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Top 10 Tips: Carpooling – Heather Klinefelter, Outreach Specialist

Fall is in the air, and a lot of people are headed back to work.  If you’ve been saving money by telecommuting, the cost of gas might be surprising after so long of working from home.  Commuter Services is here to help you save money and the environment by carpooling!

Carpooling is a great way to save money, gas, and wear & tear on your car.  Plus, it can reduce commuting stress.  Read on for some great tips on how to be cool and carpool successfully.


#1 – Find a Friend!

Whether it’s your work husband/wife or your neighbor, commuting with a friend is a great way to enjoy your commute.  You’ll be able to laugh, catch up, or sing carpool karaoke!  Click here to find someone who isn’t a friend yet.

#2 – Take Turns

Part of the grind of driving by yourself every day is the doldrums of the same old same old.  When you take turns with your carpool partner, it shakes things up and allows you to experience the drive in a different way.  You might even see some new sights because your partner might take a different way to work than you do.  (I know I’ve had that argument with my husband more than a few times!)

#3 – Check the Credentials

Make sure your carpool partner has a valid drivers’ license, registration, inspection, and insurance.  It might seem redundant, but it’s important.  You don’t want to be involved in an accident and end up in a sticky situation because your partner didn’t have valid insurance.

#4 – Make a Plan

Take the time to make a plan!  Who is picking up who, where, and when.  What days each person will be driving.  How much gas money will you each pay.  What route is the best. As the Boy Scouts say – Always be prepared.

#5 – Be on Time

Nothing is worse than waiting for someone who is running late when you have a set time.  If you are going to be late, make sure you contact your carpool partner so they can be prepared.  Remember, it’s not just you that might be late to work and suffer the consequences, you have other people riding with you as well.  Agree on a set time for tardiness and what will happen if you don’t make it in the specified time limit.  There’s a big difference between 5 minutes late because your dog won’t come inside and 15 minutes because you overslept.  Be mindful of your and others time.

#6 – Drive Safely

We’ve all been there, someone’s driving is making us anxious.  Don’t be that person to your carpool partner!  Don’t tailgate, don’t speed, don’t drive aggressively.  Remember, if you’re already late, you’re already late.  Driving erratically and unsafely will not make you get there any faster.

#7 – Avoid Unexpected Stops

It’s one thing to plan to drop the kids off for daycare or stop for a coffee on the way to work.  It’s another to suddenly ask to stop and pick up a prescription or some cat food on the way home.  Everyone has schedules, try to be respectful of your partner’s time.

#8 – Be Respectful of the Rules

If you’re like me, you don’t care about crumbs on the floor or slushies being spilled.  If you have kids, you’re probably used to french fries, goldfish, and juice boxes on the floor.  But some people like to keep a clean car.  Be sure to discuss expectations before joining a carpool.  If you’re a smoker, find a smoking car.  If you like to blast heavy metal in the morning, find a fellow metal head to rock out with.  If you want silence, find a bookworm who wants to read while you drive.

#9 – Remember COVID

Hopefully, COVID-19 is on the downturn and things are returning to semi-normal.  However, it’s still a good idea to be aware that COVID is still a concern.  Wear your masks, drive with the windows down if the weather allows, space appropriately, and try to limit your riders to your immediate coworkers (i.e.: those that work in your department or office).  Find out more in our BLOG.

#10 – Record Your Trip in Commute PA!

Your carpool trip doesn’t only help you, it helps the environment!  Record your trip in Commute PA and earn reward points to see how much CO2 you can personally take out of the air.  With your green trips you can take yourself on a rock-climbing adventure or your kids on an ice cream adventure or maybe both in the same day!  Check it out!


For more information, check out our WEBSITE or PennDOT and feel free to EMAIL us with any questions.