Frequently Asked QuestionsXX

Q Ok, I am 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 requires the selection of a login id, password and one page of basic information. 

A valid email address is the only real requirement to use AlterNetRides.  But don't worry, we protect your privacy at all times.  You email is not shown to others.  AlterNetRides uses a "blind email" feature that enables members contact each other without revealing email addresses.

If you have pre-selected your destination, you will automatically be taken to the "Set Up A Ride" page.  Once you complete this one page, most of which is pre-filled, you are immediately taken to the list of others wanting to rideshare to your destination.  It's fast, simple and works!

When you find someone who is a potential match, click on the "Possible Match/Email!" button on the Ride Information page.  You are given the option to send an email to that person and both rides are "flagged" as having a "Possible Match".  When an account is marked, 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 and change the status of your ride to "Matched! Found a Ride!".  This is important because it is how you remove yourself from the list of riders to a location.  Otherwise, you will continue to get emails and/or phone calls from others looking for someone to ride with.  If you have a van or simply want to find a 3rd or 4th person to rideshare with, you are given the option to leave your ride available for others to find.

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

No.  First off, AlterNetRides never displays your last name or personal address to others.  What we show to others is your zip code, the city/town and state where you live and something we call your "Pick Up Spot".  Your "Pick Up Spot" is a way of giving others an idea of where you are starting from.  Perhaps it's the cross street near your home or a train station.  It could be that you DO want to be picked up from your home, but it is left to you to disclose your personal address after you have spoken to a potential rider and feel comfortable with them.  We also allow you to control what phone numbers and if your email address is displayed. Additionally, we allow you to use a different name that others see.  And, in fact, you don't have to disclose ANY contact information by means of our "blind email" feature that allows you to contact another without using your own email address.

Q Ok... but how do I know if it's safe?  What assurances do you make about the people that use AlterNetRides?

First off, we want to make it crystal clear: we make absolutely NO assurances about the people that use AlterNetRides.  This is, in effect, no different than placing an ad in a newspaper. We do NOT verify any of the information.  You are responsible for your own safety

That said, we believe a few common sense steps can do much to insure 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 when I go through all this trouble and there isn't anyone who is a match for me?
A The simple answer is... you wait.  You still have to make that commute anyway, don't you?  Once you've set your ride up, it's there... waiting for someone else to come along that is traveling to the same place from your general area.  It might be a few days, or months later, but one day, you may find an email 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 at anytime. We do purge rides that have had no activity for more than 6 months.  Before we do, we sent you an email notifying you that your ride is about to be purged and provide you with a link in the email where you can return and "renew" your ride for an additional 6 months.
Q What if I search for my destination and don't find anyone. Is there any way to broaden my search to include places NEAR where I am going?
A YES!  AlterNetRides allows you to broaden your search for any location in the same zip code or even anywhere in the same city as your destination!  It may be you find no one traveling to your destination, but there is someone commuting to someplace nearby that you can make arrangements with!
Q I heard about this web site from a friend who's using it, but I don't find my destination when I use your List Rides function.  How can I get my destination listed?
A AlterNetRides is designed so that locations can be set up in our database as destinations. For example: a large business park; hospitals; schools; colleges, etc. You may use the Contact Us function to email us suggested new locations. There is a subscription fee for locations.  However, ALL zip codes are loaded into our database and rides can be set up to any zip code.
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?
A AlterNetRides allows you to have as many rides set up as you want.
Q What happens if my ride ends? Maybe the other person changes jobs and doesn't commute to the same place.
A AlterNetRides makes it easy. Simply login 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 wanted to commute with more than one person?  I want to really save on gas and driving so I want 3 or 4 people in the car!
A We applaud your spirit and make it easy. 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 will be asked if you wish to leave your ride "Open" for others to find.
Q What's the difference between "Commute" trips and "One Time" trips that I see in the List Rides function?
A AlterNetRides is designed so that it can be used for both daily commuting and one time trips.  When a ride is set up, there is a field called "Frequency" that must be set to "Weekdays" or "One Time" or "Mondays" or "Tuesdays", etc. 

"One Time" trips require a date range be entered when the ride is set up.  After all, if you are hoping to find someone to help drive home for the Christmas holidays, you wouldn't want your trip still posted in July, would you?  When a "One Time" 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" we start off narrowing the search specifically to the location you selected.  That may be a zip code or a specific location.  You have the option to widen your search to include anyone traveling to anywhere in the same city.

Q I no longer wish to be a member.  How do I remove myself?
A In the event you wish to removed your membership from AlterNetRides simply return to AlterNetRides, login and click on the Change Member Info button.  This will take you to the page where you can change the "Status" of your membership to "Delete".  You will need to confirm your decision to delete yourself but then your membership will be deleted automatically.