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Tips for a successful Carpool

Successful carpooling requires ground rules to be set and agreed upon by all carpool members. Here are a few tips to smooth the way.

  1. Decide who will drive on which days. Some carpools rotate driving responsibilities, while others have a dedicated driver. If you wish to take turns driving, decide if you want to alternate on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  2. Determine your route and schedule. Establish the morning pick-up point(s). Try to choose a mutually convenient meeting place. Either pick up each carpooler at home, or meet in a central location like a carpool lot. Designate a place or places to meet for the trip home. Stick to your schedule. Make sure everyone knows the schedule and is notified of changes.
  3. Decide on a method for reimbursing driving expenses. If all members do not share the driving equally, agree how the costs will be shared and agree on payment dates.
  4. Decide how long the driver will wait for a passenger.
  5. Establish clear carpooling policies; discuss smoking, musical preferences and volume, food and drinks, etc.
  6. Make it clear that the carpool is for a single purpose - commuting to and from work. Do not let it become a shopping or errand service unless all members agree.
  7. Establish a chain of communication. Identify one person as the carpool leader.
  8. If a driver or passenger is ill, or other issues arise, there should be a clear arrangement for making adjustments. Make sure everyone has a list with each carpooler's name, home and work phone numbers, and who to call and when.
  9. Drive responsibly, wear seat belts and keep the vehicle in good working order. There is no excuse for excessive speed, use of alcohol, or reckless maneuvers.
  10. Check your insurance policy and make sure all carpool members are covered. Policies vary, please check with your insurance provider. 
  11. Give the carpool a few weeks to get going. If, despite your best efforts, it isn't working - try again with another carpool.