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32 Table 21 What Is Your Agency's Practice Regarding Casual Carpooling/Slugging? Response Count Percent There is no casual carpooling or slugging in our area 27 69 We tolerate the activities but do not encourage them 6 15 We encourage these activities by allowing pick up and drop off on 2 5 our property We encourage these activities through information on our website 2 5 We encourage these activities by installing signs to formally 1 3 designate pick up and drop off points on our property We encourage these activities by promoting them in our written 1 3 materials and transit announcements We prohibit these activities on our property 0 0 Other 8 21 Total Responses 39 100 Answers exceed 100% because respondents could choose multiple answers. the number of vehicles in the carpool lane had decreased by who use PRTC's express service, according to the public 26% (L. Lee, Bay Area Toll Authority, Metropolitan Trans- transit agency's manager of planning and quality assurance. portation Commission, personal communication, Sep. 1, 2011). Those casual carpools take thousands of people into the core employment areas around the District of Columbia, Two studies conducted at the University of California at commuters that PRTC could not accommodate as a result Berkeley in spring 2011 examined the impact of toll increases of capacity issues. There is also an integral connection between on casual carpooling and transit use. University researchers casual carpooling and transit in the DC area, as PRTC's transit conducted focus groups of more than 100 current and former service is located near many slugging origins and destinations. casual carpoolers. In addition, 400 responses were collected PRTC thus supports and promotes casual carpooling in a from surveys at casual carpool sites. Researchers found that variety of ways. about half of the loss of casual carpoolers was the result of changes in residential and employment locations and sta- One way is by disseminating information about casual tus rather than the toll. However, the toll definitely deterred carpooling on the transit agency's website. Included is a link some casual carpool drivers and riders, not only because of to www.slug-lines.com, which offers everything from tips on the cost itself but also because the injection of money into the slugging etiquette to descriptions of where slug lines form in social dynamics of offering or accepting a ride made them the morning and afternoon. PRTC also supplies information uncomfortable. Research results indicate that a $1 payment is about casual carpooling to people who request it through the now offered to drivers at most casual carpool sites, and $1.25 agency's ride-matching request form. (The form specifically from greater distances. A few drivers stopped picking up asks if people are interested in receiving this information.) riders because they were worried that collecting a fee would Customer service agents in PRTC's call center are also able create insurance and liability issues. The toll did not affect to provide information on slugging to callers. more affluent drivers because they considered the savings in travel time in the carpool lane more important than a toll. Some In addition, PRTC assists casual carpoolers when changes drivers were no longer interested in offering rides because the are made to slugging locations. When the number of commuter faster travel time was reduced with toll collection (E. Deakin, parking spaces at a mall recently decreased from 1,000 to 275, University of California Transportation Center, personal com- for instance, the transit agency informed casual carpoolers munication, Aug. 29, 2011). of alternate lots they could use and provided the location of new slug lines, according to the transit agency's manager of planning and quality assurance. The transit agency also Profile: PRTC Supports Casual Carpooling suggests traffic patterns that might work best for given lots, and it has provided input on slug line placement in the District PRTC supports casual carpooling in the Washington, D.C./ of Columbia. The District is planning to relocate slug lines Northern Virginia area, acknowledging the vital role it from main thoroughfares onto adjacent streets, according to plays in the transportation system. There are more "slugs"-- PRTC. PRTC has also advocated consideration of slug activity or casual carpools--in the region than there are transit riders during the planning phases of new park-and-ride lots.