How to Start or Keep a Rideshare Group
Whether you have an existing group or start a new one, Pace offers a few ways to connect with other commuters:
- Start by creating a Pace RideShare account to search and connect with commuters. Be sure to provide details in the comment box so your intentions are understood.
- Access the Join my Group Flyer, in the document section, to print and distribute at work, school, in an apartment building, or business park or save the flyer as a PDF and share by email, texting or through a social media app.
- Enlist help from your association or property manager, student services office, the Human Resource Department, employer's Transportation or Sustainability Coordinator:
To make sure everything is coordinated, Pace encourages rideshare groups to meet and discuss:
- Driving method (one driver or alternating the driving)
- Current driver's license, safety, and using a clean, insured, fueled, and serviced vehicle. Note: for Pace Vanpooling, Pace screens and trains the volunteer drivers and Pace provides a van, insurance, fuel, maintenance, roadside assistance and more.
- Insurance coverage (Pace Vanpools include automobile liability coverage for drivers)
- Rider Stops
- Boarding and departing locations and times
- Code of conduct regarding sounds, scents, conversation topics, seating & use of space
- Communication methods for last-minute changes and advanced notice of time off and overtime.
- Backup plan for emergencies and when a driver is unavailable (In Pace Vanpools, backup drivers are encouraged to help create reliability. For unexpected emergencies, Pace will cover up to $125 per year for alternative transportation.)
- Vehicle type (a rental, privately owned, or Pace van)
- Parking arrangements (park-n-ride lots, costs, and who will set things up)
- Payment rates, format accepted, and frequency. (Pace Vanpools include invoicing riders while primary drivers participate at no cost)
- An employee tax-free commuter benefit which can be used to cover Pace Vanpool fares or rideshare parking.
- Ways to invite others when seats are available.
- Give your rideshare group time to come together and run smoothly.
- The fewer stops the group makes, the shorter the total travel time. For the pick-ups and drop offs, choose a mutually convenient meeting place such as a:
- Residential home
- Central location such as a park-n-ride lot, near bus or train service or retail or a community building
- Shared destination like an employer's parking lot or a parking garage
- For reliability, select more than one person as a driver to cover the driver's vacation or days off.
- Costs are dependent on the group size, commute miles, participation frequency and type of travel. Carpoolers can review the AAA's driving cost calculations and the IRS standard mileage rate when determining passenger rates. If your group agrees that everyone will take turns driving, then exchanging money may not be needed. For Pace Vanpooling, payment is handled through Pace. There are part-time or full-time fares.
- Gaining more riders might be as easy as adding a stop, adjusting the times or having a participant carpool other riders for the first or last mile
- If there is another vanpool with a similar commute, consider merging together to gain more drivers and lower fares for everyone.
- PaceRideShare.com makes it easy to publicize available seating. For Pace Vanpools, email Pace staff at email@example.com to adjust the vanpool description online and invite potential participants to join through Facebook and email invitations. For carpools, create an account profile, register your carpool online then email staff to request help.
- Wisconsin commuters interested in ridesharing could find additional opportunities by also registering at Rideshare Etc.
- Meet your group virtually or at a public location to work out details. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, or personalities are clashing end interactions. Be patient and continue searching for others to join your group.