint rides to resorts while saving on emissions and parking costs.

The Department of Transportation also says the apps could be beneficial for events like concerts and sporting events.

Restrictions for the apps

There are a few restrictions set in place in order for the apps to be allowed to operate. For one, the law says that each vehicle, excluding the driver, cannot have more than six passengers.

Also, only one round trip per day that is no less than 23 miles each way is allowed.

The only time that minimum mile requirement is not in place is for carpooling to ski resorts, which CDOT suspects will be beneficial for ski resort employees.

CDOT reminds people that these apps, unlike Uber or Lyft, do not do background checks on drivers and they do not regulate training standards. Each person choosing to use registered carpooling apps should use their own discretion before getting into a vehicle. Because CDOT is not regulating the apps beyond their registration and annual renewals, CDOT is not liable were anything to happen.

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