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FAQs

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What is 511NY Rideshare?

511NY Rideshare is a free program funded by the New York State Department of Transportation. We are New York's home for commuting and transportation resources—helping people who live or work in New York State improve their commutes.

Does it cost anything to become a 511NY Rideshare member?

No, there is never a cost to be a 511NY Rideshare member or to use any 511NY Rideshare resources. We will never ask for financial information.

How do I become a member of 511NY Rideshare?

Visit our registration page and enter your name and email . You will receive an activation link in your email; make sure to click on that, which will prompt you to log in (with the temporary password provided in the email) and change your password. Your account will then be active.

Do I have to provide my email address and telephone number?

To use the online ridematching system, you must enter your email address. Your phone number is only required if you do not have an email address.

What if I don't have an email address?

You can still join 511NY Rideshare. Contact us and our team will run a ridematch for you. You will then receive your ridematch results in the mail, with instructions on how to contact your potential carpool partners.

Will other members have access to my email address or phone number?

You decide whether you want to share or hide your email address or phone number. When looking for a carpool partner, you can allow people to contact you through your email address or through the 511NY Rideshare platform. Set your privacy setting for your email address and phone number when you become a member or on the My Profile page.

Will other members be able to see my home address?

Nope! We require your home address to use our high-precision algorithms to match your route and present you with the best carpool partners. Your home address is NEVER visible to other members —only your city or zip code.

I registered online

but I did not receive an activation email yet from 511NY Rideshare.

Please check your spam or junk mail folders and ensure the email did not get delivered there. If you haven’t received your activation email four hours after registering, please email info@511NYRideshare.org to be connected to a customer service representative.

I don’t want to be contacted anymore about carpooling. How do I unsubscribe from the ridematching system?

If you no longer wish to participate in ridematching, please log in to your account, choose “Edit Profile” and select the "Opt Out" button.

How do I retrieve my forgotten password?

Click on "Forgot Password? Click Here!" in the login section of the home page. You will be prompted to enter your email address to receive a temporary password. You can log in with the temporary password and then change your password on the My Profile page.

How do I change my home address or employer?

You can change any personal information, except your email address, on the My Profile page. If you would like to change your email address, contact us to be connected to one of our customer service representatives.

Will my personal information be secure?

Yes. We take your privacy very seriously. Only the contact information you agree to share in your profile will be seen by others who fit your ridematch criteria. Your information will never be shared with a third party.

If I join a carpool, am I committing to carpooling five days a week?

Absolutely not. You decide how many days during the week you want to drive with your carpool partner(s)—even once a week or once a month can make a difference!

Does it cost money to carpool?

511NY Rideshare is always completely free. Participants in carpools may determine the details of the carpool and how to split the cost. If both or all members of the carpool have vehicles, a rotation system might be the easiest way to share the cost. If only one person is driving every day, splitting costs might be the best option.

What if I don't have a car?

If you don't have a car, you can set your preferences to be a passenger-only in a carpool.

What are some tips for ridesharing etiquette?

If possible, meet your potential carpool partners to discuss preferences and set ground rules before beginning to carpool. We suggest you discuss things like choice of radio stations and whether smoking and eating are allowed in the car before driving together.

What happens if I carpool to work and then my carpool partner or I need to leave work unexpectedly?

The 511NY Rideshare Guaranteed Ride Program is here for exactly this reason. Qualifying members who work in regions where the Guaranteed Ride Program is available and who carpool at least twice a week can receive up to $300 per year in emergency rides from work.

Visit the Guaranteed Ride Program page to learn more and see if you qualify.

How do I find a carpool partner through 511NY Rideshare?

511NY Rideshare members have access to a free online ridematching tool that commuters, travelers, and employers can use to find other travelers to share a ride. The ridematching system matches travelers based on their start and end destinations and preferences.

Through the ridematching system, members can find a regular carpool for daily commuting, or a one-time ridematch for specific events like traveling home from college for the holidays.

You can set and adjust your preferences for ridematching in your profile. Your information is never shared with other members without your consent.

How do I run a ridematch?

After logging into the system, go to the Carpool page under Commute Options and enter your start and end destination along with one-time or recurring trip and your preferences.

Can I find a carpool partner for just one trip? Or does it have to be a daily commute?

Carpooling is always a good idea—even just every now and then! To find a carpool partner for a one-time trip (like going to a baseball game or traveling home from college), select “One-Time Trip.” To find a carpool partner for a more regular trip like your daily commute, select “Recurring Trip.”

How do I communicate with my matches?

After you run your carpool search, you will be provided with a list of other members traveling a similar route. Click the “Contact” button under each potential match’s information to send them a message through 511NY Rideshare. If your matches shared their email address or phone number, you may also contact them directly.

What if my search comes back with no or few matches?

If you haven’t found an ideal carpool match yet, try expanding your preferences, like making your timing more flexible. Check back often—new carpoolers are joining 511NY Rideshare every day.

If I do not share my email address or phone number, can another user still contact me if I match with them?

Yes, other 511NY Rideshare members will be able to send you a message through the 511NY Rideshare platform.

What do the dots on the map mean?

After you run a ridematch, you will see a map showing your start and destination locations as red pins labeled A (start) and B (end). Your potential carpool partners will populate the map with blue boxes indicating their start location and pink boxes indicating their destination. The numbers in the blue and pink boxes will correspond with your match list. Click on the boxes to see more information on your potential match.

Can I offer 511NY Rideshare to my employees?

Of course! 511NY Rideshare provides resources to help employers set up commuter benefit programs and provide employees with resources to improve their commutes. Visit our Employer Page to learn more about the benefits of implementing a commuter benefits program.

Can my employees join 511NY Rideshare on their own, without going through their employer?

Yes, they can. Of course, the more employees from your worksite that become members, the better chance your employees have of finding carpool partners.

Can 511NY Rideshare help me plan a bike route?

We sure can! Visit the bike page for full New York State bike maps and information, use the transit trip planner to plan a bike-and-transit route, or contact our member support team at info@511NYrideshare.org for paper bike maps or personalized routes.

What is a bike buddy?

Like carpooling, if you travel by bicycle, we can match you with another person who also travels by bicycle on similar route.

What is the Trip Tracker?

The Trip Tracker is a desktop calculator and mobile app that shows how much money and carbon emissions you save by commuting using a more sustainable mode (carpool, vanpool, transit, walking, biking). Visit the Trip Tracker page to learn more about how to download and use the app.

What is a vanpool?

A vanpool is a commute option typically used by people who commute more than 25 miles each way to work. Five or more commuters can commute together every day in a comfortable, new van provided by a 511NY Rideshare partner like Commute with Enterprise.

Does a vanpool cost money?

There is a cost associated with vanpooling since vanpoolers commute using a leased van. Typically, the cost is much lower than other commute modes, and much less stressful than driving alone. 511NY Rideshare provides subsidies for vanpools to bring vanpool costs down even further, as do many employers.

Can I join an existing vanpool? Or do I need to start my own?

It could be possible that an existing vanpool along your commute route is looking for a new rider. Contact our member support team if you are interested in learning more about existing vanpools. 511NY Rideshare partners with vanpool providers throughout the state to help you establish a new vanpool if there is not an existing one along your route.

What if I vanpool and need to leave work unexpectedly?

The 511NY Rideshare Guaranteed Ride Program is here for exactly this reason. Qualifying vanpoolers who work in regions where the Guaranteed Ride Program is available and who carpool can receive up to $300 per year in emergency rides from work.

Visit the Guaranteed Ride Program page to learn more and see if you qualify.