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  Commuting Options: Carpooling

Carpooling Photo

CarpoolingA carpool is two or more people sharing a ride to work or school in one of the participant’s privately owned vehicle.  Many people carpool each day. Most carpools were formed by people who talked with their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers and decided they wanted to share a ride.

Advantages of Carpooling:

Frequently Asked Questions About Carpooling

What is a carpool?
A carpool is a group of 2 or more people who commute to and from work together but do not necessarily work in the same location.

CarpoolersWhat is a carpool like?
Each carpool group decides together on things such as seating arrangements and type of music. Read more about carpooling from the CommuteInfo program registered carpool participants.

Who drives the carpool?  
The carpool drivers are all volunteers.  The members of the group decide who will drive and whether the members will take turn driving.

Will the carpool pick me up at my house?
Carpool groups generally have a set number of pick-up stops where riders gather.  The pick-up and drop-off locations are in conveniently located areas where the riders can meet and may even be within walking distance of your home. You will be provided the pick-up and drop-off information before you commit to join the group.

What does it cost to ride in a carpool?
Carpool costs are decided by the members of the carpool group.  Some carpools encourage each member to take a turn driving and no actual “costs” are shared.  In other cases, one member of the carpool drives all the time and the members help pay toward the cost of the ride.   Since the way costs are shared vary group to group, it is important to discuss cost-sharing with the other members of the carpool BEFORE deciding to ride. 

What about insurance for the carpool?
The CommuteInfo staff encourages all members of the carpool group to check with their insurance agent BEFORE they begin carpooling to determine their coverage needs.

Is there “carpool” etiquette?
Deciding to share a ride is an important decision—and if you decide to join, it could mean involvement with the group for 30, 60 or even 90+ minutes every workday.  CommuteInfo staff suggests you take some time to meet your potential ridesharing buddies BEFORE making the decision to join a ridesharing arrangement. Contact the driver and/or other riders and set up time for a phone call, coffee or lunch. We have included some questions below which you might include in this conversation.

  • Where will you need to meet?
  • How flexible are the pickup times?
  • What type of vehicle is used?
  • How many riders are there?
  • What costs are shared? (Maintenance, Fuel, Parking)
  • Are riders allowed to smoke during the commute?
  • Is music played during the commute? If yes, what type?
  • Are eating and drinking permitted in the vehicle?
  • Do I need to be prepared to drive sometimes?
  • What is the back-up plan in case of an emergency?

Visit our Sortable Listing of CommuteInfo Carpools (opens new window)

Benefits of Carpooling:

  • Riders get to sit back and relax
  • Carpoolers may use the HOV Lanes, which saves a lot of time and irritation
  • Saves money on car insurance premiums
  • Emergency Ride Home

Want to know more about carpool safety?
Each year, the CommuteInfo program hosts a safety training for all of the volunteer vanpool drivers.  Starting in 2008, this training will be open to any interested registered carpool driver as well.  The video trailer below includes just a few highlights from an actual training.  The total training lasted one hour.  If you prefer you can order a free copy of the entire one hour training by emailing us today.

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Visit our Sortable Listing of CommuteInfo Carpools (opens new window)

 

CommuteInfo
A Program of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
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