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When a person is trying to get from one place to another with someone driving between those two points, we say he's trying to find a "ride".

For example you can say "I'm looking for a ride to New York". Or "I got a ride to New York". A driver can say "I gave him a ride".

But what is a "ride" from the driver's perspective? If a driver is looking for a passenger, you can't say "he is looking for a ride" since that implies he has no car to drive.

Is there a noun to describe the activity from the driver's perspective?

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A hitcher, maybe? Though that doesn't cover friends you happen to be giving a ride, of course. I'd say this is so rarely needed that in the few cases where you do need to express the notion, you'd simply circumphrase: “He's looking for someone to share the journey with”, “He's looking for an extra passenger”, “He's looking for some company for the ride”, etc. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 20 at 11:45
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I can't think of a good single word for that ("I'm looking for a hitchhiker" doesn't sound right to me). I would say "I'm looking for a fellow traveller/fellow passenger/fellow road tripper/travel companion". –  Vilmar Feb 20 at 11:46
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If you're a professional driver, you are probably looking for a fare. –  TylerH Feb 20 at 14:20
    
walker? oh wait, we are on ELU. –  ermanen Feb 20 at 17:33

4 Answers 4

I think you would just say "I'm looking for a passenger" or maybe "I'm looking for a carpooler" depending on the context.

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+1 Especially for carpooler. –  bib Feb 20 at 20:51

If you're a driver, you can say that you gave a passenger (or a hitchhiker) a lift. So if you want to find a passenger, you could say:

I am looking for someone who wants a lift to New York.

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You could also use ride in this context: I am looking for someone who wants a ride to New York. The OP is asking what the "someone" in your sentence is called. –  Kevin Workman Feb 20 at 14:07

A journey intended to be enjoyed, especially if accompanied, is called a road trip.

While not a single word, the driver could say she was looking for a road buddy or a trip buddy. Buddy can mean

a person who does some activity with you

It has lost its exclusively male connotation and is often used, regardless of the gender of the fellow-traveler.

SUPPLEMENT:

Most abject apologies! I did not make clear that both of the suggested phrases are NOT standard terms or idioms, but merely suggested constructions based on the request. Also, road trip itself is a somewhat slang idiom.

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I have never heard either of those terms actually used anywhere. –  Kevin Workman Feb 20 at 14:10
    
@Kevin - Neither have I, but, then again, I don't hang out around truck stops very much. I entered these terms into Google, and found some rather interesting matches on bulletin boards, blogs, dating websites for truckers, and even this one from Craigslist: Looking for a road buddy asap im driving to dallas for a while tommorow and im looking someone who will ride with me... –  J.R. Feb 20 at 19:53
    
That sounds more like jargon than standard English then, and is probably not used generally enough to be understood by most people. Unless of course OP is hanging out in truck stops... –  Kevin Workman Feb 20 at 19:55
    
@KevinWorkman Please see supplement. –  bib Feb 20 at 20:50
    
@J.R. Please see supplement. –  bib Feb 20 at 20:51

The operator of the vehicle is looking for a rider. See here for an example (vanpool riders wanted). Here's another one.

In these examples, the driver may be looking for riders to support a driving service or to share costs on a specific trip. (E.g., I'm driving to Denver and I'm looking for a rider to share the costs.)

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In my question, I am asking for an equivalent of "ride" - which does not refer to a person - from the driver's perspective. A 'rider' is a person. A 'ride' is not. –  Imray Feb 21 at 12:22
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I suggest that you edit your question to reflect this then. The other answers are in a similar vein: passenger, carpooler, someone to share..., road buddy, trip buddy and rider. They all refer to the person. –  Canis Lupus Feb 21 at 15:22

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