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Ridesharing FAQs

 

Ridesharing

What is ridesharing?

Ridesharing is sharing your ride to work with one or more individuals. Ridesharing includes car pooling and van pooling.

Why should I car pool?

Car pooling saves you money, it's environmentally friendly, it helps reduce traffic congestion and it's a great way to meet new people.

How do I find other car poolers?

Friends, neighbors or people you work with are always a great place to start.

Is car pooling safe?

If you follow a few simple safety guidelines, car pooling is a safe way to commute. Never get in a car with someone you don't know before meeting them first in a public place. Ask for ID, driving records and personal references if necessary. Don't travel with someone you don't trust — there are plenty of options available to you.

What if I have errands or appointments during the work day and need my car?

Try to schedule appointments on days when you do not car pool. When that isn't possible, tell the people you car pool with that you won't be car pooling that day.

What if there is an emergency or I have to work late?

Emergency Ride Home Programs provide free taxi service in emergency situations for registered users.

Is every member of the car pool required to drive?

It depends on your particular arrangement. It's not unusual for a car pool to include people who do not drive at all. In these cases, the non-drivers usually pay an agreed-upon fee to help cover the commuting expenses. In many car pools, drivers will take turns on a daily, weekly or other predetermined basis. Your group can decide what works best for you.

What if my car pool isn't working out?

It often takes some time for a car pool to start working smoothly for everyone, so try to have patience and give it a fair chance. But if you find that it's not working, for whatever reason, leave. You are under no obligation to stay. Notify all members of the car pool about your decision and look for new car pools or other forms of alternative transit.

Do I have to car pool every day?

No. Talk to your car pooling group and work out a schedule that works for you. Some people choose to car pool just once or twice a week — it's still a great way to save money, help the environment and enjoy the many other benefits of car pooling.

What happens if I'm late?

Just like public transportation, keeping a car pool on schedule is the key to it working properly. If one person is late, this affects other people as well. Your group should agree beforehand how long you will wait in situations where someone is running late.

What is car pool etiquette?

As a member of a car pool, it's your job to do everything you can to make sure the other members of your group are comfortable. Never smoke, eat or drink in the car unless it is first agreed upon by the others in your group. Don't assume that just because you enjoy listening to music in the morning that others do as well. And always do your part to keep the car clean and tidy.

I don't own a car. Can I still join a car pool?

Absolutely. As you look for car pools, simply indicate that you want to be a passenger only. Remember, you will then be responsible for paying a share of the gas and other commuting expenses.

What if I have to drive my child to school or daycare?

This is a common situation among people who car pool. Find a car pool in which you can work out a suitable schedule. You may be able to make the school or daycare center your designated pick-up and/or drop-off point.

Will my insurance cover me?

General liability insurance covers passengers and most policies do not exclude car poolers. However, it's always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to be sure that you will be covered in the event of an accident.

What if I'm sick?

If you're sick and not going to work that day, notify your car pool as soon as possible. Sick days and other last-minute changes are inevitable. That's why it's important for car pool members to work out how these situations will be handled before they happen.

 

Van Pooling

What is a van pool?

A van pool is a group of five to 15 people who commute together in a van.

How does it work?

Each van pool decides how the van pool is to be arranged. For example, often a van pool will select a primary driver and one or more alternative drivers, in case a back-up is needed. In this scenario, the driver will usually ride for free. In other cases, all of the participants share the driving responsibilities. Riders also agree on how they will share expenses, where they will meet, and whether there will be one or multiple pick-up locations.

Is vanpooling right for me?

If you travel 15 miles or more one-way to work and have a relatively consistent schedule, van pooling might be an excellent option for you.

How much does van pooling cost?

Van pool costs vary depending on the length of the commute, the number of people, parking expenses and other factors. Because you share the cost with up to 14 other people, van pooling is usually much less expensive than driving alone. Van poolers are also eligible to receive special federal tax incentives for van pooling.

What are the benefits of van pooling?

Van pooling saves you money, helps the environment by conserving fuel and reducing emissions, helps reduce traffic congestion, and offers a less-stressful commute to work. By participating in a van pool you are also eligible for an Emergency Ride Home Program if you live in one of the serviced counties.

Who owns the van?

Vans are usually owned or leased by individual commuters. In some cases, employers own the vans.

Is a special driver's license required?

No, drivers need only a regular class C automobile driver's license.

What happens if the driver is sick or on vacation?

If one person is the primary driver, the vanpool should select back-up drivers in case the regular driver is not available. Be sure to have a pre-established system to communicate any changes to the schedule if necessary.

Will the van pool pick me up at my house?

Most van pools have common meeting points to reduce travel time. The pick-up and drop-off locations should be in conveniently located areas, such as park and ride locations. You will be provided the pick-up and drop-off information before you commit to join a van pool.

Is eating or smoking allowed in the van?

Each van pool has different rules determined by the riders. Rules for the van pool should always be established and agreed upon by all the participants beforehand.

What happens if I am late or not able to join the van pool on a particular date?

Riders should agree beforehand how long the van will wait for people who are late. If you are sick or unable to make the van pool on a particular day, call the driver or a first-stop passenger at the first stop ahead of time. When you go on vacation, make arrangements with your van pool driver or coordinator in advance.

What happens if I work late or have an emergency?

Emergency Ride Home Programs provides services in emergency situations for registered users.