Technical requirements for using the iCarpool app can be found here: App Requirements.
I take the bus/bike/vanpool to work. How can iCarpool help me?
If you ride the bus/bike/vanpool, you’re already doing something awesome for our roadways and the planet. We love all of those modes too. But there are days those options may not work out. For example, on a rainy day, you might prefer not to ride your bike. Or you might work late and miss your bus or vanpool ride. If you find yourself in this situation, try out iCarpool. With iCarpool, there is no long-term commitment and each carpool is for a single trip. It’s flexible – so you could carpool one day and bike another day. Or you could carpool one way and use the bus the other way. Keep in mind iCarpool is a new app. Have a backup plan in case you don’t find a match.
I just signed up. What next?
In the app, add your morning commute trip and evening commute trip. Make sure the locations are correct and the time reflects the time you normally leave. If you have matching carpools, review the time and location of these and see if these would work for you. If you don’t have matching carpools, the app keeps a lookout. When there are new matches for your trips, you’ll be notified. Make sure you don’t logout of the app so you receive match notifications.
How do I redeem a promo code?
Open the iCarpool app and go to the “Payment” screen. Enter the code in the “Promotions and Discount Codes” section. Upon entering a valid promo code, your ride credits will increase corresponding to the credits provided by the code. In case your promo code doesn’t work, remember some promo codes can’t be used again and some promo codes are in limited supply (first come first serve). If you are using a referral code, remember that referral codes are only valid for new signups and you can only use one referral code.
To receive $25 in ride credits to start out, use the ICARPOOL25 promo code.
How much does iCarpool cost? How much money will I be charged?
iCarpool uses a share-the-expense carpool model and riders pay a flat fee of $0.26 per mile through the app that is used as their share towards the expense of the trip. There’s no surge pricing and the fee doesn’t change because of peak traffic or time taken. A trip using iCarpool is probably cheaper than your morning latte.
Our map provider tells us the distance between your pickup location and your drop-off location. We multiply the distance with $0.26 to calculate the amount. Say for example, if the distance between your pickup location and drop-off location is 10 miles, your account will be charged $2.60. There is a minimum fee of $1.50 which is used for trips up to 5 miles.
Do I need to pay the driver separately?
You do not have to pay the driver separately. iCarpool takes care of the transaction fully without any cash being involved. When your ride is complete, corresponding ride credits based on the distance you traveled are deducted from your account automatically. Of course, there’s no tipping – this ain’t taxi.
How can iCarpool afford to charge only $0.26 per mile when other services like Taxi and ride for hire apps charge between $2 and $6 per mile?
In case of taxi and other ride for hire services, drivers make a profit from the trip and the service is their primary or secondary job giving them income. Drivers take riders around on multiple trips throughout the day to earn money.
iCarpool is very different. The app does not provide the driver a means to make a profit and the service caps the money received by the driver using reimbursement rates defined by the IRS. The 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. Our drivers are commuters who are offering rides on their way to work or on their way back from work. The drivers are going the same way as you – they are anyway making the trip from a place near your origin and to a place near your destination. They use iCarpool to convert their empty seats into rides and thereby offset their ordinary driving cost to work and cut commute time using HOV lanes. The iCarpool driver is typically your friendly neighbor or colleague with a car who doesn’t want a boring solo commute and someone who realizes carpooling can save them time and money and also help the environment.
How do I add ride credits to my account? When should I add ride credits and how much?
You can add ride credits to your account by purchasing them through the app OR by using a promo code. Because its all done in the app on your mobile phone, you can do this on the go, at any time and place. When you purchase credits, you can add ride credits anywhere from $25 up to $50 (only multiples of 5).
Typically, you purchase ride credits that last you for a few rides and add more credits when your balance runs out. You must ensure your account has sufficient ride credits in order to be able to book your ride. If you do not have sufficient ride credits, the app will tell you so and not allow you to book the ride.
Should I get in the front seat or the back seat?
This ain’t a taxi. You should get in the front seat if it’s not occupied. If there are multiple people boarding, you could discuss the seating before getting in. For instance, let the person getting down the last take the front seat. Of course, some of us are big and tall – so be considerate in giving up front seats so everyone can be comfortable.
Can I book a ride for someone else? Can I bring my friends along?
At this time, you can only book a ride for yourself. If you have friends coming along, they will need to use iCarpool to book their own seats.
Can I bring a pet along? What about service animals?
Our drivers are role models in the community who love helping out their community and the planet. We love your four-legged friends, but ask you to keep in mind that not all drivers are comfortable with having animals in their cars. If you want to bring your pet along, you will need the driver’s permission. As soon as you book your ride, use the call button in the app to call the driver and get the driver’s permission. Many drivers are ok with furry creatures entering their car, but some may have allergies or concerns about their vehicles, so don’t take it personally if your request is refused. Remember, our drivers are not “for hire” drivers but probably your colleagues and neighbors who are carpooling using their personal cars. We cannot require our drivers to accommodate service animals.
Do I have to rate the driver? How do ratings work?
We are working to build a community where we have high standards for both drivers and riders. Ratings are a way you can provide feedback if the driver met your expectations and thus influence the iCarpool community. It’s optional to rate – but highly recommended. We use a simple 5 star rating system. After each ride, riders rate drivers and vice versa. When choosing a rating, consider whether your driver was friendly, safe, considerate, and made you want to use iCarpool again. 5 stars means the ride was great. 4 stars would mean you’re happy, but there’s room for improvement. Any rating 3 onwards and below indicates that you were unhappy with the ride. If you rate someone 1 star, you’ll never be matched with them again. If a driver’s average falls below 3 out of 5 stars, we review their profile and take action.
Remember – payments should never be factored into ratings. Since the payments are generated and processed by the system, any concerns about the price of a ride should be directed to the support team at iCarpool. The price of a ride does not depend on the route the driver takes – it purely depends on the distance between your pickup location and your drop-off location as calculated by our map provider. Also do not factor any feedback regarding the app or the iCarpool service that is unrelated to the driver. Such feedback should be directed to the support team at iCarpool.
I went to the stop but the driver didn’t come. So what should I do?
You can look at your boarding pass to see if the driver has started the trip and the current location of the driver. You can cancel the checkin if the driver has not yet started the trip. If you were late, chances are the driver had left by the time you arrived. In this case, the driver would mark you a No Show and no credits will be charged to your account.
You could always search again to see if you can find another ride using iCarpool.
What about smoking or open containers?
We have a strict non-smoking policy for both riders and drivers when in a carpool. Some people may have respiratory issues or may be bothered by the smell, so in the spirit of respect for everyone in our community, we ask that you refrain. Also we have a strict policy – absolutely no open containers for alcohol in the car regardless of whether you are a driver or rider.
What if I’m not comfortable getting in to the driver’s car?
Of course, your personal safety comes first. If you do not feel comfortable getting in to the driver’s car, feel free to say no and walk away. And let us know of your concerns especially with respect to safety and security so we may take prompt action. If your account is incorrectly charged for a ride you did not take, contact us immediately and provide us details so we can help resolve the matter.
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.
Where should I report a driver?
If you experience an issue during your ride using iCarpool that threatens your personal safety, make sure to take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and get to a safe place. Call the authorities if necessary, and let us know. We have a zero tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol for drivers. If you are suspicious the driver is under the influence, do not get into the car or take all necessary steps to protect yourself and leave the car as soon as you can. If you are suspicious the driver is under the influence, you can report it to the local authorities immediately and also let us know. We collect reports on our drivers and take action.