Washington’s annual statewide commuter incentive campaign, Wheel Options, kicks off today.  The prizes this year are particularly generous, with many $100 gift cards, several hotel packages, and a grand prize trip to the lush, linguistically unique, and (to put it mildly) independently-minded Basque region of Spain.  All participants who log at least 6 non-driving trips in October will qualify for all prizes and will automatically receive a coupon for a free companion fare on Amtrak Cascades.

As its name suggests, RideshareOnline (RSO) has traditionally focused on matching commuters whose needs aren’t met by fixed-route transit, including carpoolers, vanpoolers, etc.  Those who are already dedicated transit commuters — likely most of our readership — may have had little use for RSO in the past.  But it has been expanding its reach and is now the primary tool through which incentive campaigns are implemented in our region.  Given the easy qualifying threshold for Wheel Options and the growing number of other incentive campaigns (such as Metro’s Rideshare Rewards), it is well worth your time to familiarize yourself with both Wheel Options and RideshareOnline.

If you already have an RSO account, you will use the same login and password for Wheel Options.  Registering as a new user through Wheel Options will also cross-register you in RSO, and for future campaigns you will be able to use the same login credentials.

UPDATE: According to Wheel Options’ Facebook page, high site traffic has temporarily disabled their calendaring features.  Stay tuned. 

UPDATE 2: Wheel Options’ calendar is up and running again. While they do not anticipate any further issues, technical support is available at

Disclaimer:  The authors are involved with Wheel Options as part of their employment.

22 Replies to “Wheel Options Begins Today”

  1. I signed up and tried to log a commute trip by bicycle, only to be told “there is no route for the locations you entered”, which is funny, seeing as how I ride it every day.

    1. Even better — it claims it’s impossible to get to my work from my home — I get the same error whether I choose “bike”, “bus”, “drive alone”, or even “walk”. I have in fact used all of those options before. I know that the intersection of Stone Way and 50th can seem like a black hole at times, but it isn’t really. Is it?

      1. That didn’t work either. It won’t even let me register “telecommute” or “Did not work”. Both addresses are found without trouble on the map.

      2. I tried putting in some random addresses and it won’t let me route them either. I put in “200 Pike Street” (which it amusingly converted to “200 Pike St, Metro Ride Free Area”) and Bellevue Square. “No route for the locations”.

      3. Okay, so when you are on the calendar page, click on bus. A pop-up box should appear with three drop downs one of which is From. Click on it, select Add New Address. Type in the address, it finds it, type in a nickname, then click ‘Add Address.’ When it takes you back to the pop-up select the address you have saved. Go through the process again for the destination (these will be saved). Once completed your pop-up box should have commute selected, then Fnarf’s Home, then Fnarf’s Work, Yes it is a Round Trip. Click Continue, then click on Monday the 1st of October.

        Is that the process you are doing and it is still not working? If so email me at

  2. One part of the FAQ (emphasis mine) says:

    The purpose of the Wheel Options campaign is to reward commuters who are currently using an alternative to drive-alone commuting, entice previous commuters back into their non-drive alone habits, and encourage new users of alternative commutes.

    Right below that, it says:

    To be eligible for a Wheel Options prize drawing, participants must…eliminate at least six drive-alone trips to and from work during the one-month campaign

    So…which is it? If I never drive myself to work as is, can I enter and be rewarded for currently using an alternative to drive-along commuting, or am I disqualified because I don’t have six drive-alone trips to eliminate?

    1. Poor phrasing in the second part you highlight. If you make six non SOV trips a month you qualify.

    2. It’s the first one…you would qualify. The other language used just unfortunately reflects a bias that the baseline/default for any commute trip is a drive-alone trip. So merely by continuing to do what you already do you’d be “eliminating” a hypothetical driving trip. The language is clumsy when stated negatively (eliminate X by doing Y) rather than positive (just do Y).

  3. Wow, trying to crate an account and log trips on that site was a colossal waste of time. My work address wouldn’t enter correctly, no matter how many times I tried to correct the entry and I had a similar problem as others did with the website not finding a bus route that connected my home to my work.
    If you’re going to pitch these things to us, they really need to be working.

    1. I’ve been using it daily for three weeks now to log trips, never encountering an error. How are you trying to log them, are you doing it through the calendar?

      1. Yes, following the directions on the website, i tried to log trips through the calendar.
        That still begs the question of the website not recording my work address correctly. Before I log any trips in, it would be great if I could get the correct work address entered.

  4. Very cool grand prize…I think San Sebastian (in the Basque region) is a shockingly beautiful city. Plus, Bilbao has some great rail transit options to try out…very nice metro for a smaller regional city.

    1. My first trip to Europe was to spend two weeks in the Basque Country with my buddy Josu who came over sophomore year as an exchange student. Gorgeous, gorgeous country. If any of you win, remember these two phrases: “Gora Euskadi!” and “Gora Athletic!” for free drinks at many places [Long Live the Basque Country! Long Live Athletic Bilbao (football team)] especially if leave the major cities and go out in the country (I was in the small village of Galdames).

  5. I get the same thing. Click on the calendar, click on bus, it shows both my home and work addresses, and I click “Continue”.
    Then I get “There is no route for the locations you entered. Review your locations and retry your request.”

  6. In case you didn’t see the Update in the post, Wheel Options just put this on their FB page:

    Looks like our system has a bad case of the Mondays!

    Due to high volume of traffic, our Ridematching and Calendaring services are currently unavailable.

    We are currently working on resolving the issue and will have it up and running agai
    n ASAP!

    If you have been having trouble logging your trips after logging in at please check back later to create a Ridematch request or Calendar your trips.

    We apologize for any inconvenience.

  7. Try it now, Wheel Options FB page is saying they are back up. Sorry for the troubles and thanks for your patience. Turns out announcing prizes and free stuff for transit riders on STB is a good recipe to shut a site down! LOL

  8. Weirdly parallel experience for me…lived with a Spanish family I got to know because I became great friends with their exchange student son. I spent a summer there, and it was also my first trip to Europe. Didn’t live in pais vasco…but we went up there for a trip. You get to Gitano?

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