Houston has a lot of cars and even more empty seats. We could all get where we want to go a little faster if we filled some of those seats. The tools listed below can help identify people taking similar trips as you so you can share the ride, save time by taking HOV lanes, and save on gas money.
Here are a few tools to help you identify a carpool partner:
Houston METRO provides information about High Occupancy Vehicle and High Occupancy Toll lanes (HOV and HOT lanes).
An online carpooling service to match people willing to share an empty seat with those in need of a ride. Visit houston-riding.metropia.com and enter your basic trip information; you’ll be notified via email when a trip match is made.
METRO STAR’s Ridematching Service
An online ridematching service to match people with similar trips. Register here.
A free smartphone app that matches people taking similar trips. Drivers with the Waze app can set up a carpool account that matches them with riders going to a nearby location, and then review potential carpool partner profiles to choose the right match and offer a ride. Those hoping to catch a ride must download the Waze Carpool app, create a profile, and can then begin requesting rides.
Once both parties confirm the ride, the app provides the driver directions to a pick-up and drop-off spot near the rider’s destination. The app lets riders reimburse drivers for gas used during the ride at $0.54/mile per the 2018 IRS standard mileage rate.
A vanpool is a group of 5 to 15 commuters who save money, time and stress by sharing their ride in a STAR van. METRO STAR serves an eight-county region, which includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller and Harris Counties so you don’t need to live inside the METRO service area in order to participate in a vanpool.
Register to find others who live and work near you and have similar schedules. You can also email STAR@ridemetro.org. Many employers in the Energy Corridor provide financial support to employees as a transportation benefit to help further reduce the individual monthly STAR cost. Ask your employer today.
STAR riders and bus patrons without midday service can sign up for the Emergency Ride/Guaranteed Ride Home program. The free service provides commuters a way home in the event of a midday emergency, up to three times per calendar year. Sign up here.
Questions about how it works? Visit the STAR FAQ page.
Vanpoolers get free use of HOV lanes, which makes their commute faster than driving alone. METRO provides information about High Occupancy Vehicle and High Occupancy Toll lanes (HOV and HOT lanes).