Carpooling Tips and Etiquette
Keep planning, courtesy and flexibility as priorities for successful carpooling. Here's how to mind your manners:
- Contact the people on your ridematch list and tell them you received their names through ridematching service.
- Exchange information with fellow carpoolers, including work and home phone numbers, emergency contacts and insurance information.
- Talk specifics and get to know your ridematch partners and their carpooling preferences, including establishing whether participants will drive, ride, or share driving responsibilities.
- Arrange a drive/ride scenario that is suitable to everyone. Determine backup drivers and consider whether participants are carpooling daily or part-time.
- Determine pickup and drop-off locations and meeting times. Park & Ride lots are a great place to meet.
- Schedule times for pickups and departures. Set a lateness policy for both drivers and passengers.
- Determine cost sharing. If each person in the carpool takes a turn driving, then there is no need for money to change hands. If only one person drives, however, each rider should contribute a reasonable fare to cover gas, tolls, parking and wear and tear on the driver's vehicle. The Internal Revenue Service standard mileage rate for business miles can be found here, which you can divide among the passengers.
Rules Of The Road
- Set ground rules. Agree upfront on personal preferences, such as choice of radio stations, smoking, eating in the car and side trips.
- Fuel up, before picking up passengers, with enough gas for the roundtrip journey.
- Be on time to meet in the morning and after work. This applies to both drivers and riders. Give each other a 5-minute window for unexpected delays.
- Notify fellow carpoolers a day or more in advance if you will not be riding in the pool. Notify others right away if you are taking a sick day or have a personal emergency.
- Avoid personal errands or detours.
- Allow extra time in inclement weather.
- Drive carefully. Always make sure passengers feel that they are in good hands.
- Maintain your vehicle both mechanically and aesthetically. Keep it clean and comfortable for passengers.
- Check your insurance for rider coverage and possible reduction in premiums.
And Remember To
- Sign up for 511NY Rideshare's Guaranteed Ride Program. If you can't leave with your carpool for any reason, you'll always have a way to get to your destination – for free! Take a taxi or transit and 511NY Rideshare will reimburse you (limitations apply). To learn how to enroll, call 511 and say "Rideshare." Out-of-state travelers can call 888-GO511NY (888-465-1169), select a region (Hudson Valley/Catskills, Long Island, New York City Metro) and then say "Rideshare."
- Call 511NY Rideshare with any questions about ridesharing, including how to find new carpool partners or the most convenient Park & Ride lots.
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Expanding Carpooling FAQ's
What is ridesharing, and why should I do it?
What is Carpooling?
How does carpooling work?
How much time will I save if I drive in the HOV lanes?
If I were to join a carpool, would I be committing to the carpool 5 days a week?
What if I need my car during the day?
If you need to make errands during the day, plan these activities on specific days and rideshare the rest of the time. Or be the designated driver of your carpool and drive every day and share the expenses with your rider(s).
If you regularly go to daycare, then try making the daycare center the meeting place for your carpool. Or meet at a centralized location, such as a Park & Ride lot.
What if my schedule is irregular?
What happens if I cannot get home with my carpool?
What happens if the driver of my carpool has to work overtime and cannot drive me to my destination? What if my child gets sick at school, and I have to leave work unexpectedly? How will I get to her/him?
Our Guaranteed Ride Program is your "insurance policy" for ridesharing situations like these. If you are a registered participant in the program, 511NY Rideshare will pay for your ride to your destination if your carpool driver is unable to fulfill his or her responsibility for the carpool (limitations apply). Likewise, 511NY Rideshare will pay for your ride to your child in the case of an emergency. To learn more about the Guaranteed Ride Program and to enroll, call 511 and say "Rideshare." Out-of-state travelers can call 888-GO511NY (888-465-1169), select a region (Hudson Valley/Catskills, Long Island, New York City Metro) and then say "Rideshare."
How much does it cost to be part of a carpool?
How can I find a carpool?
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