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Ride Share Options

Carpooling allows you to share the cost and driving responsibilities of your commute with another passenger. This page provides information and tools to help you find carpool partners and help you learn about the incentives that support carpooling.

Carpool Matching

List your ride or find a carpool partner by joining the 511 NY Rideshare system. It’s free and you will instantly see contact information for people who are looking to share rides from your neighborhood.

Join here.

Live out of NY State? No problem. The 511 NY Rideshare service is intended for anyone who lives or works in New York State. 511 NY Rideshare is a service of New York State Department of Transportation.

You should review various carpool databases and select a carpool database of your own choice. This particular carpooling database is merely a suggestion and it is not endorsed by the University.

Guaranteed Ride Program

Worried about getting home in an emergency? Carpools can join the free Guaranteed Ride Program. The program reimburses your taxi or transit ride home when you’re stranded at Columbia or need to get somewhere for an unexpected personal or family emergency. The best part is that there’s no cost to you. It’s like an insurance policy for commuters. If you miss your carpool or vanpool due to an emergency, 511 NY Rideshare will reimburse you to get to your destination by public transit or taxi. It’s that easy.

Important Notes

  • Maximum $40 per claim, and $200 per year.
  • Only for carpool or vanpool commuters.
  • Available to anyone who lives or works in New York State.
  • Keep your receipt for reimbursement.
  • Ensure that your carpooling partner(s) is enrolled as well.

Contact 511NY Rideshare to enroll in the program. Call 5-1-1 and say "rideshare" or email your request to info@511nyrideshare.org

Learn more about the Guaranteed Ride Program.

This service is provided by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Vanpool Options

A vanpool is typically a group of 5 to 15 people who share their commute and the associated costs. Vanpools are a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and relaxing alternative to a drive-alone commute. You can be a casual rider and pay per use, or a committed rider paying a monthly fee. The vanpooling group arranges the schedule, parking, and pick-up locations. Vanpools are managed and operated by the riders themselves, but vans are usually leased from third party operators. Below are some vanpool organizations with existing services that operate to Columbia.

Currently operating vanpools to Columbia

Tenafly, NJ to Columbia vanpool service; currently operating:

Start a vanpool or join an existing vanpool

Enterprise Rideshare offers services for commuters to find an existing vanpool or start a new one:

EZ Ride is a New Jersey-based ride share organization that assists commuters in finding an existing vanpool, or helps them start a new one:

511NYRideshare offers vanpool formation assistance and allows you to search for existing vanpools. You can also submit your information as an individual wanting to be matched with a vanpool. Visit the 511 NY Rideshare website for more information:

While Columbia has no affiliation with any of these companies, the Transportation team can provide the names of some organizations who specialize in vanpool and travel arrangements. Please keep in mind that Columbia affiliates have the right to review various vanpool vendors and select the vendor of their choice. The above vanpool vendors serve as suggestions and are not endorsed by the University.

Ride Share Services

The car services listed below connect you with a professional driver and other travelers going your way. Ride shares make traveling more affordable and environmentally friendly than traveling alone, and can provide a comfortable and timely commute.


Chariot allows you to reserve a seat with other passengers for a van service that operates along a decided route.  You can also propose a new route for Chariot to consider. You will be given a time to meet your driver and you may have to walk a few blocks to meet your ride. Join and learn more at https://www.chariot.com/


Book a ride on Via and you’ll be matched with a vehicle and other Via members going your way. You may have to walk a few blocks to meet your ride and when you are dropped off. Join and learn more at https://ridewithvia.com/

Lyft Line

Door to door car service that matches you with other riders. Join and learn more at https://www.lyft.com/line


Door to door car service that matches you with other riders. Join and learn more at https://www.uber.com/ride/uberpool/

Tips for Successful Carpooling

  • You don’t have to carpool every day. Start by carpooling one day per week, and grow it from there. Just try it out and adjust as you go.
  • Worried about traveling with a stranger? First step, arrange to meet at Low Plaza, a local coffee shop or any public place before you agree to a carpooling arrangement.
  • Don’t commit. Agree to try carpooling once or twice, but make it known you’re not quite sure if carpooling’s right for you. Even then, agree that you may wish to break it off down the road. It’s okay to be a commitment-phobe.
  • Money matters. It’s up to you. If each person in the carpool takes turns in driving, than there’s no need to worry about money. However, some people prefer to drive, others prefer to ride, in that case, each rider should contribute a reasonable fare to cover gas, tolls, parking and wear and tear on the driver’s vehicle. Look up AAA’s cost to drive. In 2014, the national average was 59c per mile.
  • Where do I meet my carpool? That’s up to you. Some people choose to meet at a convenient Park and Ride lot, on the street, a local mall or even your house.
  • Respect your fellow carpooler’s wishes. In the morning some people relish quiet time.
  • Be on time. Decide together how long the driver is expected to wait.
  • Establish policies. Music and volume? Food and drinks? For a happy carpool, agree on some basic rules up front and be open to trying new ideas.
  • Agree on a chain of communication. If a driver is sick or on vacation, have a plan for an alternate driver or commute mode so the other carpoolers are not left stranded.
  • Travel safely. Keep the vehicle in good repair. Keep the vehicle clean and safe. Don't ruin it for everyone with speed and reckless maneuvers.
  • Don’t want to be stranded at work? Join the Guaranteed Ride Home program to get a reimbursed ride home when unexpected emergencies happen.

Park and Rides

Park your car outside the city and travel in on a bus. Or, park your car and travel in with a coworker. Park and Rides are usually conveniently located near entry/exit ramps of major highways.

Find your nearest Park and Ride:

Reduced Toll for Carpools

With three or more people in your car, you can receive reduced tolls at all NY-NJ state-line crossings, Staten Island crossings and the Tappan Zee Bridge.

All NY-NJ State-Line Crossings

Tolls are $6.50 with three or more people in your car at all NY-NJ state-line crossings. That's a saving of $6 each day from a peak-hour price. The incentive applies to:

  • George Washington Bridge
  • Lincoln Tunnel
  • Holland Tunnel
  • Bayonne Bridge
  • Goethals Bridge
  • Outerbridge Crossing

Tappan Zee Bridge Carpool Commuter Plan

The Bridge offers reduced rates when there are three or more occupants in the vehicle. View rates and enroll in carpool plans through E-ZPass New York.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

MTA Staten Island Resident Program: Receive a discount at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for passenger vehicles with three or more occupants.

Learn more about the Staten Island Resident Program.

Get started by filling out this form.

HOV Carpool Lanes in New York

NYC's high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes provide a faster option for drivers with passengers. HOV lanes make our roadways more efficient, incentivize people to carpool, and reduce traffic congestion and harmful emissions.

Access HOV Lanes:

  • Long Island Expressway HOV-3 Lane into Queens-Midtown Tunnel
  • Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel HOV-3 Lane on Gowanus Expressway
  • Queensboro Bridge Manhattan-Bound HOV-2 Lane