New to the pool?
No sharks here! However, it's always a good idea to test the waters before jumping in. Riding with someone new can be intimidating, but if you read these simple tips, you'll be prepared to enjoy many carpools trips to help you save money.
Get together before you carpool so you'll know if you're compatible for the trip. Even if you know your future carpool partner, you may not know their driving habits. Details and communication are critical to successful carpooling.
Discuss personal preferences before your first carpool meetup:
- Do you speed?
- Do you make stops along the way?
- Can you eat or drink in the car?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you want the radio on or off? What do you like to listen to?
Determine how costs will be split: equally sharing the driving is the easiest option, since no money needs to change hands. However, if the driving is not equal, decide how much each rider will pay. Be sure to consider gas, wear and tear, and parking costs.
Agree on a driving schedule and departure times, as well as decide how long the driver will wait. If you know you will be late or not riding, be courteous by letting your carpool know as soon as possible. Remember to exchange cell/work phone numbers!
Decide where to meet, and make sure it is convenient for everyone in your carpool. If you can't meet at someone's home, try finding a central location to park.
Get permission to park if you don't plan to meet at home. Typically, carpoolers ask to leave their cars at grocery stores, shopping centers, churches or other public places.
Establish a trial period for your new carpool and plan a day to discuss how it's working for everyone.
Enjoy the ride! Carpooling should be fun and easy. If your first carpool doesn't work out, don't get discouraged; just try another route!