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. 

Carpool Policy

View the University’s carpooling policy here.

Parking Benefits

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:

  • To register for a carpool pass (whether you are a driver or a rider), please fill out this form.
  • Only vehicles with two or more students, faculty, or staff may park in these spaces. Non-University affiliated people may carpool in the same vehicle, but do not count toward the two-person minimum.
  • Two current valid Carpool Passes need to be displayed in a vehicle to avoid citation (one on the rearview mirror & one on the dash).
  • The two Carpool Passes must belong to two different people.
  • One type of pass is a Driver Carpool Pass. This is a hard plastic hang tag, similar to the old Parking Permits. It will be associated with your Parking Permit and can only be obtained by people who have current, valid University of Southern Maine Parking Permits.
  • A second type of pass is a Non-Driver Carpool Pass. This is a paper pass for University students, staff or faculty who are not driving. To be eligible for a Non-Driver Carpool Pass, you must meet one of the following conditions: 1) you do not have a Parking Permit because you are a commuter from off campus who always gets a ride from others; 2) you are a residential student or staff living on the Gorham campus and want to leave your car in Gorham, so therefore don’t want to remove your Parking Permit from your vehicle when taking a trip to the Portland campus; or 3) you do not have a vehicle.
  • Buyout participants are not currently eligible to receive a Carpool Pass because there are currently no carpool-only spaces in Gorham that would benefit the Buyout participant.
  • 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.

Environmental Benefits

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.

Social Benefits

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.