Slugging is a phenomenon known to northern Virginia commuters and those in just a small handful of U.S. cities.  In this form of ridesharing, commuters line up at well-established locations where orderly “slug lines” are formed.  Essentially, perfect strangers pull up in their personal vehicles and announce their destination to waiting passengers known as “sluggers.”  Sluggers next in line going to that same destination jump in, and off they go.  No monies play a role in the process.  

All parties gain in the relationship, whether that means taking advantage of cost sharing or a shorter commute time via the benefit of HOV or Express Lanes.  These special lanes are available toll-free to vehicles traveling with the required number of occupants and typically have far less congestion than conventional highway lanes. 

Just as there is with any form of group interaction there are sets of rules and proper etiquette which provide for a harmonious and courteous experience for all commuters involved.  Below are suggested rules and etiquette that apply to slugging:

Rules and Etiquette for Slugging

  • Unless initiated by the driver, there is no conversation other than a “thank you” upon drop off. 
  • The slug who is first in line gets to choose the front or back seat. 
  • No money, gifts, etc. are offered or requested. 
  • The line does not leave a woman standing alone.     
  • Drivers should keep a clean car and keep the radio at a moderate level. 
  • A slug does not ask to change the radio station or adjust the heat or air conditioning. 
  • Sluggers and drivers have the right to forfeit if either feels unsafe
    or uncomfortable about each other.
  • Drivers must pick up passengers in line, not those walking in the parking lot on their way to the line.  
  • Drivers must go to the pre-established fixed destination point, unless it is made clear before passengers get into the vehicle.
  • Drivers and passengers should practice good personal hygiene and
    avoid heavy use of perfumes or colognes.  
  • No eating, drinking, smoking.

If slugging isn’t your style, explore more traditional ridesharing options like carpooling and vanpooling. Using a desktop or mobile device, finding compatible ridesharing partners is free and easy with Commuter Connections. Their database contains thousands of area commuters to help identify potential carpool partners who live and work near each other, who have similar schedules. Commuter Connections even offers several financial and other types of incentives to commuters who form or join a new carpool or vanpool.  

To look for a carpool or vanpool visit www.commuterconnections.org, and for more information on slugging please visit www.slug-lines.com.