carpool – 511 Contra Costa

511CC & the Miles App: Get Rewarded for Your Commute

511 Contra Costa and the Miles app have teamed up to help you get the most out of your commute!

Download the Miles app, and you’ll start earning points called ‘miles’ anytime you walk, bike, ride transit or take the ferry, or drive in Contra Costa and beyond. The greener your mode of travel, the more points you’ll earn!

Your miles can be converted into rewards which you choose, selecting from a wide range of products and services. A sample of companies offering Miles rewards appears at the bottom of the page.

Click either download button to get started. For more information about how the Miles app rewards points for travel, visit the Miles website.

Green Commute Contest: Win a $20 BART Ticket

Enter for a chance to WIN a $20 BART ticket!

If you skip driving alone and walk, bike, carpool, take transit, or vanpool to work from Contra Costa, posting a photo of your green trip gives you the chance to win a $20 BART ticket.

Just post with the hashtag #511CCgreencommute and you’re entered to win. Full contest rules and details available at 511contracosta.org/greencommute.

https://twitter.com/mohnemus/status/1155904637955760131

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.

The 2017 California Gas Tax Is Here, Don’t Let It Affect You

California’s 12-cent gas tax increase went into effect this month, and you’ll soon see the impact at gas stations throughout the state. We have a couple of ways for you to beat the tax hike:
Share the Ride – Whether you call it ridesharing or carpooling, it’s the same thing – sharing a ride and splitting the cost. Now that most people have smartphones, apps make it possible to carpool to work with just a little advance notice. The first step: visit our Carpooling Page. We’ll walk you through your options (some app-based, some not) and even tell you how carpooling might qualify you for a $25 incentive.
If you commute by driving to BART, there’s an additional perk for you: Scoop carpools are guaranteed a parking spot at a number of Contra Costa BART stations when they arrive before 10am. No need to get up super-early to get a space or roll the dice on a spot being available when you arrive – use Scoop to find a passenger for that empty seat & parking is yours! Plus, parking is free.
Get an Electric Vehicle – If you’re not ready to commute without driving, leasing or purchasing an electric vehicle not only lets you avoid paying the gas tax, but vehicles which are 100% electric get toll-free access to the Express Lanes. Electric vehicles are also allowed in the HOV lanes during carpool hours, even if it’s a solo commute.
For more information on the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, visit our Electric Vehicle Incentive Programs page.

Carpool with Scoop to Reserve Parking at Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre & Concord BART Stations

Commuting to Concord and Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART just got easier! Carpools using the Scoop app will receive a guaranteed parking space and free parking at Concord or Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART stations if they arrive before 10 a.m. So, if you’re willing to fill an empty seat, you’ll have a parking spot waiting for you when you arrive!
To get free, reserved parking at Concord and Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART stations, download the app at takescoop.com, use promo code BARTLOVE05 to receive a $5 credit, type in the BART station name, and schedule a trip either before 9:00 p.m. the night before the morning commute or by 3:30 p.m. for that evening’s commute. Shortly after the scheduling deadline, Scoop will notify commuters who have been matched. Drivers who match with passengers will receive a parking placard from Scoop which will serve as their parking permit.
For more information, visit the BART website.

How to ‘Casual Carpool’

Did you know you can catch a ride across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge without an app for an average cost of $1? You can! And it’s not a new service, it’s Casual Carpool – helping commuters reduce their travel time between San Francisco & the East Bay for almost 40 years.
Offering a dollar to the driver (to contribute to the $2.50 toll and gas) is just one of the ‘unspoken’ rules of Casual Carpool. Watch this short video featuring interviews with regular riders!
If you’re interested in giving it a try, click through to find a Casual Carpool pickup location convenient for you. There are locations as close to the Bridge as Oakland, Berkeley & El Cerrito, and as far out as Lafayette and Hercules.

Carpool with the Scoop App – 2017 Promotion


Bay Area traffic is bad. In fact, it’s the second-worst in the nation. So why aren’t more people carpooling? Because carpooling can be difficult. With Scoop, it’s easy.
The Scoop app connects you with commuters traveling in the same direction, building your carpool for you. The app even handles directions and rider-to-driver payments. All you need to do is tell the app where you’re starting from, where you’re headed, and what time you want to leave before the deadline (9pm for the morning commute, 3:30pm for the afternoon) and it does the rest. Plus, your ride home is guaranteed.
Visit 511contracosta.org/scoop for complete details and to download Scoop.

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 support@511contracosta.org.

