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King County Metro Transit, City of Redmond team up to launch pilot real-time ridesharing

Summary

If you work in the Southeast Redmond/Willows Road area you can now find out who else is going your way thanks to a new ridesharing partnership between King County Metro Transit and the City of Redmond.

Story

If you work in the Southeast Redmond/Willows Road area you can now find out who else is going your way thanks to a new ridesharing partnership between King County Metro Transit and the City of Redmond.

Metro and the city have teamed up to test a first for our region - a form of carpooling that uses mobile technology to match riders and drivers instantly. The service allows carpooling to take place in real time without the need for pre-arranged or regular schedules.

The pilot Real-Time Rideshare program offers commuters new alternatives to driving alone. The program uses iCarpool, an app developed by a local technology company, to match riders and drivers instantly, making it possible for people with variable work schedules to try carpooling.

Here’s how the service works:

  • Before heading to work, participating drivers post the route they plan to take. Through the app, others can view the posted trip and message the driver that they would like to share the ride. Approximately 50 volunteers have already signed up to be drivers for the program.
  • No money changes hands. Reimbursement for gas and maintenance is done directly through the app. Riders pay for the ride with credits using a credit card. Driver payments are capped at the federal rate for mileage reimbursement.
  • Reimbursement is based on a set rate; riders pay $0.26 per mile (after a flat rate of $1.50 for the first 5 miles). Drivers are reimbursed $0.17 per mile.
  • Riders and drivers rate each other after each ride and iCarpool verifies driving records to help ensure safe rides.

Some incentives to get you going

For a limited time, workers in Redmond who sign up for the program can receive incentives of up to $100 in gift cards or iCarpool ride credits. The more you carpool, the more rewards you can earn. Metro is also offering a special “Emergency Ride Home” benefit to riders who link their account to the Redmond Real-Time Rideshare network on RidehshareOnline.com. If a user has no way to get home or needs to leave work early due to an emergency, the program will pay the cost of the trip using Uber or Lyft transportation services. This incentive is good for up to eight trips per year.

And the program offers yet another incentive – the ability to access HOV and I-405 express toll lanes using a Good to Go Flex Pass. This added benefit will save both drivers and riders money and time.

Find out how you can sign up to be a driver or rider by visiting Metro’s Real-Time Rideshare website – or visit the City of Redmond.