An affordable and helpful option to get from point A to point B is carpooling, also sometimes referred to as ride-sharing. This can be very helpful when traveling with children or traveling with lots of stuff. The best and safest way to find someone is through friends, the people you already know and trust, and their recommendations. Ways to find them online include erideshare.com, alternetrides.com, ridesearch.com, and carpoolworld.com.
Set some ground rules before carpooling. Things to consider when making arrangements include:
- Where will the designated pick-up point be? Some car pools have door-to-door service, while others prefer to meet at a convenient church or grocery store parking lot.
- Establish smoking/non-smoking policies.
- Is eating/drinking allowed?
- Which station will you listen to on the radio? News channels are usually great ideas for updates on traffic, sports, stocks, and weather.
- Will there be any unscheduled stops?
- Who will be your alternate drivers in cases of illness or emergency?
- How long will you wait for someone if he or she is late? Three to five minutes is usually recommended.
- How many days a week will you share the ride to work? There are car pools operating every weekday and some that run just once or twice a week.
Safety tips to consider include:
- Meet the person you’re considering traveling with in a public place before agreeing to travel together. Discuss driving safety.
- Confirm your prospective travel partner’s phone number by calling it. Other ways of increasing confidence include exchanging photographs, copying your travel partner’s driver’s license or other photo ID information, and asking for personal references and calling him or her. Review his or her Facebook/LinkedIn profiles.
- We suggest that you exchange emergency contact numbers before traveling and exchange any important medical information.
- Don’t travel with someone you don’t trust. Always trust your instincts.