In a time when gas prices are going through the roof, starting a carpool makes a lot of sense. Sharing the cost of a long commute can reduce each person’s expenditure by a considerable amount. There are other benefits to carpooling–you will get to know the people you’re riding with very well during the time you spend with them every day, and it can have the added advantage of lowering your stress level if you also share the driving. Following are a few tips on how to start a carpool.
Destination Is Important
A carpool won’t work if you and your riders live and work in widely separated areas. The idea behind a carpool is to find people who live either close to each other or along the route you take to get to a predetermined destination. For instance, if you live at point A and work at point B, you will want to find other people that live close to you and work near point B. If you live on the south side of a city and work downtown, the person who lives next door would make an ideal candidate to share a ride, but only if they work close to your destination. If they work on the other side of the city, sharing a ride simply won’t benefit anybody involved. Conversely, if you work in the same place, but live on opposite sides of the city, a carpool won’t work, either.
As you can see, it’s important to find people for your carpool that live reasonably close to you and also work near you. The best way to locate such people is to find out if any of your neighbors work close to you. If they do, ask whether or not they’d be interested in carpooling. You can also approach it from the other direction by finding out if any of the people you work with live close to you, and would be interested in sharing a ride. Personal networking of this type may help you locate someone who works in a nearby office building and lives near you. In the same way that word of mouth is the best form of advertising, it is also the best way to find someone to carpool with. You can also put up flyers on local bulletin boards or take out an ad in a local newspaper. There are even online sites that specialize in bringing potential carpoolers together.
Get to Know People
Once you’ve located a few people who live in your general area and also work either in the same building or within walking distance, you will need to find out if you can get along with each other before forming a carpool. It would not benefit anyone to try and save a little money if you have to ride in the same car for any length of time with someone you simply can’t stand to be around. It would make the daily commute a nightmare. The added stress would detract from any monetary savings, and you would probably be much better off spending the extra money and driving alone.
Rules and Regulations
No one likes to have a lot rules and regulations thrown at them, but if you hope to make a success of your carpool, you will need a few rules. Schedule a time when everyone interested in carpooling can get together. You will have to make it clear to everyone that they will be expected to meet certain criteria if they want to be in the carpool. First and foremost, everyone will be expected to be at their pickup point on time. Let everyone know that if they’re not where they’re supposed to be within a predetermined period of time, you will proceed without them. It’s not fair to make everyone else late because one person is tardy. Unless that person lets you know ahead of time that they’ve been delayed, you will not wait for them. They will also be expected to pay their fair share of expenses on time and in full. Although it may be a sensitive matter, it should also be agreed that if personal hygiene becomes an issue, that person won’t be in the carpool for long.
Alternate Pick-Up Plans
There are two basic ways of picking up riders in your carpool. You can either have that day’s designated driver stop for riders along the way, or have everyone meet at a predetermined spot and go from there. The details of your carpool should be worked out ahead of time, so there are no misunderstandings.
Guest post from Cameron Gray. Cameron writes for AutoInsuranceQuotes.org.