Are you tired of chugging to work on your own each day? Is that carpooling lane too tempting to resist? Take the plunge and start carpooling. You’ll be glad you did – your wallet and the environment will be glad, too.
- Try to establish a carpool with someone from your own company first. Contact your human relations department and see if it provides carpooling links or information.
- Register with the National Rideshare Registration Service. See the listing under Related Sites.
- Look up “Carpool” in the business section of your phone book.
- Look up your state’s Department of Transportation in the government pages of the phone book.
- Post an ad on your work or community bulletin board. Screen callers carefully.
- Advertise online with The Commuters’ Register. It currently covers the East Coast and it’s free. (See Related Sites.)
- Pick someone who lives close to you and works similar hours.
- Discuss the basics. Are you going to take turns driving, or is someone going to drive and the other pay? What will the payment schedule be?
- Establish a time schedule. Make a rule – the carpool only waits 5 minutes past schedule for latecomers.
- Decide on the food, radio and smoking rules.
- Establish a backup plan for days when someone has to leave early or stay late. Many carpool registries have programs that offer taxi rides home when you’re stuck.
- Be prompt.
- Give advance notice if you’re not going to work or if you’re taking a vacation.
- Avoid taking carpoolers on errands.
- Keep your car well maintained. Keep gas in the tank so you don’t have to stop and make everyone late.
- Vanpools are another option. Call local transportation agencies or check with your employer to find out what kind of vanpools, if any, are available in your area.