deal for drivers, passengers
METRO WASHINGTON / SLUG CAR POOLING
See at: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/opinion/1202/08transit1.html
Hugman is a slug -- and proud of it. "I'm a slug probably
98 percent of the time," the Northern Virginia resident
slug in the Washington area is not an insult. It means you are
part of one of the most innovative commuting efforts in the
morning, commuters show up at designated parking lots
scattered around the suburbs. Drivers, who need at least two
passengers to use Virginia's HOV lanes, pick up people who are
going their way and drop them off near their jobs. The system
works in reverse in the afternoon.
to slug-lines.com, the slugging Web site, the casual car
pooling started about 30 years ago when Washington's first HOV
lanes opened. It has grown organically over the years -- no
government involvement. It's just commuters looking to avoid
the traffic crunch. There are 25 pickup points in the morning
and 12 in the afternoon. The system accommodates several
thousand commuters a day.
the main reason slugging works is that Virginia's HOV lanes on
I-95 are set off from regular traffic with walls and gates.
"They enforce the HOV lane south of D.C.," said
David LeBlanc, Web master for slug-lines.com.
says "slug" originated with bus drivers, who used to
catch riders trying to pay fares with metal slugs rather than
coins. Drivers, the site says, would get annoyed when they
pulled up to a line of people and were waved off because the
people were waiting for free rides in cars. So they called
these counterfeit riders "slugs."
Mills shopping center in Prince William County, passengers
wait in three lines, depending on their destination --
Pentagon, the District or other employment centers, such as
Crystal City or Rosslyn. Drivers pull up to the proper line
and announce their specific destination, and riders hop in.
observe a slugging etiquette. Passengers should wait for the
driver to initiate conversation; the topics of religion,
politics or sex are off-limits. No money is exchanged because
the driver and passenger need each other equally. There is no
smoking or eating, and the driver controls the radio and the
said he cannot recall any crime on a slug line. Pam Hansen, a
Dale City slugger, said she's never had a problem.
you don't like the car, you don't get in it," says
Hansen. "You learn who the bad drivers are."
a driver pulls up with a shout: "Crystal City!"
Hansen gets in, smiles "Good morning" and slugs her
way to work.