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Park and Ride terms


Carpooling is the most common form of ridesharing. Carpooling is when two or more commuters ride together in a private automobile on a continuing basis.

Carpools can be arranged in various ways:

  • One person may drive all the time while passengers contribute to the cost (gas, parking, tolls)
  • Participants may alternate driving and not exchange money

The driver may pick up passengers at their homes or meet them at a central location. Park and Ride lots exist for this purpose.

If you’d like help forming a carpool or need riders for yours, your local commuter resource agency can help.

Free Ride-Matching Services

Ridematching services help commuters find others for starting or joining a car or vanpool. These services usually “match” commuters by where they live, their destination / workplace and their work schedule.

Employers sometimes provide ride-matching services, that may be a good place to start. Also, check with your commuter resource agency for free ride-matching services.

Guaranteed (or Emergency) Ride Home Program

For many, sharing the ride or taking transit to work can be challenging if you miss your ride home, need to leave early or stay late. Guaranteed or Emergency Ride Home programs (“GRH” or “ERH”) provide ridesharing commuters with a reliable ride home if an unexpected situation arises. A guaranteed ride home allows the commuter to use rideshare options with peace of mind and confidence.

To learn if a guaranteed ride home program is available to you, check your community's commuter resource agency.

High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes

The Washington metropolitan area and the Hampton Roads region offer high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to encourage carpooling.

HOV lanes greatly shorten commute times for carpoolers, but they also shorten commute times for everyone else by reducing the volume of traffic in the non-HOV lanes.

For information on the location and hours of operation, visit

Park and Ride Lots

For commuters who cannot walk, bike or take public transportation to meet their carpool, vanpool, bus, or train, Park and Ride lots provide a place to leave your car and meet your carpool, vanpool or ride transit. Use our Lot Finder to find a P and R lot near you.


Ridesharing means sharing your commute. It also means saving money and time while helping to reduce environmental impact and keeping the community mobile – and, it's reliable (see Guaranteed Ride Home Program).

Commuter resource agencies across Virginia provide information about ridesharing in specific communities. Contact the commuter resource agency near you.


Slug lines are unofficial meeting places where commuters catch free rides with drivers who need additional riders in order to use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Check to learn more from the author of "Slugging: The Commuting Alternative for Washington, D.C."

Slugging is a popular form of commuting, but no organization oversees it. The Virginia Dept of Transportation does not manage or endorse slugging and accepts no liability for slugging activity. Each commuter must be aware of the potential risks, hazards, and difficulties associated with accepting a ride from an unknown person. Learn more:


Teleworking is working from home or an off-site location, thereby avoiding or reducing the commute.

The growth and sophistication of communications technology are rapidly changing the way the average worker does their job, as well as the way they travel – or don't travel – to work.

One day, the “typical commute” may be a relic of the past.

More employees are in constant contact with their companies and one another through web-based email and smart phones.

Online collaboration and videoconferencing are minimizing the need for face-to-face meetings. As employees become connected to their workplaces without physically being there, workplace elements such as 9 - 5 schedules, cubicles and conference rooms are becoming less familiar.

For some, these changes can eliminate the traditional commute all together.

Via telework, employees can maintain productivity – in some cases, increase it – while staying home.

Telework is good for business as it reduces infrastructure demand for parking and office space while providing valuable benefits to high-quality, creative employees.

Telework is a family- and business-friendly public policy that helps employers recruit and retain a high-quality workforce in a competitive job market.

It also protects the environmental and promotes energy conservation by reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.

For some, telework also allows a better balance between work and family.

The Commonwealth of Virginia supports public and private sector efforts to promote greater adoption of teleworking practices.

One online resource from the Department of Rail and Public Transportation is


A vanpool or van lease is useful when your carpool has outgrown your car.

A vanpool is when five to 15 people regularly commute together in a passenger van.

Each rider shares in the cost of operating the van. One or more members are designated as the drivers.

For more information, contact your commuter resource agency.


Commuting options

"Park And Ride offers me more choices for my commute."

Want to learn more about your commuter options? Check out your area commuter resource agency.

Page last modified: Nov. 5, 2021