With Metro’s SafeTrack program underway, many commuters have been looking for alternative options to avoid single tracking and additional delays.
A great option for commuters to consider during the Metro disruptions is ridesharing – however, many people might not realize that there are many different ways you can share the ride on your commute. Ridesharing can reduce travel time (HOT/HOV lanes!) and help save money on tolls and parking fees. Check out the different types of ridesharing below and see what might work best for you.
Carpooling is one of the most common and convenient forms of ridesharing, usually involving two or more commuters (including the driver). Often more casual than other commute options, drivers can use their own vehicle and often work out an informal arrangement with other riders to divide up costs such as gas and parking. Carpools can use the HOV-2 or HOV-3 lanes as well as the 495 and 95 Express HOT lanes if there are 3 or more people in the vehicle – remember to use the E-ZPass Flex to drive in these lanes for free. While carpools cannot use a transit benefit to cover commuting costs, new riders can take advantage of Commuter Connections’ Pool Rewards program to earn money for switching from driving alone.
A form of carpooling, slugging is another way for people to get to and from work quickly and efficiently. Slugging gives both riders and drivers a flexible option without committing to a set commute schedule. Drivers pick up riders at certain points such as Park and Ride lots so they can access the HOV lanes while riders get a free ride to work for providing HOV access to the driver. Check out slug-lines.com to see more details about how slugging works, slug line stops and even slugging “etiquette.”
For commuters that live 15 or more miles from work and have a consistent work schedule, vanpooling is a great opportunity for employees heading to the same or nearby locations. Vans typically hold 5-15 passengers including a driver and are often organized through a third party company such as Enterprise Rideshare or vRide. Vanpool commuters are able to use their transit benefit to cover their monthly costs, up to $255.
New riders can also take advantage of Vanpool Connect, a new rideshare program from ATP that gives a $50/month subsidy for the cost of vanpooling for the first six months. Participating riders can also earn referral bonuses and giveaways. If you're interested in learning more about Vanpool Connect, visit JoinAVanpool.com. One of our business development managers will reach out to you in one business day with additional information.
uberPOOL and Lyft Line
In addition to their normal ridehailing services, Uber and Lyft also offer rideshare options, called uberPOOLand Lyft Line, respectively. These offerings allow riders to select the option in the smartphone app to share their trip with another rider. The app pairs riders who might be traveling along the same route or to a similar destination. It’s also a more affordable than regular Uber or Lyft rides, plus you don’t have to worry about parking or the hassle of your own car. These services are great for shorter trips and offer more flexibility with a one-way ride.
So how will you share the ride? Start ridesharing today!
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com