Do drivers need to apply before starting to offer rides? What are the requirements for becoming a driver? Is there an application fee?
Drivers go through a separate application process. In order to use iCarpool as a driver and offer rides, your driver application must be approved by us. Follow this link to find out information on driver requirements: Driver Requirements.
We do not charge a fee for the application. We do need you to send us your DMV record with your driving history and you may have to pay a fee to your state department for procuring the DMV record. However, we do provide a one-time reimbursement of up to $20 to all applicants towards the cost of getting their DMV record regardless of whether your application is approved or not – for most states, this means the full amount and so applying to become a driver is completely free of any cost. To be eligible for this reimbursement, your application must be complete with all required documents.
I’m not able to set my employer in the app. The app tells me “Your employer network is not set up in iCarpool.” What should I do?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your employer email address [For example: email@example.com]. We’ll set up the employer network and get back to you.
I just got approved as a driver. What next?
Review the documentation provided. In the app, you should be able to switch to the driver mode and add trips you make regularly. For example, your morning trip to work and your evening trip back home. Once you’ve set up your trips, you can use iCarpool at any time to share rides on those trips.
How does the system calculate the money I receive?
The system credits your account @ $0.17 per mile for the distance the rider travels with you. So for example, if you give a ride to somebody for 10 miles, you get $1.70. If there were two riders for 10 miles, you get $3.40.
Keep in mind iCarpool uses a share-the-expense carpool model. The fees from the rider are their share towards the expense of the trip which can offset your cost of driving. The app caps the money you receive using rates published by the IRS such that you cannot receive amounts beyond your cost of driving.
Why does iCarpool not allow drivers to make a profit by providing rides?
The iCarpool app caps the amount drivers receive using reimbursement rates published by the IRS such that drivers cannot receive amounts beyond their ordinary costs of driving. As drivers cannot profit but only recover partial costs, there is no incentive for them to do any extra driving or make trips for the sole purpose of picking up and dropping off riders and instead, they limit their use to offer rides along their way between their origin and destination on a trip they were already making. Typically, the not-for-profit nature of such carpooling implies the regulations for commercial vehicles do not apply and commuters who carpool are not commercial operators.
The iCarpool app is aimed at trip reduction and taking cars off our roadways by utilizing empty seats in a driver’s car on a trip they were already making. Drivers use the iCarpool platform to offer rides for different reasons including (a) to offset their ordinary driving cost, (b) to cut commute time using HOV lanes, (c) to turn their solo commute into a fun social time, (d) to reduce cars on the road and thus curb traffic congestion and automobile emissions, etc.
When and how can I withdraw money collected in my account?
You can convert redeemable credits to cash:
– when your redeemable credits balance exceeds $50 OR
– when you want to close your account
When you’re ready to convert redeemable credits to cash, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “DRIVER EARNED CREDITS WITHDRAWAL” and include your full mailing address in the email. We’ll send you a check with the amount equal to the amount of redeemable credits (earned) in your account on the day we issue the check. You must use the email address used in your iCarpool profile to request the withdrawal.
Can I use ride credits collected in my account to take rides?
Yes. The money you receive by giving rides is available in the app as redeemable ride credits. You can use redeemable ride credits to pay for a ride. When you book a ride, the app automatically uses your redeemable ride credits if required. Many of us choose to drive on some days and ride on other days. The ability to use the credits you receive as a driver to pay for rides is designed to help in this scenario.
What about tolls and parking costs?
These are the driver’s responsibility. We understand driving is expensive and your commute can cost a lot. At iCarpool, we help drivers offset their driving costs through carpooling. However, we don’t guarantee that costs of driving are split evenly between riders and drivers. For instance some cars may give a higher mileage than others. Some drivers may prefer premium fuel, encounter tolls depending on the time or the lane used or they may encounter other costs which are not direct driving costs such as parking. The iCarpool app does not account for the exact mileage a car gives, tolls or parking costs.
The pricing we use is simple to understand. Fees charged to the rider are fixed at $0.26 per mile – there are no variable costs and there is no surge pricing. The app does a cashless credits transfer to the driver based on each ride provided fixed at $0.17 per mile per rider. Our drivers are not taxi type of drivers but instead commuters who we think are superheroes. They offer rides during their commute and they do this for many reasons – taking the HOV, offsetting their commute cost, environmental, helping their community, etc.
I have a new car. How can I update that in my driver profile?
If you have a new car, send us an email with two pictures – preferably one front and one side view showing the entire vehicle along with the following: [License Plate, Year, Make, Model]. We will update the vehicle in your profile.
The rider didn’t show up. What should I do?
You could mark the rider as No Show, in which case the rider would not be charged a fee. If you were late, chances are the rider had left by the time you arrived. If you think it’s a mistake on the rider’s part, you can block the rider so you won’t be matched with that rider again.
In the app, I marked the rider as picked up incorrectly. How can I correct this?
– If you’re at the stop and the rider is not there, initiate the drop-off immediately. When the pickup and drop-off locations are the same, the rider is not charged a fee.
– If you haven’t reached the stop, make your way to the stop and pick up the rider. Proceed with the ride normally, but let the rider know they can contact iCarpool support for a partial refund in case the fee charged is higher.
In the app, I marked the rider as dropped-off incorrectly. How can I correct this?
– If the rider is still in the car, proceed with the ride normally and drop-off the rider as agreed upon earlier. Send us a message with details about the issue as soon as you can so we can discuss the situation with you and look for the best resolution.
– If the rider left a while ago, proceed with your trip normally. Send us a message with details about the issue as soon as you can so we can discuss the situation with you and look for the best resolution.
How many riders can I take along at one time?
Your vehicle must provide room and seat belts for all riders in your car. You can take up to 5 riders at the same time on one trip. The iCarpool Platform does not allow you to drive with more than 5 passengers in your vehicle at the same time.
I’m an approved driver – but I can’t switch to the driver mode in the app. What’s going on?
Your driver account is automatically deactivated if your drivers license on file expires. If this happens, you can send in your renewed license to email@example.com and your account will be reactivated.
What if I’m not comfortable picking up the rider?
Of course, your personal safety comes first. If you do not feel comfortable letting the passenger in to the car, feel free to say no and drive away. And let us know of your concerns especially with respect to safety and security so we may take prompt action. If you incorrectly marked the rider as picked up, drop-off the rider immediately.
Note – the iCarpool Platform is an inclusive community where diverse community members have mutual respect for each other and do not discriminate based on race, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, marital status, age, or sexual orientation. Riders and drivers who violate the anti-discrimination policy are liable to be removed from the system. If the rider was not picked up because of discrimination, we may take action including removing your account from the system.
Are the payments I receive taxable?
We do not provide tax related advice. If you have questions about taxability of payments you receive via the iCarpool Platform, please consult an independent tax advisor. Here’s some related information for your reference. According to the IRS, payments you receive from non-profit carpools are not to be included in your income.
What are some best practices as a driver?
– Safety always comes first! Drive safely. Make sure you use a phone mount and use the phone only when you’ve safely stopped and are not driving.
– Maintain a clean car.
– Make sure you start with enough battery charge for your phone or better yet connect a car charger when offering rides.
– Instead of playing music, strike a conversation – social interactions enrich your experiences with the iCarpool Platform.