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Frequently Asked Questions


All questions link to each answer.

Who can register for ridesharing?

How does RIDESHARE work?

What is my commitment when I register with RIDESHARE?

What if I'm not sure about carpooling with a stranger?

What is a carpool vs. a vanpool?

How is my personal information used when I register?

What if I need to leave work quickly due to an emergency and I don't have my vehicle at work? Or if I drove, how will my carpool buddies get home?

Is there a charge for this service or to join a carpool or vanpool?

What if my matches aren't convenient?

If I commute by bike, can I be matched to other bikers?

Can I track my environmental savings from changing my mode of transportation?

Can I log in to RIDESHARE with my Facebook account?

What area does the RIDESHARE program serve?

How much does it cost?

Can I register and find matches without access to the Internet?

What benefits are there to carpooling and/or bike buddy commuting?

What are bike buddies?

Is Wisconsin RIDESHARE on Facebook?

How much does my commute cost me without carpooling?

Is my personal information secure?

Where can I meet my carpool/bike buddy?

What if my carpool/bike buddy arrangement doesn't work out?

How do I edit/delete my information from the program?

Who can register for ridesharing?
Wisconsin commuters who want to check out their work commuting options can register to find matches for ridesharing services. Commuters who are interested in travel into or out of the state or for occasional trips are also welcome to register. As the database grows, your matching opportunities will increase.

How does RIDESHARE work?
When you provide your origin, destination, and work times, the computer software scans the database for others making the same commute within a selected radius. The results of the scan provide a match report with contact information. The report is also print ready. Your information will be provided to other matching commuters if you maintain your registration in the database.

What is my commitment when I register with RIDESHARE?
Registering and receiving a match report doesn't obligate you to participate but gives you the information so you can select the options you prefer. You may remove your information at any time.

What if I'm not sure about carpooling with a stranger?
Contact your carpool match by phone or email. Then meet in a neutral location to discuss arrangements. Feel free to bring a friend for support. If you're still uncomfortable, then simply decline the offer.

What is a carpool vs. a vanpool?
A carpool is two or more commuters in their own vehicles, often exchanging driving responsibilities. Carpools are most successful when flexible. A vanpool is a state-owned or business-owned 8-12 passenger van with a designated driver and coordinator. Vanpools run on a fixed route/time schedule established by the occupants in the van.

How is my personal information used when I register?
RIDESHARE uses your home address and work address to scan for matches. Your home street address and phone number will not appear on another person's match report. You will, however, need to provide work phone, cell phone number, or email address so future matches can contact you. The information you provide is used exclusively for the purpose of assisting registrants to find better ways to commute and is not distributed or sold for any other purposes. All data transmission over the Internet of sensitive data is encrypted and secure.

What if I need to leave work quickly due to an emergency and I don't have my vehicle at work? Or if I drove, how will my carpool buddies get home?
You may be able to take advantage of Guaranteed Ride Home programs that provide alternate transportation if you are at work when an emergency arises for you or your carpool buddies. For more information contact either rideshare@cityofmadison.com if you work in the Madison area, or rideshare@dot.wi.gov for other areas in Wisconsin.

Is there a charge for this service or to join a carpool or vanpool?
There is no charge to receive a match report. How much you pay/charge when you join/form a rideshare arrangement depends on the circumstances of the participants. Discuss expenses and reach an agreement with all involved.

What if my matches aren't convenient?
You may want to re-run your search by changing your preferences or with a variety of home and work radius'. If you still need help, contact us for an advanced search at rideshare@cityofmadison.com if you work in the Madison area, or rideshare@dot.wi.gov for other areas in Wisconsin.

If I commute by bike, can I be matched to other bikers?
Yes, you can. On the My Account - Preferences page 2 you will be asked if you are interested in bike partner matching. In addition to finding bike partners, bike trails will appear on match maps in the bike partner match result.

Can I track my environmental savings from changing my mode of transportation?
After submitting your registration, your personal Welcome Page comes up. Click on Commute Calendar to record your commute. As you do so, you will see a summary showing your environmental and financial savings.

Can I log in to RIDESHARE with my Facebook account?
Yes - after you have registered in the RIDESHARE database you can link your profile to your Facebook profile. Once you do so, you can log in with Facebook. When you navigate to your commuter matches that also have a Facebook page you can see more about your potential carpool match candidates who have also linked their profiles to their Facebook accounts.

What area does the RIDESHARE program serve?
RIDESHARE serves all of Wisconsin and the bordering counties in neighboring states (IA, IL, MI, MN).

How much does it cost?
Registration in the program is free. After running matches, it is up to you to contact those who you match with and work out an arrangement including cost sharing.

Can I register and find matches without access to the Internet?
Yes, if you don’t have an email address, drive a car, or have access to the Internet you can still register with RIDESHARE.

  • Contact us and a RIDESHARE staff representative will run a matchlist for you and send you your matches.
  • You then will have to contact your matches to arrange a carpool or ride.

What benefits are there to carpooling and/or bike buddy commuting?

What are bike buddies?
Two or more bicyclists biking to work together. RIDESHARE can match you with other bicyclists going your way. You and your 'buddy' can be matched by experience level.

Is Wisconsin RIDESHARE on Facebook?
While the program does not have its own Facebook page, you can integrate Facebook with your RIDESHARE account. This will allow you and others to see public profiles when considering a match.

How much does my commute cost me without carpooling?
You can figure your out-of-pocket expenses as well as your environmental costs with the RIDESHARE calculator.

Is my personal information secure?
Your home street address is not shared on matchlists, nor is your land-line phone number. When you register you can choose how you would like to be contacted.
Also, as you submit your registration, there is a 3-step process to securing your data and setting up your password before you can run matches.

Where can I meet my carpool/bike buddy?
Wisconsin has over 100 park and ride lots ​throughout Wisconsin that are ideal to meet your carpool, vanpool, or bike buddy. Parking is free. Most lots are adjacent to or near freeway ramps, have overnight parking, and many are served by transit.

What if my carpool/bike buddy arrangement doesn't work out?
Before terminating the arrangement, check for additional matches that could join your carpool. Additional people in the 'pool' change the dynamics. Your new matchlist may also offer you a carpool buddy.

How can I edit or delete my information from the program?
Log in with your email address and password. The options for both editing or deleting your information are available on your welcome page.