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January 4, 2021

6 Strategies to Create a Successful Employee Carpool Program

Thinking about introducing a carpool program to your workplace? These six strategies will help put your foot on the accelerator and toward success.

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If commuting is a headache for many at your organisation, then rolling out a carpooling program can be an effective solution. But let’s face it—implementing a carpool program can feel like a daunting task.

Due to the complexity of the planning, software and logistics required, many managers responsible for addressing their organisation’s transportation demand don’t know where to start.

If that’s you—we’re here to help! 

But first, let’s talk a little more about what problems carpooling can solve for an organisation like yours.

Firstly, why does my organisation need carpooling?

Organisations across the world are facing a number of problems stemming from inefficient commuting:

  • Peak period traffic congestion is making it hard for organisation members to reach the office (campus, etc.), as well as customers and other important visitors.
  • On-site parking facilities don’t have the capacity to accommodate all commuters, but expansion requires hefty capital and real estate.
  • Commuters with long travel times are experiencing higher rates of stress, as well as lower rates of productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Carpooling provides a solution satisfying requirements for commute benefit ordinances or workplace travel plans.

A well-planned carpooling program can alleviate all of these problems with minimal expense and management. But to accomplish this, you’ll first need to have a clear idea of what’s required. So without further ado—let’s move on to this checklist of must-haves for successful carpooling implementation.

6 strategies to build an epic employee carpool program 

1. Find Your Champion

One of the first things to do is appoint your carpooling 'champion'—the person who will be the face of the new program and will drive others to get onboard. Look for someone who can get along well with people and has the energy to generate excitement. It’s a big bonus if your champion is in a position where they’re already a familiar face to most of the departments within your organisation.

2. Nail Communication

In order for your carpooling program to attract and engage users, you need to be able to communicate its benefits, the problems it solves, and how it works. Coordinate with the right stakeholders on what needs to be highlighted in your internal messaging and how this will be executed.

Ask: is this the most effective way to communicate these points and achieve our goals?

3. Establish Your Uptake Triggers

To build a healthy group of users, you will first need to identify triggers that will incentivise uptake. These are ideally benefits that address your users’ most significant pain points and will motivate them to convert to carpooling. Examples of powerful uptake triggers include exclusive parking, discounted parking in premium locations and ongoing monthly rewards. In fact, we recommend you make the hassle of parking on-site the main driver for uptake, by providing carpoolers with parking benefits that single occupancy vehicle drivers don’t get.

4. Gamify Your System

Your program should have incentives not just for uptake, but also for continued usage. “Gamification” of your program can reward positive behaviour in users when they reach certain milestones or achieve a specified amount of activity. Rewards can take the form of digital vouchers or other low-investment, high-gratification gifts like configurable referral bonuses.

5. Build Your Group of Advocates

Have a plan in place for identifying and cultivating program advocates once you’ve gained your first crop of users. Like your designated “champion”, these early adopters should have the personality and energy conducive to reinforcing your program’s messaging and converting more of their peers into users. Give them the information and tools they need to be effective evangelists.

6. Find Your Balance through Analysis

Your program’s initial run will likely reveal that some fine-tuning needs to be done when it comes to managing supply and demand. Review the data to ensure a healthy balance of available drivers and rider trip requests. Ideally, the software platform you choose should collect all relevant information and present analytics in a way that makes it easy to assess program health and performance.

Interesting in carpooling? Learn more about its evolution.

About the Author

JJ O'Brien

JJ O'Brien


A Chief Marketing Officer that doesn't mind geeking out on a good sci-fi series, loves cooking American-style BBQ and enjoys seeing the positive impact of a well-crafted message.