Tips For Starting a Carpool
Don’t be shy.
Pick up the phone and call some of the people on your Match List. And don’t be surprised if you get a call from someone who also wants to share a ride. Your name appears on the Match Lists of other interested people who’ve registered with TBARTA and who live and work near you, with approximately the same work hours.
Arrange a get-together to get acquainted.
Set up a time to meet over lunch or after work to discuss the possibility of ridesharing. Consider pick-up and drop-off times, driver and rider responsibilities, division of expenses, personal preferences such as playing the radio, smoking, eating and so on.
If you sense you won’t get along with a potential carpooler, trust your instincts. There is no need to push yourself into an uncomfortable situation. If a prospect looks good, however, work out the details and agree to participate for a trial period. Evaluate the situation as you go along. Later, if you aren’t happy or comfortable with it, you can always bow out.
Let democracy rule.
Devise and agree on the pool’s rules right from the start: when payments, if any, are due; who collects them; who to call in case of an absence or delay; and so on. If something about the carpool bothers you, speak up. When a conflict arises, take a vote and abide graciously by the results. A successful carpool is the product of fairness multiplied by courtesy and common sense.
Take the responsibility of driving seriously.
Make sure your auto insurance covers everyone in the car. Be vigilant when you are at the wheel. This means no drinking alcohol before the drive home, no speeding, and no aggressive driving or other forms of recklessness. Other people’s lives are in your hands. Be firm! If there is a careless driver in your pool, don’t put him or her behind the wheel.
A clean car makes for a happy pool.
The comfort of passengers is also in the driver’s hands, and simple courtesy dictates that your car be clean when you drive. Trash on the floor and food on the seats are discouraging sights to riders.
Punctuality is paramount.
A rider who anticipates being late should let the driver or other designated person know as far ahead of time as possible and offer to make his or her own arrangements for that trip. Likewise, a driver who will be late should arrange for someone else in the pool to drive. Also, if ridesharing everyday won’t work for you, try carpooling at least two days a week.
Sit back and relax.
For the protection of all, the driver needs to keep his or her eyes on the road. So if you’re a rider, don’t feel obligated to talk all the time. Instead, take a nap, catch up on your reading, or just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Avoid side trips.
Make sure there’s enough gas in the car for a round trip. Resist stopping or asking that stops be made to take care of personal business. These should be handled on your own time.
Register your carpool or vanpool.
Once you are ridesharing at least two days per week, you are eligible to register for the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) Program. The ERH Program provides up to four (4) free taxi rides home per year (certain restrictions apply) in case of a family emergency, illness, unscheduled overtime or if your carpool driver is unable to take you home. Call TBARTA for more information.
If you have any questions please call TBARTA Commuter Services at (800) 998-RIDE
and don’t forget to notify us of any home, work, or schedule changes.