Commuting in a car or van with several others can be a convenient and enjoyable way to travel. Sometimes you can find a neighbour that works in the same place as you – or near enough to make a drop-off on the way by! We can even match you up with a group that is sharing rides in your neighbourhood.
Once you’ve decided to carpool and have contacted your match through the Smart Commute ride-matching website, we suggest having a quick chat about how to run your carpool. Here are some items to consider:
Communication: Ensure everyone has a copy of home, work or cell numbers in case of illness or a change in plans. Don’t forget to give notice of vacation, personal or overtime plans.
Route and schedule: Establish the morning pickup point(s) and designate a place to meet for the trip home.
Waiting times: Decide as a group how long you’ll wait for a passenger.
Cost-sharing: If your carpoolers don’t share the driving equally, decide how the costs will be shared and agree on payment dates. The “My Trips” Web page of the Carpool Zone includes cost estimates to help you.
Driving schedule: If all members of your carpool alternate driving, decide among yourselves if you want to alternate on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Ground rules: Discuss what can be done in the car, like smoking, eating or drinking. Some passengers may be sensitive to strong perfumes or colognes, so check if these are okay to wear.
Driving: Keep the car clean, in good repair, filled with enough gas for each trip and drive carefully and responsibly.
Side trips: Do you all want to stop for coffee on the way to work? It’s probably best to save side trips for days you don’t carpool, or the weekend.
Insurance: Check your policy if you will be a driver in the carpool. Your insurance rates may rise or fall if you carpool on a regular basis.
Fun: Will you discuss work, current events or the newest novel? Decide which radio stations and music types are acceptable, or if riders prefer quiet rides.
Give your carpool time to work: It usually takes a few weeks for everyone’s routine to come together. You don’t have to carpool every day. Find out what works best for you.