511 | 511 Contra Costa

4 Ways to Find a Carpool

Think it’s difficult to find a carpool? Not only is it easy, we’ve got four ways for you to do it:

Scoop: The Scoop app arranges ride-by-ride carpools for morning and afternoon commute periods, Monday through Friday.  Indicate your origin, destination and departure time before the pre-commute deadline, and the app will match you with one or more people headed your way.

511.org’s Ridematch Page: Create an account with 511’s Ridematch Service, and it will use your commute information to match you with a regular carpool.

Waze Carpool: With the Waze Carpool app you can choose the people you want to carpool with based on detailed profiles, star ratings, and filters like same-gender & coworkers only. As with Scoop, there is no long-term commitment – each carpool is booked separately. Unlike Scoop, Waze Carpool allows you to plan more than one commute period ahead. In fact, you can arrange your carpools for the entire week.

Connect Using Nextdoor: Nextdoor is a social networking service which allows you to easily connect with the people in your neighborhood. Once you’ve created an account, it’s easy to post to Nextdoor and ask if anyone sharing a commute similar to yours would be interested in carpooling.
For more information on carpooling, including how it can qualify you for the $25 Drive Less incentive, visit the 511CC Carpool Page.

Carpooling: Easier Than Ever (with Apps)

Is carpooling for you? Here’s a quick test: Do you dislike sitting in traffic, enjoy saving money and wouldn’t mind a little company on the drive to work? If you answered “yes”, keep reading.
Myths Debunked
“It’s hard to find people to carpool with.” Finding people to carpool with is actually easier than it’s ever been. Beyond networking with friends, neighbors & co-workers to create a traditional carpool, apps like Lyft Line, UberPOOL, Scoop and Carzac help you connect with a carpool one ride at a time with no long-term commitment. Advance planning ranges from a few hours (Scoop) to a few minutes (LyftLine, UberPOOL).
“Carpooling doesn’t offer enough flexibility.” Carpooling works best when you tailor it to your needs. You don’t have to carpool five days a week; you can carpool as much as you like. Would you like to alternate between riding and driving? That can be arranged. And if you enjoy having no long-term commitment but want to go app-free, you can always try Casual Carpool. Just remember, there’s no wrong way to carpool!

Contra Costa County Guaranteed Ride Home
Alameda County Guaranteed Ride Home
Marin County Emergency Ride Home
San Francisco County Emergency Ride Home
Santa Clara County Emergency Ride Home
Solano County Emergency Ride Home

“If I miss my carpool, I’ll be stranded.” The Guaranteed Ride Home program ensures that carpoolers (and other alternative commuters) have a ride home when the unexpected happens. In the event of a crisis, unscheduled overtime or a carpool vehicle breaking down, Guaranteed Ride Home will reimburse you for your taxi or rideshare trip home up to six times a calendar year if you’re registered in the program.

NOTE: Which Guaranteed Ride Home program you’re eligible for depends on your county of employment. For more information, click the appropriate county program in the table above.

The Benefits of Carpooling
Here are some strong arguments in favor of carpooling:

  • Faster Commute: With access to more HOV lanes in Contra Costa County, you travel faster and get to work sooner
  • Save Money: Splitting the cost of gas and tolls saves you money
  • $25 Bonus: Carpool at least once a week in Contra Costa County & you can apply for the $25 Commuter Incentive
  • Cleaner Air: Fewer cars on the road means less emissions and better air quality
  • Less Stress: Getting out from behind the wheel allows you to read, relax, or even work
  • Be Social: If you have to drive to work, why do it alone?
  • Get Happy: Studies have shown a direct link between shorter commutes and greater satisfaction with life

Ready to give carpooling a try? If you live or work in Contra Costa be sure to sign up for the $25 Commuter Incentive, then visit the 511CC Carpool page for more information on how to get started!
If you have any questions about carpooling, feel free to contact us by emailing hello@511cc.org.

Walnut Creek Intermediate School: Bike & Roll to School – April 28, 2015

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WCI_HallWalnut Creek Intermediate School parents & students, it’s time to get ready to Bike and Roll to School!
As a lead-up to National Bike to School Day on May 6, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with Contra Costa middle schools for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. On April 28, Walnut Creek Intermediate School students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
To celebrate the challenge, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to Walnut Creek Intermediate School students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
Motorists are reminded to drive with extra care and be especially aware of school zone speed limits and children walking and biking to and from school on Tuesday, April 28, particularly around the vicinity of Walnut Creek Intermediate School (Ygnacio Valley Rd, N Civic Dr, Walnut Blvd, Homestead Ave and surrounding streets).