I-580 Express Lanes Now Open (2016)

580 express lanes
Click to enlarge image

The I-580 Express Lanes through Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore are now open! Here’s what you need to know to use them:

  • needFlexPassAll drivers will need a FasTrak® or FasTrak® Flex toll tag and valid FasTrak account to use the lanes.
  • The Express Lanes will be toll-free for carpools, vanpools, eligible clean-air vehicles, buses and motorcycles with a FasTrak Flex toll tag.
  • Solo drivers will have the option of paying to access the Express Lanes using a standard FasTrak or FasTrak Flex toll tag set to ‘1’.
  • The Express Lanes will look and feel like carpool lanes, allowing motorists to enter and exit almost anywhere along the corridor.
  • The Express Lanes will operate Monday through Friday, from 5-8pm. Outside of these hours, the Express Lanes will be open to all vehicles at no charge and with no toll-tag requirements.

For more information, visit Alameda CTC’s I-580 information page.

Five Reasons Why You Should Change Up Your Commute (BTWD 2016)


You’ve probably noticed that traffic congestion in the Bay Area is as bad as it’s ever been, starting at 5 o’clock each morning. Congestion isn’t expected to get better anytime soon and is increasing faster than population and employment. So if you’ve been considering making the switch from commuting alone by car, now is the perfect time!
Here are 6 great reasons to make this the month you change up your commute:
#1: ‘Drive Less’ Commuter Incentive: Make the switch from driving alone to carpooling, taking transit, bicycling or walking for your commute even one day a week and 511 Contra Costa will give you a cash reward as part of the Drive Less Commuter Incentive Program. Get all the details here.
#2: Get There Faster: Transit, carpooling and vanpooling speed up your commute by granting you access to HOV lanes, while biking and walking help you bypass the backup of vehicles almost entirely.
#3: Alternative Commuters Are Healthier & Feel Better: Studies Show riding the bus or train to work is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight. Research also shows commuting on foot or by bike is better for people’s mental health than driving.
#4: Tax Break for Taking Transit: Did you know you can set aside $255 per month in pre-tax dollars to pay for public transportation? You’ll save money by getting transit tickets & passes tax-free. Ask your employer for details on how to take advantage of this program.
Tri Delta Transit 2015 top logo#5: Free 20-ride Pass from Tri Delta Transit: The easiest way to find out if commuting by transit is for you is by giving it a try. Right now, Tri Delta Transit will let you do it for free. Let them know you want to commute by bus and they’ll send you a free 20-ride Pass, while supplies last. (Deadline to apply: February 14)
We want you to have the best possible experience while trying transit, so make sure to take advantage of all the resources available on the 511 Contra Costa website, with information on taking public transit, participating in vanpools, locating park-and-ride lots and much more. Happy commuting!

Photo: Eric Risberg, Associated Press

Share Your Ideas to Help Shape Contra Costa's Transportation (2014)

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is updating the Countywide Transportation Plan and they would like to hear your ideas on how to keep Contra Costa moving. CCTA is responsible for maintaining and improving Contra Costa’s transportation system by planning and funding key projects, like the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore, Highway 4 widening, and BART system extensions. The agency also helps maintain local streets, reduce traffic congestion, and make Contra Costa safe for bicyclists and pedestrians all in efforts to get you where you need to go.
ccta_keep_ccc_ moving copy
The CCTA in collaboration with Contra Costa municipalities and cities want to know what transportation issues you think are important so they can prioritize where to spend time and resources – BART? Buses? Highways? Local roads? Pedestrian paths? Bicycle routes? Do you have new ideas? You tell them. This is your chance to participate in setting the priorities for our transportation system and suggest your own bright ideas for new projects and programs in Contra Costa. There are many ways you can provide your input:
Attend a public workshop to hear more about the CTP.  Here’s a list of the upcoming workshops:

    • Southwest County Public Workshop: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 7pm, Veteran’s Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
    • West County Public Workshop: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 1:30pm, Richmond Convention Center, Bermuda Room (enter from Nevin St.) 403 Civic  Center Plaza, Richmond
    • West County Public Workshop: Monday, September 22, 2014, 7pm, Hercules Community Center (Gym), 2001 Refugio Valley Road, Hercules
    • Telephone Public Workshop: Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 6pm, Dial 877-229-8493 and pin# 1126642 when promptedP
    • Past event: Central County Public Workshop:  Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 7pm, Assembly Hall at Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Cree
    • Past event: East County Public Workshop: Thursday, August 28, 2014, 7pm, City Council Chambers, Pittsburg Civic Center, 65 Civic Avenue, Pittsburg
  1. Participate in CCTA’s online survey at www.KeepContraCostaMoving.net, to share your priorities, your bright ideas, and see what other ideas have been submitted.
  2. Call 925-256-4720 or email 2014CTP@ccta.net to have a copy of CCTA’s survey mailed to you.

