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Carpooling & Vanpooling

Sharing the ride saves money on fuel, insurance, and car maintenance. It can also reduce time spent on the road, because vehicles with enough passengers can use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and use 495/95 Express Lanes and I-66 Express Lanes for free with an E-Z Pass Flex in HOV mode. When they're not behind the wheel, passengers can read, nap, or chat, reducing stress. Carpooling and vanpooling also help reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.

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

Sharing a ride 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 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

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. Carpools that meet the HOV requirement can use HOV and Express lanes, and registered carpools may get access to 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, ride-matching services are becoming available that can match drivers and riders for individual trips, not just every-day commutes.

Vanpooling

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.

Like carpools, vanpools that meet the HOV requirement can use HOV and Express lanes, and may get access to reserved parking spaces at reduced parking rates.

Unlike carpools, vanpools are eligible for federal tax benefits. Employers may provide employees a tax-deductible subsidy to commute via vanpool.  Or, employees may use pre-tax income to pay for vanpooling expenses. Tax breaks provide another financial incentive to share the ride.

Slug Lines

An interesting side effect of HOV and Express lanes in the Washington, D.C. area 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 lanes 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

Ridesharing and Ride-matching Services

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

Other Ridesharing Resources

ExpressLanes.com
Express Lanes are available to high-occupancy vehicles and solo drivers willing to pay a toll. All users will need an E-ZPass® transponder; high-occupancy vehicles will need the E-ZPass Flex.

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

The Commuter Store
E-ZPass available here!

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.

Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
646
14th Street Bridge
1290
Arlington Mill Trail
256
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
326
CC Connector
705
Clarendon EB bike lane
223
Custis Bon Air Park
958
Custis Rosslyn
1187
Eads NB
93
Eads SB
134
Fairfax EB bike lane
136
Fairfax WB
142
Joyce St NB
62
Joyce St SB
0
Key Bridge East
1067
Key Bridge West
591
Military NB bike lane
28
Military SB bike lane
25
MVT Airport South
2099
Quincy NB bike lane
117
Quincy SB bike lane
112
Roosevelt Bridge
408
Rosslyn Bikeometer
1207
TR Island Bridge
978
WOD Bon Air Park
0
WOD Bon Air West
0
WOD Columbia Pike
941
Wilson WB bike lane
244

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
526
14th Street Bridge
0
Arlington Mill Trail
679
Ballston Connector
1058
Bluemont Connector
1149
CC Connector
781
Custis Bon Air Park
321
Custis Rosslyn
593
Eads NB
0
Eads SB
0
Fairfax WB
0
Joyce St NB
119
Joyce St SB
0
Key Bridge East
2592
Key Bridge West
556
MVT Airport South
479
Roosevelt Bridge
0
TR Island Bridge
1644
WOD Bon Air Park
0
WOD Bon Air West
0
WOD Columbia Pike
2620

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
2288142