What is Casual Carpool on US 36?

Casual Carpool on US 36 is the perfect program for the commuter whose afraid of commitment but wants a quick and cheap commute. Casual Carpools began in the 1970s as an informal method for creating carpools in metropolitan areas such as Washington D.C. and San Francisco in response to the oil crisis. Today, Casual Carpools have evolved into a mutually beneficial commute option that allows drivers to cruise for free in the Express Lanes while giving riders a quick and easy commute.

Commuting Solutions, in partnership with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is thrilled to announce the start of Colorado’s first Casual Carpool program, Casual Carpool on US 36!

Casual Carpool on US 36 allows people who would normally drive alone to cruise past traffic in the US 36 Express Lanes for free by helping to connect them with two riders headed in the same direction! Think of it as digital hitchhiking.

Let’s Talk About the Nitty Gritty

Remember what it feels like to keep it fast and loose by getting started with Casual Carpool on US 36 with just five easy steps.

  1. Log on to the My Way to Go network at least 24 hours in advance of your desired carpool time.
  2. Select one of the three Casual Carpool on US 36 predetermined pickup locations to make a connection with people traveling in the same direction.
  3. Review your matches as either a rider or a driver (you can go both ways!). When setting up your casual carpool, remember three is the magic number. Make sure to have one driver and two passengers to create a sense of safety and free usage of the US 36 Express Lanes.
  4. If you’re a driver, make sure you’re armed and ready to go with your switchable HOV Pass for the US 36 Express Lanes.
  5. Confirm your carpool.
  6. Meet up with your Casual Carpool comrades at the pre-determined location and zip past traffic on your way to work!

Have any questions, comments, concerns or just want someone to talk to about Casual Carpool on US 36? Email day or night*.

*Disclaimer: we are in the office Monday – Friday and will answer your email then. We just want you to know that we’re always here for you.

Get Picked-Up

Currently there are three predetermined picked up spots along US 36:

  • US 36 & Table Mesa Station
  • US 36 & Flatiron Station
  • US 36 & Broomfield Station

The drop-off point in Denver is at Union Station, so make sure you know how to get to your destination from there.

As the program expands and more people are ready to casually commute, more pick-up spots will be added. Pick-up locations are designated by branded Casual Carpool on US 36 signs.

A Quick Lesson On Staying PC (Casual Carpool Style)

Avoid being *that* person during your Casual Carpool on US 36 by following our simple etiquette guidelines.

  1. Follow the Golden Rule: Treat others (and their car, belongings, etc.) how you would want to be treated.
  2. Remember: just because it’s casual, doesn’t mean there aren’t definite no-gos when it comes to what you can bring in the car.
    1. Don’t eat in the car.
    2. Follow up to a. – don’t drink anything but water in the car. Save your morning joe for the office.
    3. Don’t apply your makeup in the car.
    4. Save all calls for once you’re out of the car. No one wants to hear your conversations.
    5. Make sure you don’t smell bad or bring any offensive odors into the car.
  3. Drivers, there are rules for you too. Just because it’s your car doesn’t mean you don’t have to be considerate.
    1. Clean up your car before picking up riders. No one wants to sit on your food crumbs or trash.
    2. Don’t play your music too loud.
    3. An amendment to rule b: keep your music/radio selection PG. NPR or CPR is always a great option.
    4. Drive safely. Now is not the time to show off how well your car handles fast turns.
  4. Safety. Comes. First. Whether you’re a rider or a driver, do you best to make the ride to work safe for everybody.
  5. We’re not all morning people so keep the conversation to a minimum. You can always use your Casual Carpool on US 36 as a way to make friends but read the mood of carpool first.
  6. There may be bumps in the road so if a disagreement occurs during your Casual Carpool on US 36 just stay calm and finish the ride.

Remember: Practice Safe Casual Carpool

Casual Carpool on US 36 brings together like-minded commuters who are looking for a fast, easy, cost-effective and commitment-free commute. Since it’s a mutually beneficial program, it encourages all involved to be respectful towards each other and create a safe environment to ensure the integrity of the system.

When using Casual Carpool on US 36, be sure to use your best judgment and listen to your gut. When setting up your Casual Carpool, get a feel for the other people you’ll be riding with and if you aren’t vibing with them, you have a right to refuse the ride. Casual carpoolers are encouraged to understand the legal implications of getting into the car with a stranger.

Commuting Solutions is not liable for any damages, losses, injury, etc for the use of the information on the site and any incidental events related to the commute.

To Venmo or Not to Venmo

Casual Carpool on US 36 currently exists as a community-based, free system. If the drivers would like to ask for a nominal cash contribution for gas or vehicle maintenance, this needs to be made clear prior to meeting up with your Casual Carpool comrades.

In fact, we recommend discussing this when setting up the ride on the My Way to Go network.