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Tips For Successful Carpooling
- Meet with fellow commuters before starting your carpool to exchange information and establish guidelines.
- Determine your route and schedule. Establish the morning pickup point(s) and designate a place(s) to meet for the trip home. Park and ride lots.
- Draw up a schedule for driving responsibilities. If all members of your carpool alternate driving, decide among yourselves if you want to alternate on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Build in flexibility to accommodate changing schedules.
- Establish a method and schedule for reimbursing driving expenses. If all members of your carpool do not share the driving equally, come to an understanding of how the costs will be shared and agree on payment dates.
- Make sure you are covered by your insurance company. Some policies may offer rate reductions for car pooling.
- Check for preferential, free or reduced-rate parking with your organization.
- Be punctual. Decide how long the driver is expected to wait. The usual waiting time is 3-5 minutes after the scheduled pick-up time. When home pickups are utilized, do not disturb everyone in the neighborhood by honking if a rider is running a few minutes late. Cell phones, text messaging and email are a great way to keep in touch if a participant is running late.
- Establish ground rules/policy. Smoking or nonsmoking; music and volume; food and drinks. Your carpool will have a better chance of success if possible irritants are discussed initially. Discuss possible irritants among the group, for example, some people may be sensitive to strong perfumes or colognes, some may like quiet time in the morning. Avoid controversial discussions.
- Make carpooling service strictly for commuting to and from work, do not let it become a shopping or errand service. Avoid side trips on the way home unless agreed to before the day. The car pool is for commuting to and from work, save your trips to the grocery store for the weekend. Or, you may choose not to car pool on the days you must run an errand
- Establish a chain of communication.
- Establish back-up plans in the event the driver is not available.
- If a driver is ill, or will not be going to work one day, an alternate driver should be notified to ensure that other members of the carpool will have a ride. If a member is ill or will not be working, the driver must be contacted as soon as possible. Ensure everyone has a copy of home, work or mobile phone numbers. Don’t forget to give notice of vacation, personal or overtime plans
- Drive carefully and keep the vehicle in good repair, including a/c and heat. This includes keeping the vehicle clean and safe. There should be no excuse for excessive speed, use of alcohol, or reckless maneuvers.
- If you lose a member of your carpool, call CATMA at 656-RIDE for help in finding a replacement.
- Give your car pool some time to work. It usually takes a few weeks to arrange everyone’s routine into a harmonious pattern. Most car poolers discover they really enjoy the company of their fellow car poolers and find it a benefit they had not anticipated.
- Together we can save money, time, and the environment while reducing traffic congestion.