Good Carpooling Practices

A how-to guide for carpooling with The Mountaineers and carpooling best practices including arranging carpools, carpool etiquette, reimbursement rates, park and ride information.

ARRANGING CARPOOLS IS UP TO YOU

As stewards for outdoor conservation efforts, The Mountaineers actively encourage participants to carpool as an effective way to decrease our environmental impact and reduce the number of vehicles at trailheads. Plus it’s a great way to meet other people participatinin your adventure! However, we ask that it be self-selected and organized by the participants independently of The Mountaineers. By allowinself-selection, the individual is responsible for making appropriate choices to ride with a driver they believe is safe and responsible – and drivers can choose who they offer rides to. The Mountaineers insurance will not cover the liability associated with driving or the arrangement of carpool participants by Mountaineers volunteers or staff.

Drivers and riders who choose to participate in carpools to Mountaineers events are doing so at their own risk. Thank you for being responsible.

Carpool Etiquette

Respect the driver

  • Be ready
  • Be on time (remember to exchange cellphone numbers and prearrange how long you are willing to wait if someone is late)
  • Offer to pay for the ride - don't wait for the driver to ask! This should include consideration of wear-and-tear on the car, fuel prices, the distance, and the inconvenience. This is a carpool, not a taxi service
  • Don't ask for special stops
  • Consider bringing plastic bags or other provisions to keep mud from trails from getting in the car
  • Be courteous

Respect the Passenger

  • Be on time (remember to exchange cellphone numbers and prearrange how long you are willing to wait if someone is late)
  • Drive safely
  • Be clear about your reimbursement expectations
  • Don't make unnecessary stops for yourself
  • Carry adequate insurance
  • If you are concerned about cleanliness, consider providing rubber mats or other provisions to protect the interior and provide a place for muddy boots
  • Be courteous

Park and Ride Information

Many people utilize the state Park and Ride system (check the rules about just how long you can leave a car). Find information about our state Park and Rides here and consider planning your activity in a way that could make it easier for people to carpool and reduce their impact. 

Park and Ride parking lots can be big so allow yourself extra time to park and locate your group. Be sure to communicate with your group exactly where you plan to meet. Details such as the make and color of your car or the type of pack you'll be carrying will help let others know you are with a Mountaineers group.  Dropping a pin on a digital map or sending a specific image of where you like to park in your carpool coordination email can go a long way for ensuring a quick meet up. 

REIMBURSEMENT RATES

The Mountaineers has not established a specific carpool mileage reimbursement rate. We suggest estimating the value of the transportation, considering the cost of fuel, wear-and-tear, and inconvenience, and then dividing this by the number of people ridinin the car. Again, this is all up to the people in the carpool, however, and The Mountaineers is not a part of this negotiation. As a point of reference, the IRS Standard Mileage Reimbursement Rates vary from $.14 to $.575 per mile depending on the circumstances. 

How to FInd and State Your Carpooling Preferences oNline 

Make sure your carpool preferences are up to date from your profile page by going to Preferences and entering in your carpool preferences.  

When you edit your profile preferences, you'll find a section where you can list your carpool preferences and include some notes for others to see (note, they won't be able to see this if you've set your membership to "private"). Useful things to include are your cellphone number, where you are located, and any preferences that are important to you. Those preferences get carried into your activities and field trips by default, HOWEVER, you can further edit them IN each activity/field trip without modifying the default settings from your profile (which will stay the same for all future trips).

Which means: if you generally like to drive, you don't have to change a thing when you sign up for an activity. But if your car breaks down one week, you don't have to change your default preferences; you can edit your carpool notes for the affected activities and say you "need a ride" with notes explaining that "my car broke down and I REALLY want to go on this trip, can someone take me?! I'll bring cookies!!!" (or brownies. That's acceptable too). 

But remember, this doesn't "create" a carpool or guarantee you a ride. Again, this is up to the participants and is not a Mountaineers venture (that starts at the trailhead). So you'll have to start a dialogue with the participants on your activity via the "email" button in the activity roster to identify someone you can ride with or drive (and after the trip, you can use this same communication functionality to exchange photos, say "thanks," or otherwise stay in touch!).

After clicking the email roster you'll see this screen where you can pick individuals to email from our site.

Then, once you've arranged your carpool, you may want to update your activity's carpool notes accordingly if you want to avoid additional inquiries. As of November 2015 There are two new carpool statuses available for you to update if you are already carpooling and have a full car or want to carpool and still have room in your car.