10 Tips for Successful Carpooling
People who carpool together spend quite a bit of time together each day. So, it's essential that all carpool members feel comfortable with their fellow carpoolers. The following suggestions will help to assure a pleasant carpool experience for everyone.
- Determine Your Carpool Route and Schedule
Establish meeting points and times for both the morning and return trips. Be sure to designate agreed-upon drop-off location(s) for the carpoolers.
- Draw Up a Schedule for Driving Responsibilities
If there are multiple drivers in the carpool, create a driving schedule so there is no confusion regarding driving responsibilities. Carpoolers who share these responsibilities may choose to schedule drivers on a daily or weekly basis. If the carpool contains more than two people, make a schedule of pick-up times for the passengers.
- Create a Carpool Contact Information Sheet
Make sure carpoolers share their phone numbers so people can be contacted with any changes in the carpooling schedule. All carpool members should be contacted as soon as possible if there are any unscheduled changes (such as illness, family emergency, unexpected overtime, etc.). Scheduled disruptions to the carpool (such as vacation time, teleworking, or out-of-office meetings) should be shared with all carpoolers ahead of time so that alternate commuting plans can be made. It is also a good idea for carpoolers to share their email addresses with each other so that a carpool schedule containing driving responsibilities, pick-up times and locations, and other important information can be distributed to all carpool members.
- Reimburse Driving Expenses
If the members of your carpool do not share the driving equally, come to an understanding of how the costs will be shared and agree on payment dates. Make sure all members of the carpool agree upon the reimbursement. Be courteous and make sure any payments are made on time.
- Be Punctual
Decide how long the driver is expected to wait for passengers before leaving. Use the Carpool Contact Information Sheet to try to contact the missing passenger before leaving.
- Carpool Etiquette
Everyone in the carpool should come to an agreement regarding carpool etiquette. Common topics to discuss include smoking, music, food and drinks.
- Drive Carefully and Keep the Vehicle Clean
Speeding and aggressive driving may make other carpoolers feel nervous and unsafe. When carpooling, be sure to obey the rules of the road.Also, keep a clean and tidy car as a courtesy to your passengers.
- Respect Your Fellow Carpooler
In general, be pleasant, courteous, and respectful of fellow carpoolers. Be mindful that some people prefer to be quiet in the mornings.
- Make Carpooling Serve One Purpose
Most carpoolers are interested in traveling between their home and work locations. Therefore, the carpool should not make unexpected stops for errands unless it is agreed upon by all carpool members.
- Need Help? Ask for It
Your employer or carpool coordinator can help provide suggestions and iron out details before anything becomes a problem.