By Eliza Cantrell, Public Affairs SpecialistJanuary 18, 2019
"Dmv Military Rides" is a rideshare Facebook group created in 2017 by David Remaley, Jr. He is a former Uber driver who realized military personnel were having difficulty getting rideshare service drivers who had access to military installations. Riders would often have to meet their drivers outside the gate in order to receive the service.
According to the Uber website, "the Uber app cannot match you with a specific driver. When you request a ride, the app sends your request to nearby drivers to pick you up at your location."
Similarly, Lyft's website states that their app "matches passengers with drivers who will arrive soonest." Often, these companies send drivers who cannot access military installations without proper vetting. According to Uber Support's Twitter account, "if the driver of the Uber has a military ID they can enter the base. If not, they can meet the rider at the gate."
Rideshare Gate Access
Did you know that rideshare drivers actually can access Fort Belvoir?
According to Daniel Hoffer, Directorate of Emergency Services, rideshare drivers, such as Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers, would have to enter post through Tulley Gate using the commercial lanes.
However, they must pass the vetting process which, according to Fort Belvoir's Policy Memorandum #61, Installation Access Control Procedures, includes:
• A visual match of the photograph on the card to the person presenting the ID.
• Verifying authenticity by checking the anti-counterfeit or fraud protection embedded in the credential.
• Authenticating cards using the Automated Installation Entry (AIE).
• Security personnel will conduct a check of the records through the National Crime Information Center Interstate ID Index, the Army's minimum baseline background check for entrance on Fort Belvoir.
This vetting process may deter rideshare drivers from accepting rides that pick up or drop off on post, causing the rider difficulty finding someone to provide their ride.
Remaley thought the solution to mitigate this problem, and "make everyone's life easier," would be to start a private Facebook group, "Dmv Military Rides," which connects military personnel riders with drivers who have military installation access across the DC metro area.
How It Works
Before you can order a ride through "Dmv Military Rides," you must be added to the Facebook group. Here's how you do it:
• Search for the "Dmv Military Rides" group on Facebook and request to be added. According to Christopher Maute, one of the drivers and admins of the group said, "If you have a military or government affiliation in the Washington D. C. area, you will be approved to join."
• Once accepted, write a post with the time, date and location you need to be picked up and dropped off at.
• An available driver will comment on your post and privately message you to discuss the details.
• Cost is determined using the Uber Estimator, with the opportunity to haggle.
• Payments are made via cash, PayPal or USAA Money Transfer.
Remaley emphasized that "Dmv Military Rides is run by military for military" and is meant to be an easy and stress-free way for military personnel, families and civilian workers to get around the DC metro area. He hopes people feel safer having fellow military personnel as drivers, too. This rideshare service can help Fort Belvoir residents by providing a safe and reliable, door-to-door transportation option.
As an added bonus, "Dmv Military Rides" has just rolled out a trial week for a food delivery service which, of course, can also deliver on post.
The cost for food delivery is comparable to UberEats. The fees include:
• A $5 delivery fee, plus…
• 10% of your total order cost, and an extra…
• $5 for each additional 10 miles driven, when ordering from eateries located 10 miles away, or more, from your drop off location.
The revolution in rideshare transportation, through a company called Uber, began in 2009. Uber offered easy and affordable transportation for those living in big cities. Today, according to gridwise.com, Uber is the most popular rideshare service in the United States with Lyft, being their fiercest competitor.
While taxi services have been a popular and common form of transportation, other rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, have grown due to more affordable rates.
Here's a rate comparison:
• According to FairfaxCounty.gov, the taxi rate in Fairfax County is $3.50 for the initial drop off charge and first one-sixth of a mile followed by $.36 cents each subsequent one-sixth of a mile and $1.00 for an additional passenger over 12 years of age. There is also a $.36 charge per 61 seconds of waiting time.
• For an Uber in the Washington, D.C. area, rates begin with a $1.21 base fare fee and then charge $.30 cents per minute and $.80 cents per mile with a minimum fare of $7.00.
• Lyft's rates for the Washington, D.C. area start with a $1.21 initial fee and charge $.30 cents per minute while also charging $.80 per mile with a minimum fare of $5.00.
Now these cheaper rideshare services are more convenient for military personnel living on base.
According to an article in Washington's Top News, Lyft is recruiting and training drivers specifically certified to provide rides on post at Fort Meade, as a part of the new program "Base Mode," launched last May. This feature enable's select drivers to have base access - making it easier to pick up and drop off passengers who are on military installations. A Military Times article revealed that Lyft is currently in talks to expand the "Base Mode" option to other military installations.
While Fort Belvoir doesn't currently have a program like this, the comparable alternative, "Dmv Military Rides," is available along with other rideshare options.
Other Transportation Options
Fairfax County Commuter Services offers other rideshare transportation options for residents in this area. According to Fairfaxcounty.gov, "more often than not employees at a company live near at least one other co-worker" making carpooling a simple and inexpensive form of "ridesharing." Two ride matching databases, "nuride" and "Commuter Connections," help commuters find rides with nearby employees.
Carpooling rules are flexible and vary based on the participants.
• One person may drive all the time while passengers contribute to the cost (gas and parking).
• Participants may alternate driving and not exchange money.
• Carpool driver may pick up passengers at their homes or meet in a central location.
• Carpool participants make up the rules and schedule.
Fairfax County also offers vanpools that are an economical option for individuals commuting long distances to work. For more information on carpools and vanpools in the area, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation.
The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission also offers a ride matching service for carpoolers and vanpoolers through the database, OmniMatch. This free database "links commuters who have similar work hours, origination and destination points through the Match Request Form for those living in Manassas and Prince William County." To view the match request form, visit: www.prtctransit.org/ridesharing/matchrequest.
With the wide variety of rideshare options for work commutes and leisure time, you can pick the service that works best for you.
For more information on "Dmv Military Rides," call 325-650-5053.