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FAQ: Riding with 3rd Parties

What is Spare, and why did I receive an email or text from them?

Spare provides ride booking apps and tools to transit agencies and other companies that run on-demand transport services. Spare often sends messages to riders on behalf of transit agencies.

Why is my transit agency asking if I want to ride with another company?

Transit agencies sometimes partner with 3rd party transportation companies like Lyft, Uber, or local taxis so they can have more vehicles available at busy times. Before they can send another company’s vehicle to pick you up, they’re legally required to ask if that’s ok with you. If you don’t agree, they’re only allowed to send one of their own vehicles to pick you up.

Will my rides be more expensive if I agree?

No, your fare will be the same no matter who is picking you up. Transit agencies and their partners usually have an agreement where the transit agency covers the difference between the rider’s fare and the partner’s costs.

What will be different if I agree?

Any time you book a ride, you might be matched with vehicles from your transit agency or vehicles from any partners you’ve agreed to ride with - it just depends on which vehicles happen to be available nearby. Even if you aren’t sent a partner’s vehicle, you’ll probably see sooner pickup and dropoff times because more vehicles are available to you. However, your fare will remain the same no matter who you’re riding with.

What will happen if I don’t agree?

Nothing bad will happen! You’ll still be able to book rides with your transit agency like always, and you’ll never be sent a vehicle from a company you didn’t agree to. You’ll still benefit from having more vehicles in the system overall, because people riding with 3rd party vehicles leaves more room on your transit agency’s vehicles for you.

Do I have to download another app to ride with other companies?

No, you can keep booking rides the same way you always have. In some cases, information about your ride may be synced to a transportation company’s own app, but using that app is totally optional.

Will my accessibility needs still be accommodated if I ride with another company?

Yes! As long as your ride request includes your accessibility needs, you’ll always be sent a vehicle that can accommodate you. Agreeing to ride with other companies will only expand the number of vehicles available to you and will never decrease it.

Do I need to agree to all the companies my transit agency has available?

No, you can agree to as few or as many as you like. We keep track of each 3rd party company individually, and we’ll never send you a vehicle from a company you don’t want to ride with.