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Frequently Asked Questions

What is MetrO! Rideshare?

MetrO! Rideshare is a publicly funded commuter matching service for anyone who commutes to, from, or within the MAPA five county region. MetrO! Rideshare works in two main ways — helping individuals find ride sharing opportunities with other commuters and assisting employers with transportation programs.

Why should I consider ridesharing?

Rideshare participants find that there are numerous reasons why ridesharing is beneficial to them and their community.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Less stress commuting to and from work
  • Financial savings due to shared commuting costs
  • Decreased personal vehicle maintenance and wear and tear
  • Reduced demand for parking spaces at work or school
  • Increased free time for riders
  • Consistent travel times and routes
  • Part-time travel options
  • Improved air quality resulting from fewer auto emissions
  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • Flexibility in choosing days that work best for you to rideshare

How does the MetrO! Rideshare online matching service work?

MetrO! Rideshare is a free, Web-based service that enables commuters to:

  • Create password-protected accounts for themselves
  • Get instant matches with other commuters who want to form or join carpools
  • Send instant and secure e-mail messages to carpool matches
  • Manage their rideshare preferences
  • Access their accounts at any time to update their profile/preferences or search for more matches.

How much money could I save by ridesharing?

Use the MetrO! Rideshare online calculator to see how much you spend driving to and from work or school each month. Ridesharing can help save you money in parking fees, gas, and maintenance costs. Some insurance companies offer discounts for reduced driving. If you lease a car, you may be able to reduce payments by leasing at a lower annual mileage figure.

Who can use MetrO! Rideshare?

Any commuter, including students, can use Metro Rideshare if either the destination or starting point is in the Omaha Metro Area, which includes Washington, Douglas, Sarpy, Pottawattamie, and Mills Counties. Those commuting to and from outside of this area may also use Metro Rideshare. For example, if a commuter lives in Lincoln, but commutes to Omaha each day for work, he or she can use Metro Rideshare.

What services does MetrO! Rideshare offer?

Carpooling: Log on to the MetrO! Rideshare Web-based matching service and search FREE for other carpoolers to share your commute.
Guaranteed Ride Home: MetrO! Rideshare provides eligible commuters with a free ride home in cases of illness, accident or emergency during work.

How much does the Rideshare program cost to use?

The MetrO! Rideshare commuter matching service is completely FREE to individuals!

I'd like to have a poster or brochure to show my co-workers. Where can I get one?

 You can Contact us and have materials mailed to you. You may also wish for us to visit your work site and do a live presentation to your company or department.

What if I feel uncomfortable carpooling with a stranger?

That's understandable, that's why we’ve developed the following set of guidelines to make your ridesharing experience as comfortable a possible. First, when searching for potential matches be sure to edit your rideshare preferences. This allows you to filter possible matches by factors such as gender and smoking habits so you only see potential matches that you are most comfortable with. We also suggest that you meet potential rideshare partners in a public place before you commit to carpooling. You can even take a friend with you to the meeting. Meet, talk, and decide whether or not you would feel comfortable sharing a ride. If you still feel uncomfortable after meeting, you can simply choose not to pursue the rideshare arrangement. You are not obligated to carpool. If you do feel comfortable enough to rideshare, perhaps you could agree to a trial rideshare period to test the waters. If things don't work out, the rideshare arrangement ends, no strings attached, and if the arrangement is mutually agreeable, you continue to rideshare.

Can I meet a rideshare somewhere other than my home?

Yes. When contacting potential rideshare partners feel free suggest alternate meeting places other than your home.

Do I have to rideshare every day?

You don't have to rideshare every single day — simply choose days that work best for you. Carpool as little or as often as your schedule permits. Start with a commitment you think is realistic. Pick one day a week and stick with it; you can always add more days later. If everyone tried to carpool one or two days a week, our air quality and traffic congestion would improve significantly.

What if I don't have a car?

No problem. You can join a carpool that doesn't need a driver and pay your share of the gas and parking expenses. When you create your online match profile using MetrO! Rideshare, you can specify your preference to join a carpool as a passenger only. There is no guarantee that Rideshare can locate matches for you. If the database is unable to find matches, you may want to consider changing your profile information and preferences to broaden the commuter pool search results.

What if I need an emergency ride home from work or unexpectedly need to work overtime on a day I rideshare?

One of the most commonly cited reasons for not ridesharing is concern about being stranded at work in the event of illness, accident or emergency. MetrO! Rideshare offers a Guaranteed Ride Home program for eligible commuters who rideshare. This voucher program provides program participants a limited number of free taxi cab rides home from work in case of emergency on a day that you rideshare.

I'm already in a carpool, so what can the MetrO! Rideshare Program do for me?

If your present carpool partner should ever decide not to carpool or if you are looking to add people to your carpool, enrolling in the MetrO! Rideshare Program would prove beneficial. The MetrO! Rideshare Program would furnish you with a list of commuters who could serve as back-ups or additional carpool partners.  Additionally, MetrO! Rideshare participants have the opportunity to register for periodic prizes and also have the benefit of tracking their carpooling statistics and calculating savings to the environment and their pocketbooks.

What can I do if I can't find a match through MetrO! Rideshare?

Please note that you may not have any matches when you first create your MetrO! Rideshare account. This is a new online service, and it will take some time to build a comprehensive database of commuters. Check back often to look for matches.
You may also want to consider changing your profile information and rideshare preferences to broaden the commuter pool: Can you arrive at school or work earlier, leave later or change your hours slightly? Can you meet commuters in a different location or use public transit for part or the entire journey?

Can I use MetrO! Rideshare for occasional (e.g. shopping) or long-distance trips?

The program is intended to assist people who travel from home to work/school. Although we have no issue with alternative commutes, the MetrO! Rideshare system is designed to best help people looking for regular commutes and working/school schedules.

I live in Lincoln, but work in Omaha... will MetrO! Rideshare be able to help me?

Yes. MetrO! Rideshare is available to anyone who commutes to, from, or within the MAPA five county region. In fact, a large number of commuters enrolled in the program either live or work outside of the metro area. 

What are benefits for employers that promote ridesharing?

Promoting ridesharing has many benefits for employers. Specifically, employers who support ridesharing can enjoy reduced employee turnover and absenteeism, increased employee productivity, an expanded recruiting market, and reduced traffic congestion and parking problems.  Additionally, ridesharing is an attractive and cost-effective benefit that can easily be offered to a company’s employees.  Click Here for more information on the how employers can participate and promote MetrO! Rideshare.

How can I ensure that I have limited liability when driving with other commuters?

There are steps that carpoolers can take to ensure that, in the event of an accident or emergency, their liability is limited. Ensure that the registration, license plates, and insurance are up to date. Ask to see a copy of the registration to verify that it is current and ask to see their driver's license. Also, verify that their insurance policy is current. Liability is going to be based on the individual policy that each person has. Review your policy with your agent to ensure that it is sufficient for your driving habits and needs.

 

How will carpooling affect my insurance rates?

Generally, carpooling is going to have little if any impact on insurance rates. If a person is driving drastically less because he or she carpools, then insurance rates do have the capability of going down.

When you do form a carpool, it is important to call your insurance agent and inform them. A few companies offer a discount for carpooling and it is important to evaluate your coverage with your personal agent to see if there is any affect on your coverage or policy.