Carpooling is sharing a ride with at least one other person. Carpoolers can be drivers offering a ride to another person, or riders receiving a ride.
To carpool, you simply need to find a ride partner. Do you have a family member, friend, or co-worker who is coming and going from a similar location? If not, you can sign-up for a ride-matching service. A number of private enterprises are available. One public enterprise offered by the Maine Turnpike Authority and the Maine DOT is GoMaine, a free service.
Remember that you are in charge of your own safety. Don’t get in a car with someone or pick them up if you feel they are potentially unsafe.
There are 50 preferred carpool parking spaces spread throughout the Portland campus in convenient locations. To take advantage of these convenient parking spaces, take note of the following:
- Only cars with two or more students, faculty, or staff may park in these spaces, which are designated with a “Carpool Parking” sign.
- Two current valid parking passes need to be displayed in a vehicle to avoid tickets and fines (one on the rearview mirror & one on the dash).
- If you either 1) don't have a pass because you are a commuter from off campus who always gets a ride from others, or you 2) are a residential student or staff living in Gorham and want to leave your car in Gorham, so therefore don't want to remove your vehicle pass from your car or 3) simply don't have a vehicle, you may apply for a Non-Driver Carpool Pass at the parking office in Portland. After obtaining a Non-Driver Carpool Pass, that pass can be used in place of the second required Vehicle Pass to display on the dashboard to show compliance. However, the Vehicle Pass and the Non-Driver Carpool Pass must belong to two different people.
- Carpool Parking spaces are located in the Payson Lot, the Masterton Lot, 120 Bedford Street, and two locations on the first floor of the parking garage (a row between the exit/entrance) and part of the back row along 295.
Every time you carpool, you reduce your greenhouse gas emissions for that trip by half. Every time a third person joins, emissions are cut to a third, and so on. It is one of the easiest ways to slash emissions. These efforts help USM toward its goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus by the year 2040.
Additional benefits include less run-off pollution along roadways and less wear for roadways and vehicles, which translates into less embodied energy and pollution in the supply chain.
Carpooling saves you money on gas, maintenance, car insurance, and parking. If you use GoMaine, you can also earn points which can be redeemed for tickets to drawings for prizes.
Carpooling also provides you the opportunity to meet new people, share interesting conversations, and get exposed to new music.
* Please note the information presented on this site is for information purposes only. While the University of Southern Maine supports and encourages sharing information specific to sustainability and parking, we make no guarantees regarding the quality of service or experience.