Carpool FAQ

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Carpooling can save you money, time and improve your quality of life by: by splitting driving costs among two or more people, allowing you to receive discount bridge tolls, and avoid traffic by using carpool lanes (HOV/Diamond/express lanes). It’s a great opportunity to meet people while improving the environment. As well, you could be eligible for county financial incentives and/or benefits from by your employer. And don’t forget to join Merge and carpool rewards for tracking your trips using the Merge Commute Tracker.

Yes, there are three types of services:

  • Apps - Find rides when you need them and share the cost of driving. Download a smartphone app!
  • Desktop - Get a free list of carpool partners to connect with people to share rides and the cost of driving.
  • Casual - Drivers and passengers meet at designated locations in the East Bay and travel to downtown San Francisco.

Carpool hours vary depending on where you are traveling.

A carpool consists of two or more people, or three or more people, including the driver, depending on your route. Check requirements and hours of carpool lanes and bridges that are along your commute to take advantage of carpool lanes.

Contact your potential carpool partners to get to know them. Meet in a public place before starting and discuss your carpool. Don't travel with someone you don't trust. 511 Rideshare provides a referral service and does not certify the character of any potential carpool partners. Please review the 511 Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You can drive, ride or share. Carpool every day or just the days that work for you.

Make your origin and/or destination any location to start at and/or end at, or use a Park & Ride Lot or a transit stop near the start/end of your route.

On days you drive, you’ll have your car to get home, but be sure to let fellow carpoolers know about your situation so they can make alternate arrangements. If you're a passenger, see if your employer or the county where you live and work offers a Guaranteed/Emergency Ride Home program. These programs can help you get home in an emergency on a day that you carpool, vanpool, etc. at no cost to you.

Carpooling can save you money by dividing driving expenses between members of the carpool. You can split the costs evenly between people or you can split expenses by how often you rotate driving duties. If everyone drives equally, no money needs to change hands. If you are just a passenger, you can pitch in for gas and other expenses.

Before you start or join a carpool, agree on the costs, schedule, and responsibilities of each participant. Discuss expenses and responsibilities with everyone.

To view a map of Park & Ride Lots:

  1. Visit the 511 Interactive Map.
  2. Select the 'Map Options' icon in the upper right corner of the map on the desktop version and at the bottom of the map on the mobile version.
  3. Click the 'Carpool' map layer.
  4. Click the checkbox next to 'Park & Ride'. Park & Ride lots should now be visible on the Interactive Map.

Register with Merge. Activate your account. View a list of others who match your commute. Contact your matches and see if they are interested in carpooling with you.

Or try apps or casual carpooling.

Merge is a free web-based tool that helps you find carpool and vanpool partners to share your commute.

Create your free account here.

Check your spam folder.  If you did not receive an email that means your registration was not completed or there may be an issue with your service provider.  Try registering again.

First, confirm you are logging into Merge.  Next, make sure you have entered your email address and password correctly; passwords are case-sensitive. If you still cannot log in, use the Forgot Password link.

Confirm that your start and end points and Commute Information are up to date and accurate.  Next consider a nearby alternate start or end point using transit stops, Park and Ride Lots, or other locations that are convenient for you.  Next make sure to select "All Networks" in your commute information so you will view all potential commute partners. You might also consider casual carpool or matching through a carpool matching app.

The Merge Commute Tracker allows you to log your carpool and vanpool commutes so you can see your trip summary, miles traveled and pollution savings from your Merge dashboard or through the Commute Tracker app. You can also earn rewards when you log your carpool trips. Click here to learn more about tracking your trips.

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