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 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?

Driving alone is the primary commute mode for 54% of Arlington Commuters, compared to 83% statewide.

2007 Virginia State of the Commute Study: Arlington Perspective

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Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
580
14th Street Bridge
1851
Arlington Mill Trail
552
Ballston Connector
328
Bluemont Connector
197
CC Connector
906
Clarendon EB bike lane
199
Custis Bon Air Park
1232
Custis Rosslyn
1414
Fairfax EB bike lane
132
Joyce St SB
27
Key Bridge East
1345
Key Bridge West
635
Military NB bike lane
45
Military SB bike lane
31
Quincy NB bike lane
94
Quincy SB bike lane
85
Roosevelt Bridge
373
Rosslyn Bikeometer
1375
TR Island Bridge
1790
WOD Bon Air Park
1754
WOD Bon Air West
2234
WOD Columbia Pike
1576
WOD East Falls Church
1927
Wilson WB bike lane
219

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
601
14th Street Bridge
348
Arlington Mill Trail
935
Ballston Connector
247
Bluemont Connector
478
CC Connector
546
Custis Bon Air Park
506
Custis Rosslyn
388
Joyce St SB
88
Key Bridge East
2499
Key Bridge West
1112
Roosevelt Bridge
195
TR Island Bridge
845
WOD Bon Air Park
590
WOD Bon Air West
707
WOD Columbia Pike
648
WOD East Falls Church
490

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
3302898
About Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counter Program