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7 tips to consider when starting a carpool

Students Carpooling Together

Are you considering starting your own carpool? Whether your reason is to be environmentally responsible or just to save money at the gas pump, forming a carpool is a great way to achieve your goal. To help you get through this process, here are some helpful tips to consider:

1. Spread the word!

Someway somehow you have to make people aware of your intentions to start a carpool. Try reaching out to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors using a combination of both email and social media. Also, if you are a UCLA student, staff or faculty, you may want to consider the ridesharing service Zimride to start your carpool.

2. First conversations

Be sure to have a conversation with all of your carpool buddies and try to sort through any potential compatibility issues. The conversation should cover the rules for the carpool as well as topics such as: pickup and drop off locations, schedules and times, expenses, etiquette, routes, communication protocol, etc.

3. Policy double check

Just to be on the safe side, you may want to consider double checking your insurance policy. In case of an emergency, make sure that you and anyone riding in your car are covered under the existing policy. If you are unsure then don’t hesitate to contact your insurance agent to go over your policy with you.

4. Car check-up

It’s important to get your car “ready to roll” before hitting the road with your new carpool. Be sure to have your mechanic inspect your car and address any potential issues. Also, be sure to wash your car and gas up the day before it’s your turn to drive. You don’t want to waste precious time by stopping at the gas station during the commute.

5. Research alternate routes

Traffic conditions can sometimes be unpredictable. Be prepared for whatever life may throw your way by researching alternate streets and highways as a backup plan. Also, consider using a traffic app to help navigate through bad conditions during the commute.

6. Wait or keep it moving?

Is five minutes enough time to wait? Decide how you and your fellow carpool members will handle a situation when someone is running late. The entire group should agree on how much time is appropriate to wait for one person holding up the carpool. Set the terms in the beginning and stick to the rules.

7. Getting acquainted

Make an effort to ensure the carpool experience is pleasant for everyone. Think about an interesting story that you can share with your new carpool buddies. Also, don’t get nervous if there’s silence in the car. Simply take advantage of the quiet time by reflecting on your day, then sit back and enjoy the ride.