Have you ever found yourself burning with envy as you sit bumper to bumper while you watch other's gleefully cruise down the carpool lane? Find your self inching into the next lane because it appears to be creeping along a 1 inch per hour faster than your lane all the while that diamond clad lane is as open as a high range prairie? There is a simple solution... pick up a total stranger on the side of the road or in a parking lot, and enjoy the the life in the fast lane.
The impromptu carpooling is called slugging, and it has evolved to a pretty streamlined system in some places, like DC for example. Because High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes require 1 or more passengers, lonely commuters have had to be creative to access the coveted HOV lane. Around the greater DC area 25 "Slug Lines" have formed in parking & commuter lots, serving 6,500 slugs/slug drivers a day.
Here's how it works:
- People and cars line up in one of the designated areas.
- The cars pull up to the line and hold out a sign with the destination or shouts it out to the first person in line
- If that person isn't heading to that destination, he/she shouts it out to the rest of the line and the first two people going that way jump in the car.
The system works because of there's mutual benefit...