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CarPools - Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the driving?

In some carpools, each carpool member takes turns driving their own vehicle, while in others there is only one driver. There is no hard and fast rule - it is totally dependent upon the individual circumstances of those in your carpool.

What if I don't have a car?

No problem. When you are registering with VMCRideMatch.com simply indicate that you wish to be a passenger only.

How much should carpool passengers pay?

This is perhaps one of the key questions asked by potential carpoolers and, unfortunately, there is no simple answer. In carpools where driving is equally shared, no money usually changes hands as each member is using their personal vehicle an equal amount of time. When only one person does the driving, or when there is an unequal split of driving responsibilities, the cost-sharing arrangement must be discussed by those in the carpool. The carpool members are free to base the costs on whatever they may choose.

How much will I save by carpooling?

Depending on your vehicle and driving patterns, the cost per mile of driving a vehicle can range from approximately $0.60 to over $1.20 per mile. If you can share in the cost of commuting to and from work by carpooling with others, your potential savings are significant.

What is the VMC discount for carpooling?"

Car pools provide significant savings by discounting the monhly parking fee. Take the monthly rate and divide it by the number of people in the carpool. Next, divide the number again by the number of carpoolers to get the cost/savings. For example, take the Crystal Terrace monthly rate of $30.60 and do the math:

  • $30.60/2 people = $15.30/2 = $7.65/month. A savings of $22.95/person/month (or $275.40/year).
  • $30.60/3 people = $10.20/3 = $3.40/month. A savings of $27.20/person/month (or $326.40/year).
  • $30.60/4 people = $ 7.65/4 = $1.91/month. A savings of $28.69/person/month (or $344.28/year).

Do I have to carpool every day?

No! You can carpool every day or only a few days a week. You and your carpool members decide upon the schedule. Some people even belong to two carpools - you may carpool with one carpool on Mondays and Wednesdays and then join a second carpool for the remainder of the week.

What do I do if the people that VMCRideMatch.com matches me with don't really live that close to me?

VMCRideMatch.com is new. It takes time for people to register and to populate the database. If you don't find any compatible partners on the first try, come back again in a week or two and check for additional potential partners.

What happens if I'm sick?

Call your carpool partner or follow the chain of communication that has been decided upon at your initial meeting. If you're the driver, try to give as much advance warning as possible.

What if there is an emergency or I get sick during the day?

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) subsidizes free emergency taxi fare – up to six rides per year per person - for carpool and vanpool members. Registration is required. For details, see the RTA website, www.rta-ride,org.

What happens if I oversleep or am late?

Being late, or having to wait longer than anticipated, is one of the most common reasons why carpools fail. Just like a bus, carpools work best when they are on a defined schedule. Being on-time is just as important in a carpool as it is with transit. Each carpool should have clearly defined guidelines for how long they will wait.

What if I have a doctor's appointment or errands to run before, after, or during work?

Schedule your appointments on the days you don't carpool. Sharing a ride on those days may not make sense.

What if I have to drive my child to day care or school?

If the other members of your carpool don't have similar arrangements, make the day-care centre or the school your pick-up and drop-off point. That way you can schedule your pick-up time to correspond to the time when you know your child is happily settled in for the day.

Note: If you are going to have a pick-up/drop-off point different than your home postal code, just make sure you enter the origin and destination address of the location where you would like to be picked up and dropped off.

What if I have to work late?

If you know you have to work late on a particular day then don't carpool. Carpooling is meant to be a flexible and convenient arrangement. On those days when it is not convenient, commute to work in another manner. Take the bus, your bike, walk or bring your own car.

What if my carpool isn't working out?

Give your present carpool sufficient notice that you will be leaving. Go back to the VMCRideMatch.com to find a new carpool partner and try again.