by Lily Lowder
July 27, 2020
Join a community of more than 14,000 Alamo Area residents by downloading the Alamo Commutes app or website! You can use the free Alamo Commutes app and website to find a carpool match, earn rewards for recording smart trips, and access an Emergency Ride Home. The forthcoming Alamo Commutes blog posts will answer Frequently Asked Questions on common issues including how to find a carpool match, how to record trips, and how to redeem rewards.
How do I find a carpool match?
- Create your account on the Alamo Commutes app or website. Go to www.alamocommutes.org. Select “Get Rewards” in the navigation bar. From there, you can visit the desktop website or download the app in the iOS or Android app store. Sign up using your email or Facebook account.
- Create your profile. On the website, go to “Account” in the top navigation bar and select “Profile” from the alphabetical list. On the app, go to “Me” in the bottom navigation bar and select “Profile”. Some personal information, such as where you work and your schedule, will help to optimize your match selection. You can also customize the type of carpool match you’re looking for such as smoking or non-smoking, by gender, if you are comfortable being a driver or rider and more.
- Search for carpool matches. On the website, go to “Find Rides”. Select your trip type (work or school commute, single trip, or to a specific event or destination). On the app, go to “Rides”. Type in your origin (such as your home address) and destination (work address).
- Review and contact your matches. On the website, potential matches will display on the left-hand side of the screen by clicking the carpool icon. On the app, matches initially display on the map, indicating their proximity to your origin and destination. You can view the matches as a list by selecting the bulleted list icon on the top left. Select a match to view their associated employer, schedule and contact option.
I’m nervous about carpooling with a stranger…
Have no fear! Make sure you’re filtering your potential matches by preference. For example, you may feel most comfortable carpooling with another female, non-smoker who works at the same company. You can set these preferences in your Profile or while searching for a ride. You can contact potential matches via email to learn more about them. If you have a bad experience, you can block or flag users.
How do I stay safe while carpooling during COVID-19?
To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, you should only carpool with members of your immediate household. If you need to form a new carpool, consider the following:
- Every day, before entering the carpool, all passengers should have their temperature taken.
- Passengers should not join the carpool if they have been potentially exposed to the virus or are feeling ill.
- Limit the number of passengers to 2-3 per vehicle.
- Improve ventilation by opening the car windows.
You can use the Alamo Commutes app or website to speak with a potential carpool match before meeting in person.
I can’t find a match! What do I do?
You can exchange money if you’d like, but it’s not required. If you’re wondering what is a fair exchange, you can use the IRS’ rate for mileage reimbursement. It is inclusive of all of the costs of operating a vehicle, including fuel, maintenance, insurance and depreciation. As of 2020, it’s estimated at 57.5 cents per mile.
Do riders have to pay for gas, etc. when carpooling?
You have a few options. Change the origin or destination to a nearby Park & Ride or other activity center such as a grocery store that’s nearby or on the way.
If you’re using the app, you can also widen the search radius at your origin or destination. The default is set at approximately 2 miles. You can also search for matches “On the way” by selecting the filter icon in the top right.
If you still don’t have any options, then keep your profile up and you’ll receive a message if somebody signs up and would like to set up a carpool with you.
I only need to carpool for a one-time trip. Can I find a match for that?
Yes, you can search for one-time trips using the Alamo Commutes website. This feature is not available yet on our app.
- Go to “Find Rides” in the top navigation bar.
- Select your trip type (work or school commute, single trip, or to a specific event or destination).
- If you select “To an event or destination”, you’ll be able to select from a number of commonly visited locations including malls, theme parks, tourist attractions, and more.
- If you select “For a single trip (shopping, doctor, etc.)”, you can input your origin and destination addresses.
Can I only drive or only ride while carpooling?
Yes, you can set these preferences when creating your profile.
I don’t have an email. How can potential matches contact me?
You can add a phone number to your account and allow people to call or text you. On the website, go to “Account” and select “Contact Info”. On the app, go to “Me” and select “Contact Info”.
I wouldn’t need to carpool every day. Is there some flexibility?
Sure! If you know the days that you’re planning to carpool, you can share those in advance when creating your profile. If you don’t know what days you won’t be able to carpool, you can work that out with your carpool partner. Make sure to give them a heads-up out of courtesy!
If you have any other questions about how to find your carpool match, email firstname.lastname@example.org.