Photo: A carpooler's etiquette list

Make ground rules about eating, drinking, music, phone calls etc. during the commute. (Credit: Washington State Department of Transportation via Flickr)

It's almost two decades since I was in a regular work carpool. Our commute was one hour each way. We were a group of five, so each person drove one day a week.

Carpooling is cost-effective and reduces carbon emissions. If you can carpool, here's an etiquette list to help you all have a smoother group ride:

  • Select a convenient meeting/pick-up spot that's safe and easy to get to by bike or public transit
  • Show up on time
  • Share a contact information sheet
  • Make group agreements or ground rules about eating, drinking, music, chatting, phone calls etc. during the commute
  • Keep a schedule and track driver turns
  • Go scent-free
  • Drive smart
  • Agree on a cost per trip for those without vehicles

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  • Maintain your vehicle (check gas, air tire pressure, oil, emergency kit, etc.)
  • Take your turn in the uncomfortable seat
  • Save personal errands for your own time
  • Keep your car interior tidy (remove garbage, dog hair, etc.)
  • Take your stuff (garbage or personal belongings) with you
  • Call in sick (or work from home) to avoid spreading colds and viruses
  • Speak openly, but be patient and respectful
  • Don't disband at the first sign of disagreement

I'm sure some things have changed since I carpooled. Please, add your tips in the comments!

What are your secrets to a successful carpool?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

February 17, 2017

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