Car Pool Etiquette

This morning I found myself commuting to the city from the East Bay. I had done my home work the night before figuring out the logistics and the cost benefit of taking the AC Transit Line vs. Bart. I decided to take the NL line to enjoy the ride and views of the Bay Bridge instead of becoming another sardine in a packed Bart train. What I didn’t figure into my calculations was the option of casual car pool–only because I didn’t know anything about it. So as I was walking to the bus stop this morning, a car pulled up and the driver asked If I was interested in carpooling. I took a quick look and saw there was at least one female passenger and felt comfortable enough to hop in the backseat.

I felt like a fish out of water riding with two complete strangers. Not knowing carpool etiquette, I decided to remain quiet, observe the interaction between the driver and the other passenger and listen to their conversation. What I was able to figure out during the brief ride (which may not be news to anyone who’s tried this before) is the following:

1) Salutations–Greet your fellow passengers, it seems like this one would be obvious no?
2) Requests–Passengers are the co pilots here so making requests about the volume or radio stations or air conditioning is not welcome. Once again, seems obvious but I was surprised that the other passenger in the car actually made these requests.
3) Dating–Just because a passenger is in your car Mr. Driver, does not mean such passenger is interested in dating you. The free ride is great but you can’t honestly expect me to say yes to a date?!

This is based on my first experience, but there have to be other “rules” that apply. So if any of you have suggestions or if there’s some kind of Roberts rules of Order for carpooling, can you all share? I can get used to riding in a nice luxury car to work every day.

1 Comment so far

  1. Francis Assisi (unregistered) on August 9th, 2007 @ 3:08 am

    4) Don’t mention how much the East Bay
    sucks compared to San Francisco.

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