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
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.
- 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
- 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