Ridesharing

Photo: CarpoolRidesharing means riding together in one car or van. Sharing the ride saves money on fuel, insurance, and car maintenance. Ridesharing can also reduce time spent on the road, because vehicles with enough passengers can use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and 495/95 Express Lanes. When they're not behind the wheel, passengers can read, nap, or chat, reducing stress. Ridesharing also helps reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.

There's more than one way to share a ride.

Ridesharing can be as simple as family members, neighbors, or coworkers deciding to ride to and from work together. But that's not the only way. Local governments, employers, and private companies offer ridesharing services to match you to an existing carpool or vanpool, or help you form a new one. For instance, in Arlington County, many commercial buildings are required to manage carpool/vanpool incentive programs that offer convenient, reserved spaces and reduced parking rates for 'pool vehicles. Recently, several companies have begun to offer services that allow users to share rides on an occasional basis -- not just for their everyday commute.

Carpooling

The most familiar form of ridesharing, carpooling usually involves a group of people who live and work near each other, commuting together in a private vehicle. Carpool members may take turns driving, and members benefit by not having to drive every day. In some commercial areas, registered carpools get access to convenient reserved parking spaces at reduced parking rates. Although carpooling is usually associated with regular trips to and from work, carpoolers enjoy some of the same benefits when they share a ride to any destination. Increasingly, ridematching services are becoming available that can match drivers and riders for individual trips, not just every-day commutes.

Graphic: Reserved Parking for Vanpool signVanpooling

A vanpool is generally formed with the help of an employer or vanpool service. Each vanpool has a primary driver/coordinator and one or more alternate drivers. The vanpool participants share cost of the van and all other operating expenses. Riders usually meet at a designated pick-up location like a shopping center parking lot or a park and ride location. The number of pickup and dropoff locations depends on the nature and needs of the vanpool group.

Vanpools, unlike carpools, are also eligible for federal tax benefits. Under current federal policy, employers may give their employees a subsidy to commute via vanpool; this contribution is then eligible for a tax deduction, and the employer saves over providing the same value in gross income. Or, employees may use pre-tax income to pay for vanpooling expenses, or a combination of both, up to statutory limits. This offers another financial incentive to share the ride.

Slug Lines

An interesting side effect of HOV lanes has been the establishment of unofficial carpool-formation areas called "slug lines." Commuters catch free rides with drivers who need additional riders to be able to use the HOV lane along their route to and from work.

More Information and Slug Line Resources

Slug-Lines.com – Slugging and slug lines information for the Washington, D.C. area
Sluglines.com – Bringing community to the slugging world
Smartslug.com – Free Web app for slugs and drivers

Ridesharing and Ridematching Services

Services operating in the Washington, D.C. area that provide ridesharing information, match riders to carpools and vanpools, and assist in forming carpools and vanpools.

Guaranteed Ride Home

If you regularly share a ride to work, you may be eligible for Commuter Connections' Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH). GRH provides free taxi rides home when the unexpected happens. Guaranteed Ride Home is also available to commuters who use other commuting alternatives, such as transit or bicycling. More about the Guaranteed Ride Home Program.

Other Ridesharing Resources

495ExpressLanes.com
495 Express Lanes are available to high-occupancy vehicles and toll-paying customers. All users will need an E-ZPass® transponder; high-occupancy vehicles will need the E-ZPass Flex.

Arlington County Transportation Benefits by Building
Find out if your Arlington apartment or office building offers ridesharing incentives or other transportation benefits such as bike storage or SmarTrip cards.

EZPassVA.com
Information from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) about E-Z Pass® and E-Z Pass® Flexsm.

Park and Ride Lots
For commuters who can't walk, bike, or take transit to the carpool or vanpool meeting place or slug line location, Park and Ride Lots provide a place to leave the car.

Did You Know?

The average person loses 13 lbs. their first year of commuting by bike.

League of American Cyclists

News Headlines
Alternatives for Metro riders affected by derailment near East Falls Church

Luz Lazo, July 29, 2016, Washington Post

Metro train derails at East Falls Church stop; no injuries reported

Dana Hedgpeth, July 29, 2016, Washington Post

Metro's busy Red Line to slow during SafeTrack Surge 6, 7

July 27, 2016, NBC Washington

Bad Friday morning for Metro

Dana Hedgpeth, July 29, 2016, Washington Post

More News & Events

Upcoming Events
Car-Free Diet at Marymount Farmers Market

Saturday, July 30, 2016

SafeTrack Surge 6 Starts

Monday, August 1, 2016

Car-Free Diet at Aurora Hills Library for Book Discussion

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Car-Free Diet at Ballston Mega Market

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Events Calendar

Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
607
14th Street Bridge
1968
Arlington Mill Trail
282
Ballston Connector
296
Bluemont Connector
215
CC Connector
741
Clarendon EB bike lane
184
Custis Bon Air Park
1012
Custis Rosslyn
1525
Fairfax EB bike lane
144
Joyce St NB
23
Joyce St SB
25
Key Bridge East
994
Key Bridge West
671
Military NB bike lane
37
Military SB bike lane
28
MVT Airport South
1917
Quincy NB bike lane
97
Quincy SB bike lane
81
Roosevelt Bridge
495
Rosslyn Bikeometer
1332
TR Island Bridge
1594
WOD Bon Air Park
716
WOD Bon Air West
1289
WOD Columbia Pike
621
WOD East Falls Church
927
Wilson WB bike lane
221

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
599
14th Street Bridge
285
Arlington Mill Trail
672
Ballston Connector
346
Bluemont Connector
266
CC Connector
318
Custis Bon Air Park
409
Custis Rosslyn
305
Joyce St NB
44
Joyce St SB
72
Key Bridge East
1776
Key Bridge West
0
MVT Airport South
111
Roosevelt Bridge
132
TR Island Bridge
632
WOD Bon Air Park
465
WOD Bon Air West
544
WOD Columbia Pike
617
WOD East Falls Church
297

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
5988846
About Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counter Program