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

  • With Fredonia's Guaranteed Ride Program, if you can't leave with your carpool, you'll always have a way to get to your destination – for free!
  • Call 511NY Rideshare with any questions about ridesharing, including how to find new carpool partners or the most convenient Park & Ride lots.

Carpooling FAQ's

Q. What is ridesharing, and why should I do it?
A. Sharing a ride with other commuters or travelers—in a carpool, vanpool, bus or train—is known as ridesharing. The benefits of ridesharing include reduced travel costs, less wear and tear on your vehicle, a less stressful trip and helping your community by reducing both traffic congestion and air pollution.

Q. What is carpooling?
A. A carpool is two or more travelers or commuters sharing a ride. It is simple to set up and flexible. You do not have to carpool every day but as often as your schedule allows. To join a carpool, register for ridematching.

Q. How does carpooling work?
A. Carpools are based on sharing travel expenses. Carpoolers may either use one driver and share expenses or rotate driving duties and eliminate the need for money to change hands. To join a carpool, register for ridematching.

Q. How much time will I save if I drive in the HOV lanes?
A. The average estimate is that you can shave up to 20 minutes off of your trip—each way—if you drive in the HOV lanes.

Q. If I were to join a carpool, would I be committing to the carpool 5 days a week?
A. Absolutely not. You decide how many days during the week you want to drive with your carpool partner(s). As long as it works for you and your carpool partner(s), that's all that matters.

Q. What if I need my car for personal appointments or errands?
A. Plan these activities on specific days and rideshare the rest of the time.

Q. What if my schedule is irregular?
A. Those with irregular schedules are better candidates for carpooling than vanpooling. Even if there is just one day a week where you travel during more regular hours, you could arrange a carpool for that particular day. More people are working flexible hours, so you might be able to match up with someone in a situation similar to your own.

Q. What if I need my car during the day?
A. Be the designated driver of your carpool and drive every day. Share the expenses with your rider(s).

Q. What if I need to take my child to daycare?
A. Try making the daycare center the meeting place for your carpool. Or meet at a centralized location, such as a Park & Ride lot.

Q. 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?
A. Fredonia's Guaranteed Ride Home Program is your "insurance policy" for ridesharing situations like these. If you are a registered participant in the program, Freedonia 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, Fredonia will pay for your ride to your child in the case of an emergency. To learn more about the Guaranteed Ride Home Program click here.

Q. How much does it cost to be part of a carpool?
A. The participants in the carpool determine the costs and details of the carpool. Some carpools rotate driving responsibility and bypass the exchange of money entirely. Others have one driver and one or more passengers who split the costs equally. The Internal Revenue Service standard mileage rate for business miles can be found here, which you can divide among the passengers.

Q. How can I find a carpool?
A. To find a carpool, register for ridematching or 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."