Everybody into the pool! The car pool, that is. When you carpool with a co-worker or neighbor, you save money, lower your stress level, do your part for a cleaner, greener world, and heck, maybe have some fun!
There are plenty of people in the greater Seacoast region who want to dive in to carpooling. We can help you find them, then you decide if they are a good fit for you.
Improve your commute by carpooling with a co-worker or neighbor – you will save money and reduce stress. You will also help reduce traffic and air pollution.
The first step is to team up with another person or persons who live and work in the same area as you. In the greater Seacoast region, there are plenty of people who fit that description – and we can help you find them.
Check out 10 Reasons to Carpool
Our instant online database will provide you with the phone number and/or e-mail address of commuters who live and work near you. Looking at possible ride matches does not obligate you to carpool.
You will need to contact the people on your matchlist to figure out the details of your ridesharing agreement. We have sample e-mails and phone scripts to help you get the conversation started with a potential carpool partner.
If you do not find a match, please check back as new people join regularly. Also, you may want to consider broadening your search radius (e.g. increase maximum detour from 2 to 3 miles) or look for a match along the way.
A happy carpool is a successful carpool. Getting everyone on the same page before the carpool is formed prevents surprises down the road. Check out our carpool tips to help you get started.
Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions about carpooling.
Send an e-mail to info@commuteSMARTseacoast.org
If you have a long commute (over 20 miles each way), consider forming a vanpool.
A vanpool is usually made up of four to 15 people who have similar work schedules and are going to the same general area.
Vanpool agreements with a leasing agency are month to month, so there’s no required long-term agreement.
If your employer participates in the Commuter Tax Benefit Program, you can use pre-tax dollars up to $130 a month to pay for the vanpool.
When you start something new and exciting, it always helps to have a few tips to help you along your way!
Make arrangements to meet prior to the first time carpooling together. A public place near your worksite is suggested.
It usually takes a few weeks for everyone’s schedule to come together.
An agreement to share the ride isn’t a binding contract. But if you find car- or vanpooling isn’t for you, give your partners ample notice so they can make alternate arrangements or find a replacement.
If you have a list of potential carpool partners but are wondering how to start the conversation, here are some suggestions.
Simply copy and paste the sample e-mail below, sending it to the people listed on your ridematch list.
My name is _________ and I found your name on the commuteSMART carpooling database.
Are you still interested in carpooling to work? If so, you can reach me at (phone) or by e-mail at (List Your Email Address).
I look forward to talking with you soon!
This sample phone script can be used when making that first call to one of your matches.
My name is ___________. I found your name through the commuteSMART carpooling database.
Are you still looking for a carpool partner?
Is there a time and a place that we can meet to discuss sharing the ride to work?
How much does the commuteSMARTseacoast program cost? Nothing – it’s a FREE service.
Why should I carpool?
What if I don’t have a car? That is okay because some commuters prefer to drive most or all of the time. You should be prepared to pay for a portion of the gas and other vehicle operating costs. These costs can be estimated and agreed upon based on the distance you will be commuting together.
What are some guidelines for successful carpooling? Please review the Tips for Successful Carpooling .
I am already in a carpool, so what can the commuteSMARTseacoast do for me? If your present carpool partner should decide not to carpool, or if you are looking to add people to your carpool, enrolling in the program would be beneficial. We can furnish you with a list of potential carpool members. Commuters who register in the commuteSMARTseacoast carpool database are eligible for the Emergency Ride Home Program (some restrictions apply). By logging your carpool trips in the database, you are automatically entered into quarterly prize drawings for such items as gift certificates at local restaurants, hotels, and retail stores.
I live in NH, but I work out of state…what should I do? If you commute to Maine, register in the GoMaine program. IF you commute to Massachusetts, register in the massRIDES program.
How long will it take to receive my match list? After you register online, you will immediately receive your match list.
Exactly how does the carpooling program work? CommuteSMARTseacoast is part of a statewide database of people interested in carpooling. When you register, the computerized matching system will provide you with a map and list of potential people you may be able to carpool with. It is up to you to contact your potential carpool matches and determine if any of the matches seem like a good fit with your commute. Note: we suggest you meet your potential carpool match in a public place first to get acquainted and work out the details of your ridesharing arrangement.
What if I feel uncomfortable carpooling with a stranger? That’s understandable, which is why we suggest that you meet potential carpool partners in a public place before you commit to carpooling. Meet, talk, and decide whether or not you would feel comfortable sharing a ride. If you still feel uncomfortable after meeting, you can simply choose not to pursue the rideshare arrangement. You are not obligated to carpool. Perhaps you could agree to a trial carpool period to test the waters. If things don’t work out, the carpooling arrangement ends, no strings attached.
Are carpool participants screened? No, we do not screen participants. We do not run background checks on participants nor do we check for valid driver’s licenses or assess insurance coverage. We recommend that you get to know your potential carpool matches and verify licensing, insurance and vehicle registration. It is up to you to determine whether or not you feel comfortable carpooling with someone.
What do I say when I call people on my match list? Explain why you are calling and ask any particular questions you may have about carpooling with them. Some examples are; what kind of car they have, their schedule, and where drop offs and pick ups might happen. See Contacting Your Matches for sample email or phone scripts.
Do I have to carpool every day? Absolutely not! You and your carpool partner(s) can determine what arrangement works best for you. Some of the most successful carpools only operate a few days a week. Some people just find it more convenient to carpool one to two days a week, and use the other days for things they need to do. Even carpooling a couple of days per week can add up to significant savings.
What if the data base can’t find me a match, what else can I do? Once you register, you remain in the database until you request that your name be removed. If there is not match today, when someone registers for the database that has a similar commute to yours, you will be notified by email of a new potential match. CommuteSMARTseacoast has comprehensive information on all the transit providers in the area, perhaps you can use public transit to get close to your work site.
What is my commitment when I register? Registering and receiving a match report doesn’t obligate you to participate but gives you the information so you can select the possible matches. You may remove your information at any time.
How is my personal information used when I register? The database uses your home address and work address to scan for matches. Your home street address and phone number will not appear on another person’s match report. You will, however, need to provide work phone, cell phone number, or email address so future matches can contact you. The information you provide is used exclusively for the purpose of helping people carpool and is not distributed or sold for any other purposes. All data transmission over the Internet of sensitive data is encrypted and secure.
What if I need to leave work quickly due to an emergency and I don’t have my vehicle at work? Or if I drove, how will my carpool buddies get home? You may be able to take advantage of Emergency Ride Home program that provide alternate transportation if you are at work when an emergency arises for you or your carpool buddies. Certain restrictions apply, read more here.
What if my matches aren’t convenient? You may want to re-run your search by changing how far you are willing to drive to a potential carpool match. If you aren’t satisfied with your results contact us for an advanced match.
Can I track my environmental savings from changing my mode of transportation? After submitting your registration, your personal Welcome Page comes up. Click on Track your Commute to record your commute. Use the Mobile Commute Reporting link to register to receive a daily message to easily record your commutes through your smart phone or email account. After recording your commutes, go to Track your Commute to run a monthly report showing your environmental and financial savings.
Can I log in with my Facebook account? Yes – after you have registered in the commuteSMARTseacoast database you can link your profile to your Facebook profile. Once you do so, you can log in with Facebook. When you navigate to your commuter matches that also have a Facebook page you can see more about your potential carpool match candidates who have also linked their profiles to their Facebook accounts.