If there's anything East Bayers are good at, it's getting in cars with a couple of strangers.
Every day, for more than 30 years, people all over the East Bay commute into San Francisco through a self-organized network of casual carpoolers. A list of locations, frequently asked questions and information on etiquette is available on ridenow.org.
Drivers and riders in Berkeley meet on Sacramento Street at the east entrance to the North Berkeley BART station every day between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., with carpools often running earlier and going later due to the high volume of participants.
Those going to Civic Center, with a drop-off around 9th and Market Streets in San Francisco, meet south of the newspaper racks, and those headed to downtown San Francisco meet north of the racks.
Drivers may volunteer to take riders further (north of Market Street) if they're going that way, and it doesn't hurt to ask. But don't forget to give your driver a buck for the toll — stingy riders are a frequent topic on the discussion board.
Do you use the casual carpool? What are the pros and cons? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.