Best Practices for Carpooling
Visit our COVID-19 Safety Tips page to learn more about staying safe while vanpooling.
Carpooling can help you reduce daily commute costs and build community with co-workers and neighbors. Once you’ve found a carpool match with Get There, you can use the information below to guide your next steps, including what ground rules to consider, and how to address personal safety concerns.
Figure Out The Logistics
- Determine the route and schedule for the carpool.
- Come to an agreement on how long the carpool will wait if someone is late.
- Set cost-splitting expectations and a method for payment. This includes how costs will be shared and how often payments will be made. Consider using a cash app to make easy requests and transactions.
Set Ground Rules
- Safe driving should be established as a priority ground rule. Speeding, risky driving, or negligence should not be tolerated.
- Establish policies with your carpool partner(s). Have a conversation about music, food/drinks, smoking, conversation, etc.
- Come to an agreement about side trips. For example: you may decide that side trips should be avoided altogether, with no personal errands being run by any carpooler traveling to or from their destination.
Establish Communication Lines
- Exchange preferred contact information ahead of time. Consider forming a group text if your carpool consists of more than two people.
- Keep contact numbers of persons to contact in case of an emergency for each carpooler.
Consider the following safe-carpooling tips:
- Make a point to have a conversation with your potential carpool partner(s) prior to getting in the car with them.
- This could be as simple as a phone call, text, or email to discuss preferences and logistics.
- When you connect, talk about the logistics of the carpool and get to know them.
- Through your conversation, you could find out if the carpool feels like a good fit for you by asking about things like what radio stations they like, if anyone in the carpool is a smoker, and whether eating or drinking in the car is allowed.
- Trust your gut—if something makes you uncomfortable, don’t get in the car.
- Feel free to ask to see proof of insurance.
- Let a friend or family member know that you’re carpooling. Tell them the person’s name, where you’re going, and when you’re expected to arrive.
- If you are concerned about giving away your exact address, choose a nearby cross street, business, or park and ride to be picked up at.
What if I have a Concern about Safety?
- If you have a concern that someone you are carpooling with is engaged in illegal activity, please contact your local police non-emergency line. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
- If you have a concern that someone you are carpooling with is a poor driver, please use your discretion to determine if you wish to ride with them again. You may choose to offer to be the primary driver or seek someone else to carpool with.
- If your concern is significant enough that you feel you need to report it, but it does not rise to the level of illegal activity, you can email [email protected] about your concerns and they will be noted in the complaint log. Individuals who receive more than 3 complaints may be excluded from using the carpool matching function of the tool.
RideAmigos, ODOT, ODOT grantees and other entities promoting the Get There carpool matching tool are not liable for any injuries or property damage that may occur as a result of travel plans or carpool matching related to the use of this tool.
Log in to Get There to find or post a carpool.