Carpooling Tips

Contact everyone on your match list.
Call all commuters who live and work or attend school near you and have similar work or school hours, even if they have not selected the catagory you're looking for (e.g., drive only, share driving, ride only). Negotiate with your prospective partners to see how much flexibility they have.

Cover the basics.
In making your carpool arrangements, be sure to get answers to some key questions:
- How often will you carpool?
- How many carpool partners will there be?
- Who has a vehicle? If all passengers have a car, who will do the driving?
- Do all drivers have full insurance coverage?
- Where will you meet? Carpoolers can pick each other up at home or meet at a mutually convenient location, such as a park-and-ride lot.
- When will you meet? People's work or school schedules are often more flexible than you think

Discuss carpool costs.
If commuters rotate the driving equally, money doesn't have to change hands. But if only one person drives the carpool, passengers generally chip in to cover the costs of gas and parking.

Get to know your fellow carpoolers.
Carpoolers who don't know each other sometimes feel more comfortable meeting prospective carpool partners before they drive together for the first time. Plan to talk on the phone or meet at a public place to discuss carpool specifics and decide whether or not you would feel comfortable sharing a ride. If you still feel uncomfortable after meeting, you can simply choose not to pursue the rideshare arrangement. You are not obligated to carpool. If you do feel comfortable enough to rideshare, perhaps you could agree to a trial rideshare period to test the waters.

Establish some rules.
Each carpool member should have a chance to express his/her needs and concerns. Carpoolers should agree upon on certain ground rules at the outset:
- Food, coffee, smoking and perfume/cologne usage
- Radio choices
- How long drivers will wait for delays
- Who is notified if someone is sick
- Driving safety

Give carpooling a trial run.
Many commuters start carpooling on a trial basis — for a month or two. You can always add more days and more carpoolers in the future once a routine has been established. Don't worry about getting the details perfect right away.

Carpool etiquette

- Communicate with your fellow carpoolers. If you’re running a few minutes late, call them and let them know. If you can’t carpool on a particular day due to a schedule conflict, give your carpool partners ample notice so they can make other arrangements.
- Drive safely at all times.
- Keep your vehicle clean and in good condition.
- Respect any other restrictions the carpool has agreed on, such as smoking, eating or drinking.

- Make a habit of being late.
- Ask your carpoolers to make extra stops along the way so you can take care of personal errands. The carpool is meant to help everyone with their commutes, period.
- Bring up controversial topics like religion or politics unless you know your fellow carpoolers well. While some people enjoy debating the issues, others may prefer a quieter commute.
- Have lengthy cell phone conversations while you’re in the carpool.


Commuting: OTO Rideshare website

Carpooling Overview
Carpooling Basics
Carpooling Tips
Commute Tools and Services
Develop an Employee Transportation Program
Commute by Bike
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