It’s called “slugging” and I admit this is the first time I’ve heard of it. It involves drivers picking up strangers so the car can use the HOV lane. As described in this story about how it’s done in a few cities across the U.S., the driver picks up total strangers at designated “slugging” stops and they drive – evidently in silence – to the destination. Sounds like a great system on paper — but I can’t believe anyone would actually CHOOSE to do this. To me “slugging” is a problem waiting to happen. NYC Mayor Bloomberg, however, is telling people to form a carpool now that he’s imposed a three-person rule on the bridges into Manhattan. I’m just wondering if someone will ask the mayor if he thinks “slugging” is safer than a giant sugary soda drink.
New Yorkers will have to resolve one of the great moral quandaries of slugging: whether to split the bridge toll. After San Francisco established a $2.50 toll for the carpool lane in 2010, the Chronicle interviewed three dozen drivers and riders and found the carpools have three competing philosophies: “those who pay a share of the toll—usually $1—no matter what, those who pay only when asked and those who refuse to contribute.”
The New York Daily News features a column by a young woman forced to try this to get into Manhattan. I understand that natural disaster forces you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do, but oh my.
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