31
May
09

Casual Carpool From Montclair?

In Oakland, no one has to hitch a ride and hope they will end up in San Francisco.  Unlike typical hitchhiking, casual carpools are an organized effort where both riders and drivers join forces for the daily commute across the Bay.  This is part of our local fabric, with carpools operating over the past 30 years.

Old Fashioned Hiktchiker

These casual carpools are almost a misnomer, since they depend on reliable locations and trustworthy volunteers.  Passengers know they can find a ride during rush hours, while drivers expect to speed through the carpool lanes over the Bay Bridge.

Montclarions have to leave the village to join these carpools, and generally head to Park Blvd.  According to RideNow, there are currently nine locations in Oakland and one in Piedmont.  There’s one next to the Orinda BART too.

One regular commuter to the city, Patricia Carberry-Harris, thinks it’s about time to establish a casual carpool in the Village.  She typically takes the V express bus from LaSalle every morning, and is looking for other options:

I am wondering if there might be interest in starting a casual carpool location in front of the old firehouse on Moraga near the tennis courts.  The location looks ideal – there is enough room for several cars to pull into, and once you have your passengers, you can head right down to 13 and hop on 24.

Having a casual carpool in that location would obviate the need to drive down Park Boulevard and pick up passengers at one of the two Park locations, and then keep going to 580.  If anyone has suggestions about another location that might work better, please feel free to chime in.

Patricia’s suggestion sounds very plausible.  There should be enough demand for a small carpool spot here, and I’m betting that Montclarions would leave a few more cars parked at home.  Feel free to comment here,  or reach Patricia directly at pcarberryharris-at-yahoo.com.

More info:   Check out the casual carpool spots on this google map.  Learn more at RideNow about carpool etiquette.  Visit the ride discussion board if you have more questions.  Read about bridge rules at the Bay Area Toll Authority.

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3 Responses to “Casual Carpool From Montclair?”


  1. 1 Andrew
    June 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I think its a great idea. The problem is that for a casual carpool to work you need parking so that riders can get to the carpool location. Is there enough all day parking in that area for it to work?

  2. 2 Andy K
    June 2, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Parking is one problem with these. Also, unless there is a return car pool, they put a strain on Transit resources – you need more bus capacity for the return trip than the morning trip to the city.

    I understand the attraction – saving on time and money.

  3. 3 Anon
    June 18, 2009 at 11:39 am

    There is all day parking on Mtn Blvd at the end of Snake but it is highly used by Trans Bay Bus riders. The problem with the spot near the former fire station is that taking 13 to the 24 is actually NOT typically a good way to get to the city due to the horrible 24/580 merge. Park to 580 is a far better route if you leave Montclair any time after 7:30 am. If you google map it from Snake,the Park Blvd to 580 and 13 to 24 routes are almost the exact same distance.


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