|This article does not cite any sources. (June 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Ridesharing is the sharing of vehicles by passengers to reduce vehicle trips, traffic congestion and automobile emissions. Types of transportation that are considered ridesharing include carpool, vanpool, and transit or public transport. Bicycle commuting and walking are not considered forms of ridesharing, since a motorized vehicle is not being used for the trip. Telework and compressed work schedules are also included, since no vehicle trip is used for the work hours.
Some areas of the United States have regulations under the Clean Air Act that govern the total number of vehicle trips that may be associated with a large employer or retail development. Employers, Transportation Management Agencies, or regional transit providers often provide information on ridematching (connecting potential vanpool or carpool riders) and transit trip planning. They may also provide financial incentives, prizes, or other benefits to participants.
The IRS allows for a pre-tax benefit to be given for vanpool, transit, and parking costs under Section 132(f) of the Tax Code. This is known as the Commuter Tax Benefit and must be processed through the employer's payroll deduction.
The Best Workplaces for Commuters Program provides qualified employers with national recognition and an elite designation for offering outstanding commuter benefits, such as free or low cost bus passes and vanpool fares and strong telework programs. (http://www.bestworkplaces.org/)
The Association for Commuter Transportation is an international trade association and advocate for ridesharing, commuter transportation, and transportation demand management. (http://actweb.org/)
The service commonly referred to as real-time ridesharing, and provided by transportation network companies such as Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar, arranges one-time rides on an on-demand basis and does not require the sharing of the vehicle for the purpose of reducing vehicle trips. As of January 2015, the Associated Press Stylebook recommended a change in this language to ride-hailing or ride-booking services.
Now the long distance ridesharing services, such as BlaBlaCar, is another trend.