Student Life > Commuting > AlterNetRides FAQs

AlterNetRides FAQs

​Curious about carpooling with AlterNetRides? Find out more about setting up an account, finding fellow carpoolers and more, and start sharing rides today!

Q: OK, I’m intrigued. Tell me how AlterNetRides works.

AlterNetRides is as simple as 1-2-3.

  1. Become a member.

  2. Set up your ride.

  3. Find someone to rideshare with!

The entire process takes only a few minutes, and you can be on your way to saving yourself time, money and hassles.

To become a member, you have to select a login ID and password and fill in one page of basic information. 

A valid email address is the only real requirement to use AlterNetRides. But don't worry, AlterNetRides protects your privacy at all times. Your email address is not shown to others. AlterNetRides uses a "blind email" feature (similar to Craigslist or other online services) that enables members to contact each other without revealing e-mail addresses.

If you have preselected your destination, you’ll automatically be taken to the Set Up a Ride page. Once you complete this page, most of which is pre-filled, you are immediately taken to the list of others wanting to share rides to your destination. It's fast, simple, and it works!

When you find a potential match, click the “Possible Match/E-mail” button on the Ride Information page. You are given the option to send an e-mail to that person and both rides are flagged as having a “Possible Match.” When an account is flagged, a new button appears on the Member Information page that will list all Possible Match rides.

After you have made arrangements with another rider, return to the Ride Information page and change the status of your ride to “Matched.” This is important, because it is how you remove yourself from the list of riders to a location. Otherwise, you will continue to get e-mails and/or phone calls from others looking for someone to ride with. If you have a van or simply want to find a third or fourth person to rideshare with, you have the option to continue to list your ride for others to find.

Q: What about my privacy? Do you display my personal information to anyone who comes along?

No. AlterNetRides never displays your last name or home address to others. The service shows only your ZIP code, the city/town and state where you live and what AlterNetRides calls your "Starting Point." Your Starting Point is a way of giving others an idea of where you are starting from. Perhaps it's a cross street or train station near your home. You may decide that you want to be picked up from your home, but it’s left to you to disclose your home address after you have spoken to a potential rider and feel comfortable with them. AlterNetRides also allows you to control what phone numbers and email addresses, if any, are displayed. Additionally, the service allows you to use a display name that is different from your actual name. You don't have to disclose any contact information and can instead use the "blind email" feature that allows you to contact a potential ride sharer without using your own email address.

Q: How do I know if it's safe? What assurances are made about the people that use AlterNetRides?

AlterNetRides makes no assurances about the people that use their service. This is, in effect, no different than placing an ad in a newspaper. They don’t verify any of the information. You are responsible for your own safety. 

That said, a few common sense steps can do much to ensure your safety. When you find a match, make sure you: 1) get their full name and address, 2) verify where they work, 3) make sure their driver's license and auto insurance are valid, 4) ask for referrals, 5) meet in person, if possible, before commuting together for the first time.

Q: What happens if there isn't anyone who is a match for me?

The simple answer is: you wait. Once you've set your ride up, it's there, waiting for someone else to come along who is traveling to the same destination from your general area. It might be a few days, or months, later, but one day, you may find an e-mail waiting for you notifying you of a potential match. You can also check back and do a search to see if anyone has joined that you think is a potential match. AlterNetRides purges rides that haven’t had activity for more than six months. Before they do that, they’ll send you an e-mail notifying you that your ride is about to be purged and provide you with a link in the e-mail so you can return and renew your ride for an additional six months. 

Q: What if I need more than one ride? Maybe one for my wife and one for me? We travel to different places and have different schedules.

While DCCCD is partnering with AlterNetRides for rides to our colleges and other locations, you can also sign up for additional destinations and rides on the AlterNetRides website. AlterNetRides allows you to have as many rides set up as you want. 

Q: What happens if my ride ends? Maybe the other person’s schedule changes and he or she doesn't commute to the same place anymore.

AlterNetRides makes it easy. Simply log in and change the status of your ride to “Open," and you will automatically be made available for any other riders. You can immediately search to see if there is anyone else you could commute with. 

Q: What if I want to commute with more than one person?

AlterNetRides allows you to find a match and still be available for others to find you. When you change the status of your ride to “Matched,” you’ll be asked if you want to leave your ride “Open” for others to find. 

Q: What's the difference between the "Commute" trips and "One Time" trips that I see in the List Rides function?

AlterNetRides is designed so that it can be used for both daily commuting and one-time trips. When a ride is set up, the “Frequency” field can be set to your day(s) of preference.
One Time trips require that a date range be entered when the ride is set up. Once the dates entered have passed, your ride is automatically withdrawn. Also with a One Time trip, AlterNetRides automatically widens your search for anyone else who has set up a One Time trip to anywhere in the same city. 

With Commute trips (any ride that uses any Frequency except One Time) AlterNetRides starts off by narrowing the search specifically to the location you selected. That may be a ZIP code or a specific address. You have the option to widen your search to include anyone traveling to anywhere in the same city.

Q: What is the “My Commute Log”?

The My Commute Log feature is an option in AlterNetRides that helps you track your estimated daily and weekly carbon footprint (how much CO2 your commute emits). You’re given options to track your commute as a single rider or with multiple people in your vehicle. AlterNetRides also gives “Bonus Incentive Points” for those using the My Commute Log, which can be redeemed for discounts at various business partners. 

Q: I no longer wish to be a member. How do I remove myself?

If you decide you want to remove your membership, simply return to the AlterNetRides website, log in and click the “Menu” button. From the drop down menu, select “Housekeeping Stuff.” From this screen you can change your status. Select “Delete My Login ID” from the drop down menu and click “Select.” You’ll need to confirm your decision, and your membership will be deleted.