So what’s it like to really be in a rideshare?
We asked Jen, who kindly agreed to share her ridesharing experience with everyone.
Jen rideshares with Susan from Ladner to downtown Vancouver—and actually really enjoys it!
What’s your current rideshare arrangement? How did you come to get together with Susan?
Susan picks me up at a designated spot every morning. We live and work within a few blocks of each other, so it’s convenient for us both. Because we leave work at different times in the evening, we do not rideshare home. I take the Canada Line and connecting bus home in the evening. Anyone looking to rideshare from downtown to Ladner in the evenings?? :-)
How did you get involved in ridesharing in the first place? Have you been ridesharing for a long time, or is it new?
About three years ago I was having trouble getting on the South Delta buses heading into Vancouver. They were overly crowded, and I was finding that I had to wait almost half an hour in the cold just to get on.
I was prepared to start driving in to avoid this, then my husband suggested that I try the Jack Bell Ride-Share program. I went to the online Ride-Share site, created a profile, and within a few days I had two matches. Both people lived and worked within a few blocks from me.
Did you have any reservations about ridesharing? For example, about safety, about matching your schedules with someone you don’t know, or about getting along with your ridesharing partner?
Not really. Before I agreed to rideshare, I met with both people who contacted me, and they were friendly and willing to be flexible so that the arrangement worked for both of us.
I would encourage anyone who is considering ridesharing to arrange to meet with the person ahead of time to get acquainted and determine from there if this is someone you want to rideshare with. I think overall though, people who apply for ridesharing just want to make their commute easier and more cost-efficient.
What do you like best about ridesharing?
In my case, I found a wonderful friend! I’m not a morning person, and usually not very chatty at 7 a.m. However, Susan and I hit it off so well that our drives are filled with engaging and entertaining conversations that make the commute go by fast. I look forward to our time together.
Would you recommend ridesharing to others? What do you think they would get out of it?
I recommend that those who are looking to share the cost of commuting or take advantage of HOV lanes consider ridesharing. Anyone who has a consistent routine on most days would benefit.
Some might think that if they have to do an occasional errand or something on their way to or from work would be reason not to consider carpooling. However in my experience, when Susan has to do a detour, she lets me know and we can adjust our schedules accordingly. In the three years that we have been carpooling together, it has never been an issue. I think if both parties state their expectations up front, then there is less chance of misunderstandings.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
It’s a lot easier than people might think. Registering on the website is very user-friendly and you can see if you have any matches within seconds.
I think the Ride-Share program is a highly under-utilized service. I see one person in almost every vehicle going to and from work every day from the same neighbourhoods and I’m certain that if people took the time to try carpooling, it would cut costs for commuters and reduce the extra cars on the roads.
If I had known how easy it is and how much time it saves me, I would have done this years ago. And you never know — you just might meet a new friend!
Thank you so much for sharing, Jen!
If you’re interested in ridesharing, you can get started at ride-share.com, the free online ride-matching database from Jack Bell Ride-Share where Jen found her rideshare.
Again, if you sign up during TransLink Ride-Share Week, you could win gas coupons and ferry passes. (Current ridesharers will also be entered! Check this post to find out more!)
And don’t forget to enter the TransLink Ride-Share Week Photo Contest, where you could win a $100 Chevron gas coupon!