Carpools are always great ideas – less wear-and-tear on your car, less wear-and-tear on the environment. And now, less money spent on gas. This last point is becoming the crucial selling point as more and more people are trying to figure out alternative ways to get where they need to go. Here are some definite -œdos and don’ts- for the career-oriented carpool.
Find out what already exists
Some workplaces have ridesharing co-ops in place already – and no doubt many more are looking into these solutions as ways to assist their employees as gas prices continue to climb. There may already be a program you can be a part of, and if there isn’t, it would certainly behoove you to suggest something like this.
DIY – Do it yourself
You may work at a small company or there may not be such an infrastructure in place where you work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the bull by the horns. If your company has a mass email list designed for inter-office communications, utilize it to inquire if there are any others who might be interested. If nothing else, start talking to the immediate group that you work with and even if they aren’t interested or don’t live close enough to you, they may know people who are looking for just such an opportunity.
Check around your neighborhood
If you can’t find someone who lives near you as well as works with you, try to find someone who lives near you and at least works close to where you do. You don’t have to work at the same company or in the same office, but helping each other get part way to and from work can be a viable solution also.
Know what you’re getting into
If you’re just looking for a buddy to ride to work with, ask around to figure out who lives where and who would make the most sense to carpool with. It may sound silly, but if you have a longer commute, you’ll need to be compatible with that person. It’s good to talk honestly with the person about what you had in mind.
Touch on things such as:
- Who drives and when
- How often you’ll carpool
- Arrangements for pick-ups and drop-offs
- Duties of the driver (filling up on gas)
You may have a bigger success on your hands than you had initially planned. More people may want to be involved than simply your one “carpool buddy.” While this is great, gas can be split up even further. Here again you want to make sure that everyone is on the same page. One person who is late one too many times, for example, can really ruin it for everyone else. Everyone needs to be honest about their habits, preferences and expectations.
If all else fails, find what your city has to offer. Often there will be places the city designates as “ride share” meeting points – sometimes by a train or bus station – where people can meet up with other like-minded commuters to reduce cost and mileage. Some cities might even have a subsidized vanpool or ride-sharing opportunities that take commuters to and from popular destinations, like a financial district or a downtown area.