The Greater Portland Council of Governments administers GO MAINE, the statewide commuter services program. GO MAINE is sponsored by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority. GO MAINE provides services and information to commuters and other travelers who live, work, or travel in the state of Maine: carpool ride matching, vanpool formation, transit information and bicycling and walking information. GO MAINE works with commuters, employers, business groups, planning agencies, transit operators, and other local and regional partners throughout the state to build demand and advance the mutual goals of improved air quality, reduced traffic congestion and lower commuting costs.

Worried about missing your ride home? Sick kid? Demanding boss? The Emergency Ride Home Guarantee gives you peace of mind. GO MAINE offers a free (or reimbursed) ride home – either a bus, taxi or rental car – in the event of a workday emergency. Just to be clear, you must be in a GO Maine carpool, vanpool, be a transit user, bicyclist or walker, registered with GO Maine, in order to be eligible for the Emergency Ride Home guarantee. You are only eligible for this benefit once you have registered your carpool or vanpool, or are a regular user of transit or walking or bicycling. In other words, just being registered in GO Maine does not make you eligible for the ERH guarantee, you must be using alternative transportation, as mentioned above.

Carpool etiquette:

1. Getting to know you. Before you do anything else, meet your carpool partners and agree on the basics: How many days you plan to carpool per week, where you’ll meet before and after work, what time you’ll meet, who will drive and on which days, how long you’ll wait for other carpoolers, and what about caffeine, fuel and bathroom stops?

2. You don’t have to be joined at the hip. Just because you want to carpool doesn’t mean you have to do it everyday. Some of the most successful carpoolers we know share the ride only one or two days a week. That gives everyone involved a couple of days to themselves to run errands.

3. Share and share alike. Decide how to split the costs. Some carpools divide everything – driving and expenses – evenly. That may not always be possible. Make sure it’s a good deal for everyone involved. Estimate the average cost of driving to work: cents per mile of gas, oil and routine maintenance cost. Split the cost among everyone in the carpool.

4. Plan ahead. Good planning is the key to a good carpool. Think ahead to events that could influence the lives of your fellow carpoolers. Consider scheduling ahead for vacations, business trips – or the day you have to leave work early to see your 4th grader’s school play. It’s only good manners to give your partners the information and time to make other plans.

5. Watch the upholstery. It may sound trivial, but it’s best to set a policy on eating, drinking and smoking in the car. It’s even good to agree upon a radio station. That gives everyone one less thing to worry about when your carpool hits the road.

6. Flexibility is a carpool virtue. No matter how well you plan, sickness, family emergencies and work can throw off your carpool schedule. Be flexible. Have fellow carpoolers’ phone numbers handy, and be sure to have a contingency plan. And rest assured – GOMAINE Emergency Ride Home Guarantee will get you home if your carpool partner has an emergency during the work day.

7. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Like Aretha Franklin says, respect is essential – including for your carpool. Treat fellow carpoolers with courtesy, and everyone’s bound to enjoy the ride home.

Visit www.gomaine.org or call 800-280-7433.


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