Casual Carpooling in DC

The following case study explores the slugging phenomenon – a form of casual carpooling that developed organically in the DC area during the 1970s in response to the creation of HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes. Slugging began when single occupant drivers who wanted to take advantage of HOV lanes would drive up to bus stops and offer seats in their vehicle to transit users in order to reach the required vehicle capacity. As the popularity of slugging grew, lines specific to this form of carpooling began to appear at transit stops, and new origin and destination locations were created at restaurants, shopping centers, and other common meeting locations. Although there has never been a central agency responsible for organizing the slug lines, the website,, was created as a tool for drivers and passengers to view the locations of morning and afternoon slug lines, destinations, and other information such as rules and etiquette. Slugging drivers and passengers have reported that this form of casual carpooling allows for more flexibility while commuting and saves them time on the road. Additionally, passengers benefit from cost savings as slugging allows them to avoid paying a transit fee.

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