Tips for a successful carpool

  1. Successful carpooling requires ground rules to be set and agreed upon by all carpool members. Some tips to smooth the way are provided below.
  2. Decide who will drive on which days. Some carpools rotate driving responsibilities, while others have a dedicated driver. If there are members who wish to alternate driving, decide if you want to alternate on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  3. Determine your route and schedule. Establish the morning pick-up point(s). Try to choose a mutually convenient meeting place. Either pick up each carpooler at home, or meet in a central location like a carpool lot. Designate a place or places to meet for the trip home. Stick to your schedule. Make sure everyone knows the schedule and is notified of changes.
  4. Decide on a method for reimbursing driving expenses. If all members do not share the driving equally, agree how the costs will be shared and agree on payment dates.
  5. Decide how long the driver will wait for a passenger (usually no more than 2 or 3 minutes).
  6. Establish clear in-car policies. Discuss smoking, music taste and volume, food and drinks.
  7. Make it clear that the carpool is for a single purpose - commuting to and from work. Do not let it become a shopping or errand service unless all members agree.
  8. Establish a chain of communication. Identify one person as the carpool leader.
  9. If a driver or passenger is ill, the car won't start or other issues arise, there should be an easy and clear arrangement for making adjustments. Make sure everyone has a list with each carpooler's home and work phone numbers, and establish who is to be called when.
  10. Drive responsibly, wear seat belts and keep the vehicle in good repair. When there are passengers involved, there is no excuse for excessive speed, use of alcohol, or reckless manoeuvres.
  11. Check your insurance policy and make sure all members are aware of it.
  12. And finally, give the carpool a few weeks to get going - it usually takes a while to work out any "bugs" and to create a truly great carpool. If, despite your best efforts, it isn't working - try again with another carpool.