Before you question our sanity, 'slugging' (in this case) is defined as 'anonymous carpooling' and it is happening in on a fairly large scale in the DC area daily.
Ironically, rush hour traffic in the Washington DC area regularly crawls along at speeds of less than 15 mph, and the only way to move faster is to get into the high-occupancy lanes. Access to HOV lanes requires cars have more than just a driver, and so 'slugging' was born, organically and without any government support or interference. Slugging is taking cars off the roads while allowing drivers to dramatically reduce their commuting time, and saving money for everyone involved. And let's remember that slugging even helps the people who don't participate, taking a few thousand cars off the road just might even clear the lane ahead of that single passenger commuter. It is working so well, the government has started taking notes.
Here is how slugging works.
People line up at pre-arranged locations, cars start pulling up and drivers announce their destinations, slugs step up and grab a ride to or from work.
There are some generally accepted rules in slugging:
- No money is exchanged.
- The radio is under the control and care of the driver.
- Smoking, eating, and makeup application - all verboten.
- Discussions of sex, politics, and religion are best saved for the office.
- And you never leave a lone woman waiting by herself.
You might be wondering what drives a person to stand in line and accept or provide a ride from a complete stranger? Time and money appear to be the major motivators. Drivers and riders (slugs) claim to have sliced hours off of their weekly commute times.
This is not a new phenomenon. Slugging has been happening for decades and as you might expect, an organically grown, civic-minded community like theirs has developed and published guides for current and future users.
Books have been published about it and the DC groups even have a website (slug-lines.com) that provides regular updates for what they call 'A Unique Commuter Solution.'
Slugging, a solution that came from the people, not the government.