The month of October is Rideshare Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia. What this means for you as a RIDE Solutions member is that you can win a $100 gift card just for sharing a ride with others any time this month. Please read on to learn more!
For the purpose of this campaign, ridesharing refers to two or more individuals sharing a vehicle to commute to a general or specific location for work or school (college, university, etc.), and can include either carpooling or vanpooling. Whenever a RIDE Solutions member logs at least one rideshare trip during the month of October, that member will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card, which will be awarded by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).
RIDE Solutions Membership and the App
If you’re already a RIDE Solutions member, you most likely already have and use the RIDE Solutions app, and are likely familiar with its basic functions. However, you may not yet be a RIDE Solutions member yet, and if that’s the case, it’s free to join with no obligations or costs, aside from perhaps chipping in for gas money or to pay for a vanpool. Simply visit our website, www.ridesolutions.org, and select “Login/Create Account.” At that point, just provide your first and last name, your email address, and a password, and that’s it! You can update your profile later.
How to Find Someone to Carpool with Using the RIDE Solutions App
If you are already carpooling with someone, keep doing what you’re doing, but don’t forget to log your trips! However, if you would like to find one or more carpool partners to share your commute with, our app is designed to match you with other RIDE Solutions members going your way! To do this, just follow these steps:
- Log into the app.
- Select “Rides” or “Find Rides.”
- Next, you’ll be prompted to identify the purpose of your trip. If you wish to be eligible to win a gift card, you’ll select “For my commute (to work or school),” because the other options will not qualify you for the drawing.
- Next, you’ll be prompted to provide your origin (starting point) and destination, which can be either a town, city, or a specific address.
- Let’s say you’re commuting from Lynchburg to Roanoke. The app currently indicates nine carpool match possibilities for a commute from Lynchburg to Roanoke.
- At this point, select the car icon with the “9” next to it. Once you do this, you’ll be provided with a list of the available members.
- When you click on any one of the available members along your route, information about each member, including gender, the organization for which they are employed or their school, whether or not they smoke, and other information, may be available. In some instances, a photo of the person will also be available.
- By selecting “Contact,” you can anonymously contact the individual you choose to make them aware that you are interested in traveling with them. At this point, just wait for their response.
You may wish to become part of a vanpool, and in this case please keep in mind that only one official vanpool currently services the RIDE Solutions service area. This vanpool, operated by Commute with Enterprise, travels between Blacksburg and Salem, and may stop at locations in between, such as Christiansburg. If you wish to ride with this vanpool, simply follow the steps above, but instead of clicking on the car icon, click on the van icon. Vanpooling is becoming a more popular option for commuters here in Virginia, and it is likely that additional vanpools will begin in the near future. However, if you’d like to start a vanpool, please contact the RIDE Solutions program in your area to find out how.
Logging Your Trips
In order to be eligible to win the gift card, you’ll need to log your trips into the RIDE Solutions app. Again, you’ll need to log a minimum of one trip during this month of October to be automatically entered for a chance to win. To log your trips, sign into the app, and then select “Trips,” followed by “Record a Trip,” after which you’ll simply follow the prompts from there.
In addition to the chance to win a gift card, each time you log a trip or a telework session in the app, you’ll earn 100 points that you can use for discounts on shopping (brick and mortar or online shopping), dining, activities, and services. You can instead use your accumulated points to enter periodic raffles to win great prizes such as gift cards. When you initially create a RIDE Solutions account, you’ll automatically be awarded 1,000 points – an equivalent of 10 trips – to give you a head-start. Again, to register to become a RIDE Solutions member, visit www.ridesolutions.org.
Commute!VA is a program provided by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), which manages a website offering resources to commuters as well as employers. The site’s link at the top entitled “Find Rides,” will present you with an interactive map that you can use to find the commuter assistance program that serves your community in Virginia. The “Commuters” link will provide you with information about a variety of transportation modes to get around, and ways in which you can access them. The “Employers” link provides informational resources to employers with regard to employer-based commuter programs. Commute!VA can be accessed at https://commuteva.org/.