i54 South Staffordshire Car Share

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is car sharing? top

Car sharing is when two or more people share a car journey by travelling together.

2. What are the benefits of sharing journeys? top

Car sharing brings numerous benefits for you, your family, your employer and the local community:

  • save money on travel costs
  • remove the stress of driving every day in heavy traffic and enjoy being a passenger for a change
  • provides a real solution to the limited availability of public transport in rural areas
  • may reduce the need for private car ownership
  • reduce your carbon footprint
  • help eliminate car park congestion by reducing the number of vehicles brought to your workplace
  • help your employer in reducing its carbon emissions from transport

There could be a range of other reasons, but whatever they are, the effect on those participating, the environment and other road users is always positive.

3. How safe is car sharing? top

The safety of members should be the priority of any car sharing network and we have designed the system to ensure that it is as secure as possible. All users' details are stored securely in the database and when searching for potential travel companions, only account holder's gender and intended travel information is visible.

When it comes to travelling, you are responsible for your own safety. However it is recommended that you follow some simple security measures before embarking upon new journey sharing arrangements, especially where you do not already know your journey partner.

4. What are the costs of car sharing? top

We suggest that drivers and passengers share the cost of fuel (e.g. passengers paying a set rate per mile or splitting the cost of fuel for the journey in half). You can calculate the approximate fuel cost for any journey using ‘Get directions’ on Google Maps. Alternatively, you and your travel companion could share travelling costs by taking it in turns to drive (e.g. you offer a lift one week; your journey partner drives you to work the following week, and so on).

Any payment arrangements should be agreed before starting a journey. Please note that drivers should not make a profit from sharing a car as in most cases this can invalidate their insurance. If you have any concerns please contact your insurance company directly.

5. What are the insurance implications of car sharing? top

The Association of British Insurers clearly states that car sharing won't affect the insurance of their members so long as a profit isn't made:

"Giving Lifts - All ABI motor insurers have agreed that if your passengers contribute towards your running costs your insurance cover will not be affected, as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. This agreement does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business." (www.abi.org.uk)

Drivers with any concerns should check their policy document, or contact their insurance company, as terms and conditions may vary between providers over time.

6. How can I find a travel companion? top

Please log in to your account and click on the ‘matches’ button. The system will then display a map and list of potential travel companions, most closely meeting your Journey to Work Preferences. Please note, until you have completed your Preferences page, you will not be able to search for matches.

Once a suitable journey match has been found, select the 'contact' link to send the user an e-mail and discuss arrangements. Do not feel obliged to over-commit yourself, or to stick to the exact times specified on your profile; it's up to you and the other user to discuss what is convenient for you both.

If you are a non-driver, you are welcome to register as a car share passenger, or to search for travel companions for cycling, walking, public transport or taxi sharing.

When setting up a new arrangement, you could perhaps set a trial period and a date to review the feelings of all parties. This will enable you to stop sharing at this point if the arrangement doesn't suit any or some of the parties involved. You can share with as few or as many people as you like, for extra flexibility. If you often need your vehicle for work purposes during the day, you could look for a colleague who is mostly office-based and offer them lifts.

7. Is it possible to only search for travel companions of the same sex? top

Yes, you will be prompted to specify whether you wish to travel with members of the same sex only when entering your travel preferences on the website.

8. Where should I arrange to meet my travel companion(s)? top

Before you enter any new car sharing arrangements, it is recommended that you meet initially in a public location if you don't already know your travel companion(s).

9. Smokers / non smokers top

You can specify whether you wish to travel with non-smokers or be free to smoke, when entering your travel preferences on the website.

10. Do I have to share every day? top

No, the Journey to Work Preferences section of the website enables you to specify the days and times that you are potentially available to car share. You can update these at any time, should your circumstances change (e.g. change of working hours / leave).

