Ty, carpool driver
As told to a Waze Carpool story editor
I’m originally from the Midwest, and now I live in San Francisco. I commute to San Jose every day, which is about 160 miles round trip. It just made sense to offer people rides, since I’m already in the car for four hours a day — and save a few extra dollars for gas and car insurance. Now, about 30,000 shared miles later, I’m still enjoying it!
With every first ride, there can be a bit of discomfort — do we talk? The rider is like, “Do I sit in the front? Do I sit in the back?” My go-to way to break the ice is to keep the front passenger window rolled down. That way, I’m immediately inviting them in and saying, “Hey, feel free to sit in the front.”
Over time, I’ve had a few regular riders. One of my most regular riders basically helped me plan my wedding. We shared about 30 or 40 carpools together, and as I was going through my wedding planning, I’d bounce ideas off of her. Like, “Hey, here’s what I’m going to give as groomsmen gifts,” or “Here’s what I’m thinking of giving the parents as gifts.” We spent almost a year going back and forth over wedding details. I almost felt obligated to invite her to the wedding!
Eventually, she got engaged too. We ended up brainstorming ideas for her wedding, too!
I’ve ended up with great friendships that started in the carpool. It’s a more personal experience than some other forms of commuting, and it’s quicker. I like the ability to meet and connect with people I never would have met before. That makes some people nervous — but once they get over that first ride, I think they come to appreciate it.