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SANDAG Teams Up with Rideshare Partners to Offer Free Rides the First Week in October

San Diego County CA— To celebrate National Rideshare Week, the SANDAG iCommute program encourages commuters to pledge to share the ride Monday, October 1 through Friday, October 5.

San Diegans who pledge to travel by carpool, vanpool, or transit will be automatically entered to win an Apple Watch. The week also comes with a long list of ways to make it easier to try ridesharing, including Free Ride Day on all transit, free Waze Carpool rides, free scooter rides, and discounted Uber and Lyft rides.

“National Rideshare Week is not only about reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, it’s about starting the conversation in our communities about the future of transportation,” said SANDAG Board Chair and Del Mar City Councilmember Terry Sinnott. “This is a time for us to collectively make an impact in our region. We look forward to increasing participation every year.”

To make it a little easier to try carpooling, the SANDAG iCommute program has partnered with Waze Carpool to offer free rides to passengers and free gas for drivers.

Waze Carpool is a ridesharing app that matches drivers and riders who travel the same direction to work or home. Drivers pick up passengers and are reimbursed for gas money. Riders pay drivers through the Waze Carpool app. In celebration of Rideshare Week, Waze Carpool will cover the driver’s expense at no cost to the rider.

Any trip starting or ending within county lines will be free through the app, no promo code required.

“I started carpooling in May of this year thanks to Waze Carpool,” said David Haviland, a Catalent employee located in Miramar. “Other than saving about $200 per month on gas, I have had the chance to meet a lot of people I did not know worked in my same building! The flexibility and ease of using the Waze Carpool app is the best part. I now carpool every day to work.”

In addition, for the first time ever, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD) will host the first Free Ride Day in San Diego. Rides will be free on Tuesday, October 2, as a part of Rideshare Week in San Diego.

All MTS and NCTD fixed-route services including buses, the Trolley, SPRINTER, and COASTER will be free all-day Tuesday.

“October 2nd is going to be a great day,” said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski. “There’s a lot of support for Free Ride Day. It’s a movement that’s taking place across the region in collaboration with our cities, the county and employers. Free Ride Day is one day. It’s one choice. But we think it will be the impetus to get more people using different commuting options.”

“Free Ride Day is a great way to try our services and experience how taking transit can be a convenient option for you,” said NCTD Executive Director Matthew Tucker. “With so many transportation options in our region, we hope people will give this a chance and see how transit can work for them.”

Riders who have switched to transit say it’s a good deal.

“I have taken the COASTER for more than 15 years now, which has helped me save about $600 per month,” said Meredith Aguiar, a Caltrans District 11 employee. “Taking transit has helped me find the time to do things I would not have been able to do if I was driving – I now have time for reading, meetings, and personal development activities. I think a lot of people avoid taking transit because of the unfamiliarity of it all, but I want to encourage other people to give it a try and see if it’s an option for them.”

For Free Ride Day, Lyft and Uber will offer discounted “first and last mile” connection rides to get commuters to and from any transit stop in the county. Participants who pledge to share the ride on the SANDAG iCommute website will a receive confirmation email with the promo code.

MTS is providing another way to get to transit stations on Free Ride Day. It has partnered with Bird — the last mile electric scooter sharing company – to offer new Bird riders with a free ride (up to $5) with promo-code “SDMTS” to help better connect the people of San Diego to MTS transit centers and bus stops on Free Ride Day.

Participants who post their Rideshare story on the iCommuteSD Facebook page will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win an Apple iPad.

To learn more about Rideshare Week and for details on all promotions, visit the SANDAG iCommute Rideshare web page.


The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the San Diego region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency, providing the public forum for regional policy decisions about growth, transportation planning and construction, environmental management, housing, open space, energy, public safety, and binational topics. SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, council members, and supervisors from each of the region’s 18 cities and the county government.

Powered by SANDAG and in cooperation with the 511 transportation information service, iCommute is the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program for the San Diego region. iCommute encourages use of transportation alternatives to help reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more, visit iCommuteSD.com.