Getting There on Transit Guide, 2012 Edition!

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and 511 Traveler Information Service just released the 2012 edition of the Getting There on Transit guide. The free publication features detailed maps of dozens of transit systems throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, highlighting more than 250 popular destinations with public transit directions to reach them.

Cover of the new edition of the Getting There on Transit guide. Image credit: MTC

New content added in this edition:

  • Maps of the region’s 150 free Park & Ride lots (where drivers can meet for carpooling or vanpooling, or park and make transit connections).
  • Information about the 511 SF Bay-Transit app for iPhone 4 and Android.
  • Information about the 511 Enhanced Trip Planner (an online tool that provides a side-by-side comparison of using transit, driving or a combination of both).
  • Updated transit route maps with a new ferry routes map

Get a free copy of the 511 Getting There on Transit guide by emailing your name and address to library@mtc.ca.gov or calling 510.817.5836.  Copies of the guide also are available through Bay Area transit operators, at Bay Area airports, and in San Francisco at the Embarcadero BART/Muni station (visit the Clipper kiosk on the main concourse) and the Bay Crossings store located in the Ferry Building.
Of course, free transit information is also available by calling 511, going to 511.org, or using the 511 SF Bay-Transit application on a smart phone.
Read more details about the Transit Guide over at MTC.

511.org introduces 511 Freeway Aid

For decades, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (MTC SAFE) has provided a lifeline to Bay Area motorists by installing and maintaining a nine-county call box system. While the boxes have become a visual reminder of safety on the freeways, their use has continued to decline since the advent and popularity of the cell phone. MTC SAFE saw this change and responded with a cell phone call box service. By dialing 511 and speaking the words “Freeway Aid” you are immediately connected to the call answering center that handles the call box calls without leaving the safety of your vehicle.
If you are broken down, in a non-emergency situation and on the shoulder, please dial 511 and say “Freeway Aid.” Non-emergency situations include having a flat tire, dead battery, running out of gas, stalling, etc. Freeway Aid is like having a roadside call box on your cell phone.

Photo by: Is3

How do I use Freeway Aid?
It’s easy to use! Dial 511 on your cellphone, once connected say “Freeway Aid”. The call with then be transferred to the current call answering center that answer roadside call boxes, which will then determine your location and provide the appropriate assistance for roadside service.
Who will help you?

  • Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) will help you if you are stranded during peak commute hours (M-F 6am-10am and 3pm-7pm). FSP will provide free roadside assistance such as changing a tire, jump-starting a battery, or providing a free tow off the highway.
  • Rotational Tow will aid motorists during non-commute hours. Standard rates will apply.
  • Get stranded on a regional bridge or tunnel? The call will be dispatched to Caltrans.

511 Freeway Aid rapidly, links the three agencies together to deploy the appropriate roadside service(s) to get motorists help and moving again.
Download and print this informational brochure to keep in your glove compartment in case of an incident.
More Information
Freeway Aid was created due to the decreasing use of yellow roadside call boxes, and to ease congestion and non-emergency calls on 911. With 511 Freeway Aid,motorists on regional freeways can now rapidly access and summon non-emergency services, and decrease inappropriate 911 calls.
511 Freeway Aid only provides non-emergency roadside assistance. For information on when you should Dial 911, please visit the California Highway Patrol’s site for information.
For more information about 511 Freeway Aid, please visit the 511 website at 511.org.

511 Video Contest

Update: this contest has ended.
How does 511 help you get around? The Bay Area traffic resource wants to know.
In a video no longer than 2 minutes, show how 511 helps you get where you’re going and you could win an iPad 2.
Videos will be judged on what best demonstration of how 511 helps you get around, creativity, and content quality. All three top winners will receive an iPad 2.

How to enter: Upload your video to a video sharing site (for example, YouTube) and email a link to the video to 511VideoContest@gmail.com. In the email, include your name, phone number, date of birth, and an email address where you can be reached.
Deadline: Submit your entry before 11:59:59 PM PT on Monday, May 30th, 2011.
For more details about the video contest, including acceptable file formats, the complete contest rules and regulations, and more, visit 511.org.