First Time Carpooler Guide
The ultimate “ride guide” on how to carpool in and around Pierce County
Carpooling is a type of rideshare where two or more people arrange to make a journey in a single car. It’s a great cost-saving alternative to driving solo because passengers split costs of commuting, allowing them to save on parking, tolls, gas, insurance and other car maintenance costs.
Carpooling also reduces the number of cars on the road so everyone benefits from less traffic congestion and cleaner air from reduced carbon emissions. Ready to get started on your carpool journey? Continue reading for a step-by-step guide for joining or starting a carpool.
STEP 1: FIND YOUR CARPOOL PARTNER
Talk to co-workers, neighbors, friends, family and your community to find a carpool buddy (or buddies!). You’ll want to find people who are committed to carpooling regularly and share a similar commute path as you.
You can connect to an existing carpool or start a new one on RideshareOnline.com, post a message on a community board like the PNW Carpool & Rideshare Facebook group or post a Carpoolers Wanted sign on your work bulletin board.
STEP 2: DECIDE ON THE LOGISTICS
Once you’ve identified the people in your carpool group, it’s time to agree on the logistics.
Here are some things to consider:
Who will drive or schedule driver rotation (daily, weekly, monthly)
Cost per passenger
How often payments will be made and payment method
Carpool rules such as eating in the car, music and volume, how to contact in case of emergency, etc.
Alternate driver in case of emergency
How to contact each other in case of emergency (be sure to exchange numbers with every passenger)
Check out more carpooling tips and etiquette here.
STEP 3: TRY IT ON A TRIAL BASIS
Setting up a trial period for your carpool commute group lets everyone test to see if the arrangement is compatible for them and their needs. A trial period of four weeks gives you enough time to get to know each other and the commute route to decide if it’s a good fit.
If after four weeks you all decide everything is working well, make final arrangements to continue. If something is not working for one or more passengers, it’s up to the group to resolve the issues or decide to look for a different carpool group or transportation option.
STEP 4: HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
Sometimes emergencies happen when you need to leave work before your carpool group’s agreed time. If your employer partners with Ride Together Pierce and you use a smart commute option (like carpooling) to get to work, you may be eligible for a free taxi, Lyft or Uber ride home in case of an emergency.
Contact your Employee Transportation Coordinator or visit this page for more information. Rides are capped at $100 per trip and six trips per year.
STEP 5: LOG YOUR TRIPS
For every trip you log into the RTP Trip Calendar you can see how much money you’re saving and be entered to win prizes!
“I enjoy swapping stories about outdoor adventures and chatting with my coworkers. The commute always feels shorter with company.” — Sierra B.