Your opinions and ideas will help shape Contra Costa County’s transportation planning for the next 25 years.  Don’t miss this opportunity!
CTP Frequently Asked Questions
English and Spanish Flyer On How To Participate

Student Bag Artwork Contest (2014)

Calling all student artists!

We need your creative talent to design a cool graphic to be featured on the 511 Contra Costa reusable bag that is distributed across Central and East Contra Costa County.  The winning artist will receive a $50 gift card to the movies and his/her artwork featured in the latest edition of our reusable bag!

What is the theme?beachtote

“Explore New Ways to Get Around”: carpool, transit, bikeskateboard and walk.  Your artwork should show how these ways environmentally-friendly ways of getting around help reduce pollution and promote cleaner air.

What are the requirements?

  1. Use the 17×11 cardstock paper supplied by 511 Contra Costa.
  2. Use of up to three (3) colors is allowed.  (Note: Black is considered one color. You can use the white background of the paper as another source of color.)
  3. Include three (3) logos in the artwork:

–  511 Contra Costa (should be featured prominently)
–  Contra Costa Transportation Authority
–  BAAQMD Transportation Fund for Clean Air

     4. Sign your work!

What are the contest rules?

  • Artwork contest ends  Friday, February 28, 2014.  Entries due by 5 pm Thursday, February  27, 2014 at  City of Antioch City Hall; or Friday, 12:00 noon,February 28, 2014 at 511 Contra Costa in Pleasant Hill.
  • Artwork submitted must be from a student enrolled in a middle school within the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Martinez, Oakley, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and the surrounding unincorporated areas.
  • He/she must have permission of parent/guardian to enter in the contest by acknowledging and signing the Parent Guardian Release Form.

Continue reading “Student Bag Artwork Contest (2014)”

Car-Sharing Continues to Grow (2013)

a surplus of cars-haring services
Peer-to-peer car-sharing services continue to grow, and this poster seems to captures why: it’s cheap and easy, lettings folks “rent cars by the hour” from people in their neighborhood. Photo credit: Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester
In the Bay Area we are fortunate to have a variety of ways of getting around for work, shop, and play. Recently, BART and bicycling (including bike-sharing) have received a lot of attention but there’s a glorious buffet of transportation options out there. One of the fastest growing options is car-sharing. Car-sharing is a convenient and easy way to save (or make) some money while reducing your carbon footprint. Here’s a sampling of the car-sharing section of the transportation buffet in the Bay Area.
While there are formal car-sharing companies such as Zipcar and City CarShare, peer-to-peer car-sharing availability has grown considerably in Contra Costa County– just take a look at this map from RelayRides showing available cars in the East Bay:

contra costa ride relay

RelayRide cars are all over the East Bay. Image via: RelayRides

Check out the RelayRides video. It cleverly demonstrates the concept in just two and a half minutes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuW1CicTqeg
For a full list of car-sharing options, check out our car-sharing page. Video credit: RelayRides
Then there are peer-to-peer ride-share and carpooling services, such as Lyft and Sidecar, in which you pull out your phone and within minutes someone comes picks you up in their car. This service is better suited for short and perhaps spontaneous trips across town. This type of service is currently focused in San Francisco, which can still be convenient if you commute into the city and need a ride to the other side of town.  The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is currently partnering with Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) and Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) to pilot a similar app called “Real-Time Ridesharing” or RTR.
One of the latest car-sharing services to hit the streets of the Bay Area is Flightcar, and it is specifically tailored to airport travel. If you have a car and are driving to SFO, you can leave it with a Flightcar attendant and they will allow other people to use your car while you are gone. Alternatively, if you are coming into SFO (or have guests flying in) – they can rent someone else’s car seamlessly, and safely, via Flightcar.  Head over to Flightcar and get the details.
Similar services such as Airbnb, which allow you to rent a room in someone’s house or list a room in your home for short-term rental, peer-to-peer car-sharing is just one more way we can all share our existing resources and make getting around easier.  It may seem like there is an air of mystery with these kinds of shared services but once you try them you quickly find out they are quite reliable, and predictable.  Many peer-to-peer car-sharing services even prescreen users, link to their facebook profiles, and allow users to rate each other so you can rest easily knowing a bit about the person you rent your car to or from. So sit back, relax, and check out some of the peer-to-peer car-sharing services we’ve highlighted or head over to our car-sharing page for more similar services in the Bay Area.