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  • Waiting for a ride

Friday February 5

Vallejo 7:25 AM

One of the down sides of casual carpooling can be the uncertainty of who you share your ride with. (It can also be one of the more interesting and pleasant aspects of this experience.) Most of the time – almost all of the time – there’s no problem. As I’ve said before, there’s a kind of comaraderie in this situation and everyone tries to make it as good as they can. But once in awhile . . . . like today for example.

I crawl into the back seat of a 2-door BMW. The couple in the front seat appear to be together. Once we hit the freeway, I begin to feel uneasy. The driver revs it up to 80 mph, working the manual transmission, tailgates whenever he comes up on anyone daring to only do the speed limit of 65, and goes even faster to pass cars in front of us. From my seat I can easily read the speedometer. Finally I stop looking at it. I can’t hear the bits of conversation between the couple, but I gather, from the driver’s gestures at other cars and his general tone, that he’s commenting and critiquing other cars on the freeway, especially other BMWs we pass.

This car is who this guy is and in a scary sort of way. I don’t like him and I don’t like his car. Finally he’s forced to slow down once we hit the heavy traffic near Berkeley, and I relax a bit.

We arrive in San Francisco at 7:55. Phew. A bad ride.

2 Responses

  1. I have enjoyed reading your blog as it highlights both the benefits and challenges of casual carpooling. I would like to submit a shamless plug for a carpool application that is directly relevant to several of the concerns you mention.

    Avego Shared Transport is a free iPhone application that allows drivers to offer seats in real time. Riders do NOT need an iPhone, and can request rides on the Avego website or with any phone with texting capabilities.

    The benefits include;
    1) the rider agrees to compensate the driver for the cost of driving ($1 plus $0.22 cents per mile). This helps with operating costs including the upcoming toll,
    2) all riders and drivers are rated by each-other so you don’t have to get into cars with questionable people, and
    3) together, we can save the planet one seat at a time!

    Thank you
    – Paul

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