11. What happens if I need to leave work earlier than usual? top

If you are the driver, please give your passenger(s) as much notice as possible so that they can make alternative arrangements. If you are the passenger, you should let the driver know, and if he/she cannot leave earlier than usual, you will need to make alternative arrangements. Please contact your local Car Share Administrator, if you would like assistance in finding an alternative lift.

12. What if I car share and have to leave work suddenly? top

If you are the driver, please inform your passenger(s) so that they can make alternative arrangements for getting home. If you are the passenger and an emergency situation arises, requiring you to leave work suddenly, please contact your local Car Share Administrator, if you would like assistance in finding a lift.

13. What happens if I am sick? top

As a driver, you should contact your passenger(s) as soon as possible so that they can make alternative arrangements. As a passenger, you should let your driver know you are ill so that they know not to wait for you. Please contact your local Car Share Administrator, if you would like assistance in finding an alternative lift.

14. What happens if my car share arrangement falls through? top

If plans change and journeys can't be made, all affected parties should be contacted and forewarned with appropriate notice by those participating in the car sharing arrangement. Please contact your local Car Share Administrator, if you would like assistance in finding an alternative lift.

15. My working hours are unpredictable / I need my car for work. How can I car share? top

There is no obligation to commit to car sharing every day. Yes, it’s great if you can, however car sharing is intended to be flexible. You can share with as many people as you like. If you often need your vehicle for work purposes during the day, you could offer lifts to colleagues who don't.

16. I only have use of a car occasionally. Can I still share? top

Yes, you could seek a lift on days when you do not have access to your car, or choose to car share only on the days when you're able to drive.

17. No employees from my workplace live near me top

This may be the case but the chances are there is someone who travels to your workplace along a route which passes, or runs within close proximity to, your home.

If you cannot find anyone who travels close to where you live, you could drive to a colleague's house along your usual route to work and share your journey from there. Although this may mean you're both driving part of your journey to work (if you leave your car at your travel companion's house), only one vehicle will need to be parked at work, achieving the aim of reducing pressure on car parking and you’ll both cut your travel costs.

18. Who is responsible for the Employee Car Share Scheme? top

This Scheme has been set up by Staffordshire County Council as part of its ‘Share-a-Lift’ campaign, in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council and South Staffordshire Council.

Jambusters Ltd. was commissioned by the County Council to develop and host the website, on behalf of participating organisations. Local ‘Car Share Administrators’ and individual account holders are responsible for the management of all personal data entered onto the system.

Jambusters was established in 2001 by a group of industry professionals aiming to help employers reduce their parking and commuting burden, and its products are now well established and used by many major private and public sector employers.

19. I don’t want to share my personal details with an external organisation top

Although the website is hosted externally under contract with Jambusters Ltd, participating organisations are responsible for the collection and use of their employees’ information stored on the database, with Jambusters providing the technical infrastructure. All parties involved are legally obliged to operate in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

20. Will my name, home address and contact details be visible to other users? top

No. When searching for journey matches, the only details that will appear to other account holders are your gender and travel preferences. At no point are you asked to enter your full home address and on the search results map, your post code location is only represented approximately by a marker on the centre point of the post code which you specified.

When you make contact with someone, your message will be forwarded to their e-mail inbox, therefore your identity will be revealed to them. The recipient's identity will only be revealed if they choose to reply to your e-mail. Messages can also be read through the website, for the benefit of users without an e-mail account.

21. What measures are in place to ensure my information is held safely? top

The County Council has undertaken an Information Security Risk Assessment for the Employee Car Share Scheme, which complements Jambusters’ own security policy.

The website uses ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ (SSL) encryption at all times, ensuring account holders’ information is transferred securely over the internet. Many websites use SSL for secure areas of their sites, such as user account pages and online checkout. When you visit the website, you will see a message advising you that you are about to view pages over a secure connection and if you look at your web browser’s address bar, the address will start with "https:" rather than "http:", the "s" indicating that you are accessing a secure website.

Staffordshire County Council South Staffordshire Council Wolverhampton City Council