There are better things you can do with your time than sit in traffic. So why not organize a carpool? Carpooling reduces the amount of traffic on the road, lowers your eco footprint and frees you up from having to drive every day. Win, win, win!
Get access to the HOV lane by organizing your own office carpool. Here’s how.
Step 1 - Put the Idea Out There
No matter how hard you try, you can’t carpool alone. The first step to organizing an office carpool is to gauge interest. If at least a few other coworkers are on board, it’s a starting point.
Type up a quick group email or post a sign up in the break room to get a quick reply from all interested co-workers.
Step 2 - Name Someone to Be the Carpool Organizer
It helps to have someone who’s orchestrating the carpooling process. The organizer is the point person for everyone and plays a critical role in keeping things on track. Once the carpool process gets ironed out, the organizer will mainly just be in charge of updating the schedule and stepping in to figure out solutions if the carpool runs into a snag.
Step 3 - Lay Out Guidelines and Safety Rules
There are a lot of benefits to carpooling, but safety should always come first. It also helps to lay out guidelines for all of the drivers and riders to follow. That way you can ensure the rides are safe and everybody follows the same process for pick-ups and drop offs.
A few guidelines that are worth establishing include:
- Vehicle maintenance
- Vehicle condition
- Travel routes
- Pick-up times
- Pick-up points
- Radio usage
- Number of people per vehicle
- Commuting etiquette
- Food and beverage rules
It may seem like common sense, but well-documented guidelines mean fewer surprises and carpool confusion. You may also want to ask that people who don’t have clean driving records take an online defensive driving course.
Step 4 - Create a Schedule That’s Fair for All Drivers
If one or two people get stuck doing all of the driving, it defeats part of the purpose of carpooling. That is, unless a driver prefers to be the one behind the wheel. To keep it fair, come up with a carpooling schedule that rotates the drivers on a regular basis.
Before doing that, get feedback from the carpooling participants on what days work best for driving and take location into consideration. If you have a number of people who want to join the carpool, it’s usually best to create groups of 3-5 based on where people live. That way the driver doesn’t have to add a lot of unnecessary mileage to their commute.
Step 5 - Get an App to Help With Carpool Scheduling
Managing the carpool schedule is easily one of the most cumbersome parts of the process. Luckily, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are a number of apps for that. A carpool organization app like CommuteWise makes it easy for everyone to see the schedule and sign up to drive.
Just make sure to find an app that works for iPhone and Android devices so everyone can access it.
Step 6 - Do Monthly Updates
A carpool isn’t a set it and forget it venture, especially if you’re establishing a new office carpooling program. Regular monthly updates will allow you to assess what’s working and what’s not. You can also use it as an opportunity to add people to the carpool without disrupting the schedule.