Carpooling

Carpooling saves you money. Even if you carpool with just one other person, you can greatly reduce your commuting expenses. Carpooling also helps improve the region’s air quality, and makes commuting less stressful.

To find carpool partners for your work, school, other daily commute or one-time event using our online ridematching database, simply register to be a part of Smart Trips. Once you have registered, or if you are already a member, log into your account and follow these instructions.

  1. From your My Rideshare page click on the Find Matches button at the upper right of the page.
  2. In moments, a list of your matches will come up with a map of your route and numbers showing where your matches originations and destinations are in relation to your route.
  3. To contact your matches, click on the email icon next to their name under Matched Commuters. An automatic reply email will come up. To add personalized text, scroll down to the Comments section of the page. To send the email, click on the Send Email button at the bottom of the page.
  4. A text box will come up asking you to click ok to confirm sending the email. Click ok.
  5. You should then get a confirmation that the email has been successfully sent. That’s it! You have just communicated with a potential carpool partner.
  6. Click on the Back to Find Matches button above the map in the center of the page to get back to your list of matches and send additional emails.
  7. If you do not get matches, you can reset your search parameters to expand the distance potential carpool partners live or work from you. Simply make the changes and click on Refine Matches.
  8. Matches associated with your employer will be identified with a red check mark.
  9. To exit your match page, click on Go to My Rideshare in the upper left and you will be taken back to your main Rideshare page. From this page you can Log Your Commutes, or change your profile information.

If you have any questions or need help running a ridematch feel free to contact us at smarttrips@knoxtrans.org
or call (865) 215-2916.

Carpool Tips

Use these guidelines to get the most out of your carpool arrangement.
  • Cover the basics. In making your carpool arrangements, be sure to get answers to some key questions:
    • How often will you carpool?
    • How many carpool partners will there be?
    • Who will do the driving?
    • Do all drivers have full insurance coverage?
    • Where will you meet? Carpoolers can pick each other up at home or meet at a mutually convenient location.
    • When will you meet?
  • Discuss carpool costs. If commuters rotate the driving equally, money doesn’t have to exchange hands. But if only one person drives the carpool, decide how the costs of gas and parking will be handled.
  • Get to know your fellow carpoolers. Carpoolers who don’t know each other sometimes feel more comfortable meeting prospective carpool partners before they drive together for the first time. Plan to talk on the phone or meet for coffee to discuss carpool specifics and decide whether or not you would feel comfortable sharing a ride. You can also arrange a trial rideshare to test the waters.
  • Establish some rules. Carpoolers should agree upon certain ground rules at the outset:
    • Food, coffee, smoking, and perfume/cologne usage
    • Radio choices
    • How long drivers will wait for delays
    • Who is notified if someone is sick
  • Give carpooling a trial run. Many commuters start carpooling on a trial basis for a month or two. You can always add more days and more carpoolers in the future once a routine has been established. Don’t worry about getting the details perfect right away.

Carpool Etiquette

DO:

  • Communicate with your fellow carpoolers. If you’re running a few minutes late, call them and let them know. If you can’t carpool on a particular day, give your carpool partners ample notice so they can make other arrangements if necessary.
  • Drive safely at all times.
  • Keep your vehicle clean and in good condition.
  • Respect any restrictions the carpool has agreed on, such as smoking, eating, or drinking.

DON’T:

  • Make a habit of being late.
  • Ask your carpool partners to make extra stops along the way so you can take care of personal errands.
  • Bring up controversial topics like religion or politics unless you know your fellow carpoolers well. While some people enjoy debating the issues, others may prefer a quieter commute.
  • Have lengthy cell phone conversations while you’re in the carpool.
© 2013 and beyond Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization