Sites for Commute Carpooling

Commutes -- Your City Might Help

The best solution for carpooling to work is typically the one provided by a government-subsidized program for your city. In the San Francisco area, that's 511.org. Just google commuter carpool program (your city.)

For Washington DC and into San Francisco, you might explore casual carpooling: informal pick-up points where both riders and drivers line up.

ERideShare

You must create a free profile to use this site. There seems to be an abundance of commuter listings, especially for the Bay Area. There are some one-time, long distance rideshares offered and wanted, but not that many and it might be difficult to find a match. It seems they have just started offering errands, medical, shopping and airport rideshares which has yet to catch on with only 140 rides listed across the country.

carpoolworld

http://carpoolworld.com
This site is for commuters, free and seemingly easy to use. They have an events carpool list as well, but currently there are only two events listed. You enter your info and then "matches" pop up, and it looks like they have a lot for the Bay Area. We'd love to hear if someone has compared this to 511.org.

Alternet Rides

The majority of rides posted are carpools to work and it seems to get more use in some regions than others. The most rides offered are in California, with 405 rides for the entire state, half of which are from Irvine and Redwood Shores for some mysterious reason. There are only 3 posted for San Francisco. You don't have to sign up to look for or e-mail about rideshares, and they just started a "one-time" ride message board with only a handful of posts so far [summer 2008].

Facebook

Facebook relies on your facebook community. It might be useful for a student with lots of friends at the same campus, or in similar circumstances. Probably more useful as a social-carpooling tool: find a friend to a go to a festival with, and then decide which weekend and which festival. Without a big facebook community I can't even test it.

Craigslist

Craigslist is amazing for its community, though the search for rideshares uses bulletin-board style instead of a proper sort. Both early testers have found their best results for city-to-city carpooling on Craigslist; it seems especially useful up and down I5 on the West Coast. Plus Craig is our hero. It's also useful as a backup site for commutes and events if your city or event hasn't organized anything better. You have to be a bit persistent to maximize searches: try all likely spellings both when creating a post or searching, consider nearby towns or county names (to go to Arcata, also search Eureka, Humboldt, and Humbolt), and for one-way trips consider searching the Craigslist site for both your departure and arrival towns.