Where to find carpooling people

I drive to SF often and have free (i.e. paid for by employer) parking at work so I like having my car in the city, but hate the traffic.  Having passengers in my car for carpooling works well since I get to use the carpool lane, but besides a few friends who I occasionally am able to give rides to or co-workers who choose not to drive some days, I don't know anyone to carpool with.  How do people find carpool partners?  I heard of a place that you can drive by and pick up passengers but I don't want to pick up complete strangers for safety reasons. We are also considering getting an electric car for commuting to be able to use the carpool lane this way, but finding carpool partners and keep using my existing car might be easier and cheaper. 

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You should absolutely try casual carpool. I have been a North Berkeley rider (rarely a driver) for nearly 11 years, and the system has been around for about 30, I believe. It's usually a few people trying to get to work on time and safely while they listen to NPR. There have been some more fun conversations or unwelcome interactions or something other than NPR playing and 3 horrible drivers, but these are rare and, aside from the 3 drivers, safe. I am wracking my brain to think of a time that a passenger (vs. the driver) made me feel uncomfortable. Nothing is coming to mind, aside from 1 unwelcome advance, where someone followed me to work (I ducked into another office building to lose him.) and was aggressive about trying to get my # once we got out of the car -- which I don't blame on casual carpool. If you pick-up from North Berkeley, it will cost you $2.50, since drivers generally do not ask for a toll contribution at North Berkeley. Other casual carpool spots are known for asking for a toll contribution.

Good luck!

Check out casual carpool, http://www.ridenow.org/carpool/ 

There are designated pick up and drop off spots and also carpool etiquettes.  

I've been both the driver and the passenger for many years, it's very safe and efficient, I highly recommend it!

The Casual Carpool, with pickup spots in both Berkeley and Oakland, has been going for more than 30 years and I have never heard of a single safety issue related to it.  I rode as a passenger for almost 10 years from the Rockridge pickup on Hudson near Claremont Ave. (there's also one further up Claremont by Safeway, and one in Berkeley at North Berkeley BART, and I think more in Oakland).  I'm sure you'll get a zillion responses to confirm that it's a very safe venture.  I hope you give it a try, it's great.

You can look up folks on Craig's List but it sounds like the best solution is the Casual Carpool. You can find more information about it here:  http://www.ridenow.org/carpool/. I drove and rode in it for 14 years and never had a safety concern. Many people use it and I haven't ever heard of a problem. It's a great system with no commitment so it's very low stress.

You might try posting on Nextdoor. You may find neighbors who need a ride. 

I also suggest the casual carpool. I understand safety concerns but this seems to have worked well for many drivers & passengers for years. I recently started working in SF & have been loving the AM ride in, avoiding the cost, crowding & other issues of taking BART to work. At N Berkeley, there is both a downtown (right after the bridge) & Civic Center line. Don't know about other pickup locations. Besides the other good suggestions, you can try 511.org. I haven't had any luck with that yet but another option for finding a few folks for a more consistent carpool. Good luck!