Ridesharing Tips

Use the checklists below AFTER you have matched with someone in the database (i.e. you have accepted an invitation to ride-share, or someone has accepted an invitation from you).

Establishing Trust with Strangers

This section may not apply if you have a strong basis for trust to begin with.

  • Remember not everyone can be trusted. Listen to your feelings. There is no obligation to continue if you are ever uncomfortable with the person or situation
  • Get your carpool partner's identity and contact information. Look them up in a phone book and on social media if appropriate
  • Meet in a public place before beginning
  • Get driver information including License #, Plate #, and Insurance information. Ask permission to share this with a trusted friend
  • Ensure the car picking you up matches the plate and insurance information provided
  • Exchange and check personal references
  • If you are not comfy providing your home or work address, meet in a neutral spot

Locations and Times

  • Confirm exact pickup and dropoff times and locations with each passenger
  • Confirm route and stopoffs
  • Confirm which days each person is included
  • How will you handle occasional lateness? Usually carpools allow for 2-3 minutes maximum
  • How will you handle chronic lateness? Usually passengers will be removed from a carpool for frequent lateness

In-Car Preferences

Discuss preferences for behaviour in the car, and remember driver has final say

  • Cell phone use
  • Fragrances and allergies
  • Eating and drinking
  • Luggage needs and space
  • Smoking during and before the ride
  • Conversation: Silence or Polite conversation only? Usually topics such as religion and politics are avoided
  • Music: how often, what style, and how loud
  • Unscheduled stops and special requests
  • Temperature, Air-conditioning, windows closed or open
  • Seating arrangements. Taller passengers usually do better in the front

Communication, Roles, Backup Plans

  • Exchange cell numbers and email addresses for easy communication (For larger carpools and in cases where not everyone has texting or checks email often, you may want to establish a phone tree)
  • How much notice is needed in case of plan changes?
  • Is confirmation required the day before every time, or is it assumed everyone is participating?
  • How will you handle last minute issues such as driver illness, car trouble, or lateness?
  • Make sure to notify everyone well in advance of vacations and changes in work schedules
  • Exchange emergency contact information with your other carpoolers
  • Share details of the carpool with someone you trust, including routes, times, and contact information (with permission of course)

Cost Sharing Arrangement

  • Confirm agreement on the cost sharing arrangement. Is only gas cost shared, or gas and maintenance?
  • How often and when will the driver be reimbursed?
  • As a courtesy to the driver, for a larger carpool it can be helpful to have one passenger organize collecting the payment from the group.

For Drivers

  • Drive safely. No speeding or aggressive driving, and certainly no driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Keep the vehicle tidy and in good maintenance at all times
  • No cell phone use while driving

For Passengers

  • Respect the vehicle at all times, ensure you are dry and clean and wipe your feet if needed before entering
  • For front seat passengers, ensure your seat placement is respectful to the passenger behind you
  • Avoid backseat driving
  • Ensure you do not leave anything behind

Strategies for Long Term Success

  • Consider a trial period before committing
  • Give it a bit of time to establish a workable routine
  • Discuss any concerns you have in advance
  • Raise concerns as they come up