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31 chapter six Survey Results: Public Transit Agencies and Casual Carpooling Casual carpooling, which is also known as "ad-hoc carpools" easily exist without transit for the ride home. In this way, or "slugging," is a form of carpooling where drivers and public transit complements casual carpooling; however, at least passengers meet without prior arrangement at a designated one transit agency considers casual carpooling a detriment to location. Casual carpools often form at transit stations where its operations. riders and drivers can take advantage of HOV lanes. Houston, San Francisco, and Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. have BART began to experience problems caused by casual car- the most established programs among metropolitan areas in pooling during the agency's heyday in the late 1980s. Casual the United States. carpoolers were parking in BART's oversubscribed lots but only using the transit system one-way. When roundtrip riders Casual carpooling was not common among survey respon- were unable to find parking, BART installed machines inside dents. More than two thirds (27 of 39) reported that there is the fare gates that required riders to enter their parking space no casual carpooling in their area (see Table 21). Of those number. Not paying a fare to access the parking machines who do have casual carpooling in their area, six agencies said could result in a parking ticket. they tolerate it but do not encourage it. At the same time, some cities set up loading zones for Only four agencies noted that they support casual car- casual carpoolers on sidewalks near BART. These zones, pooling in any way. Two agencies encourage casual carpooling which continue today, enable casual carpooling for the morn- by allowing pick-ups and drop-offs on their property. One pro- ing commute without impinging on BART parking, while they motes casual carpooling on its website as well as in its written allow the casual carpoolers to return by BART in the evening. materials. Another said, "We have cooperated with designating However, a 2010 report by 511 Rideshare indicated that 35% of locations for slugging and ensure operational cooperation the casual carpoolers previously took BART before switching between our transit system and slugging participants." to casual carpooling, causing a loss of fare revenue. BART must also add more cars to its evening trains to accommodate Not all agencies and organizations, however, are in favor of the additional riders who carpooled in the morning. casual carpooling. One survey respondent said, "Slugging uses precious parking capacity and generally reduces our rider ship Although San Francisco has set aside loading zones for and fare revenue." Two others are concerned that transit park- the evening commute, casual carpooling is less attractive for ing lots may lose valuable parking spaces to casual carpool the return trip. Unlike the morning commute through the riders, who may leave their cars at the transit station for the toll plaza, there is no designated carpool lane on the bridge day but do not contribute any fare revenue to the system. One between San Francisco and the East Bay and no reverse toll respondent reported that casual carpoolers are prohibited from in the evening. parking at its facility. Casual carpooling near BART occurs most often in cities Public transit agencies clearly have different views of that are near the middle of a trip, when the BART train is casual carpooling. The profiles below highlight two agencies most often likely to be crowded with no or limited seating with contrasting views: BART prohibits casual carpooling available. For example, the town of Orinda is seven stops on its property, and PRTC actively encourages the practice. from the beginning of the line and six to nine stops away The latter case highlights casual carpooling's role in reduc- from the downtown San Francisco stops. Consequently, ing demand on transit services, as mentioned in the litera- Orinda attracted 101 casual carpools a day, totaling more ture by Beroldo (1990) in chapter two. than 300 riders, according to the 2010 511 Rideshare report. Profile: BART and Cities Manage The Bay Area Toll Authority raised bridge tolls to $6 in Casual Carpooling peak periods and began charging all carpools a $2.50 toll in July 2010; carpools had previously been free. Riders and Casual carpooling in the San Francisco Bay Area provides a drivers involved in casual carpooling debated about whether more comfortable and less expensive commute than taking or not they needed to pay the driver a share of the toll, and public transit to jobs in San Francisco. However, it could not if so, how much (Kane 2010). One year later, by June 2011,