What is Rideshare?
Rideshare is the sharing of car journeys so that more than one person travels in a car. By having more people using one vehicle, rideshare reduces reduces each person's travel costs, such as fuel, tolls, and the stress of driving. Rideshare is also seen as a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable way to travel, as sharing journeys reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage rideshare, especially during high pollution periods and high fuel prices.
How do I Sign Up for Rideshare?
Download and fill out the Rideshare Application and then either mail, fax, email, or phone the application to:
214 S. Topeka
Wichita, KS 67202
The computer program will try to match you with someone. We will notify you by mail if there is a match or not. If there is a match, we will send you the other person's information. You are responsible for contacting the other person and working out the details. If there is no match, you will remain in the system and new applications will be compared to yours.
Tips for Establishing a Rideshare
Picking the Partners
Finding partners who rideshare by choice rather than necessity can help eliminate the inconvenience of last-minute cancellations or emergencies. A three-way rideshare is ideal, as two people can share a ride even if one partner occasionally has to drive alone.
Establishing the Rules
There are many things to consider when outlining the rules of a rideshare:
Set ground rules at the onset regarding smoking, perfumes, aftershaves, eating in the car, personal grooming, who controls the radio, and others
Discuss safety issues; if you are uncomfortable with tailgating and speeding, make it known upfront
Don't be afraid to draw up a "contract" to help clarify and reinforce each rideshare member's responsibilities
Arranging the Schedule
You can arrange to have your rideshare pick you up and drop you off at the location of your choice. However, you should keep in mind that most of the car's pollution is generated when you cold-start your car in the morning (starting a cold car engine emits more pollution than driving 10 miles).
Once you and your partners have established a routine that works, stick with it. You will have a schedule that you can depend on and not have to think about.
Don't deviate from the route for personal reasons without surveying the impact of doing so on your rideshare companions. On the other hand, a quick stop at the convenience store may be just what they need, too.
Handling Possible Disadvantages
Emergency situations probably head the list of inconveniences about rideshare. Establishing a plan ahead of time to handle such occasions can be very beneficial for all partners. In addition, find out if your employer offers the Guaranteed Ride Home offered by Rideshare, which provides you with a FREE and reliable ride home when one of life's unexpected emergencies arises. In the meantime, you should always have a number where you can reach your rideshare members in case of emergencies.
Plan to drive on the days you will need a car. Run errands and schedule appointments for those days. You could also store your bike at work for lunchtime errands.
If you know ahead of time you will have to work late, let your rideshare partners know. If you are driving that day, perhaps you could take your partners home first and then go back to work. If you are not driving, perhaps you could catch a ride home with someone else working late with you.
If you are sick when you awaken in the morning, make sure you call your rideshare partners as early as possible to amend the arrangements.
When you are driving, make an effort to assure the comfort of your passengers. Ask before you open the window, change the radio station or adjust the climate control.
Consider making your car available to anyone in the rideshare who may need it during the day. If you make safe driving a requirement upfront, you'll feel better about someone else using your car. Someday you may need the favor returned.
If you decide that your rideshare is not working for you, don't be afraid to bow out and make a fresh start. There is probably a better rideshare partnership out there for you.
Keep in mind that one of the main reasons for rideshare is to help in the battle for clean air.
Employer Tips on How to Promote Rideshare
Provide Employee Incentives:
Preferential parking for rideshare
Reduced parking fees for rideshare
Participation in Wichita Transit's discount bus pass program
Flexible working hours to allow for the formation of rideshare
Advance notice of overtime so employees in rideshare may make alternate commuting arrangements
Time off work to attend rideshare organizational meetings
Recognition for employees involved in rideshare (certificates and prizes)
Participation in the Federal Transit Administration's Commuter Choice Program, which allows employees a tax-free incentive to commute to work by means other than driving alone
Provide rideshare information and applications in "new hire" employee orientation packets
Conduct a commuter survey to determine employee travel patterns
Utilize Wichita Transit's FREE computerized rideshare matching service
advertise rideshare and its benefits in a company newsletter
Appoint a Transportation Coordinator to assist employees with meeting their transportation needs
Conduct raffles and give prizes for ridesharers
Establish a transportation information board where employees may advertise openings in their rideshare or request to join one