Finding partners who rideshare by choice rather than necessity can help eliminate the inconvenience of last-minute cancellations or emergencies. A three-way rideshare is ideal, as two people can share a ride even if one partner occasionally has to drive alone.
There are many things to consider when outlining the rules of a rideshare:
- Set ground rules at the onset regarding smoking, perfumes, aftershaves, eating in the car, personal grooming, who controls the radio, and others
- Discuss safety issues; if you are uncomfortable with tailgating and speeding, make it known upfront
- Don't be afraid to draw up a "contract" to help clarify and reinforce each rideshare member's responsibilities
You can arrange to have your rideshare pick you up and drop you off at the location of your choice. However, you should keep in mind that most of the car's pollution is generated when you cold-start your car in the morning (starting a cold engine emits more pollution than driving 10 miles).
Once you and your partners have established a routine that works, stick with it. You will have a schedule that you can depend on and not have to think about.
Don't deviate from the route for personal reasons without surveying the impact of doing so on your rideshare companions. On the other hand, a quick stop at the convenience store may be just what they need, too.
Emergency situations probably head the list of conveniences about rideshare. Establishing a plan ahead of time to handle such occasions can be very beneficial for all partners. In addition, find out if your employer offers the Guaranteed Ride Home offered by Rideshare, which provides you with a FREE and reliable ride home when one of life's unexpected emergencies arises. In the meantime, you should always have a number where you can reach your rideshare members in case of emergencies.
Plan to drive on the days you will need a car. Run errands and schedule appointments for those days. You could also store your bike at work for lunchtime errands.
If you know ahead of time you will have to work late, let your rideshare partners know. If you are driving that day, perhaps you could take your partners home first and then go back to work. If you are not driving, perhaps you could catch a ride home with someone else working late with you.
If you are sick when you awaken in the morning, make sure you call your rideshare partners as early as possible to amend the arrangements.
When you are driving, make an effort to assure the comfort of your passengers. Ask before you open the window, change the radio station or adjust the climate control.
Consider making your car available to anyone in the rideshare who may need it during the day. If you make safe driving a requirement upfront, you'll feel better about someone else using your car. Someday you may need the favor returned.
If you decide that your rideshare is not working out for you, don't be afraid to bow out and make a fresh start. There is probably a better rideshare partnership out there for you.
Keep in mind that one of the main reasons for rideshare is to help in the battle for clean air.