Slugging

About Slugging:

Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as “Instant Carpooling” or “Casual Carpooling”. It’s unique because people commuting into the city stop to pickup other passengers even though they are total strangers! However, slugging is a very organized system with its own set of rules, proper etiquette, and specific pickup and drop-off locations. It has thousands of vehicles at its disposal, moves thousands of commuters daily, and the best part, it’s FREE! Not only is it free, but it gets people to and from work faster than the typical bus, metro, or train. I think you’ll find that it is the most efficient, cost-effective form of commuting in the nation.

* How the Slugging Works

The system of slugging is quite simple. A car needing additional passengers to meet the required 3- person high occupancy vehicle (HOV) minimum pulls up to one of the known slug lines. The driver usually positions the car so that the slugs are on the passenger side. The driver either displays a sign with the destination or simply lowers the passenger window, to call out the destination, such as “Pentagon,” “L’Enfant Plaza,” or “14th & New York.” The slugs first in line for that particular destination then hop into the car, normally confirming the destination, and off they go.

No money is exchanged because of the mutual benefit: the car driver needs riders just as much as the slugs need a ride. Each party needs the other in order to survive. Normally, there is no conversation unless initiated by the driver; usually the only words exchanged are “Thank you” as the driver drops off the slugs at the destination.

What’s the point? Slugging developed due to necessity and human ingenuity. It has never been a part of any government program or dictate.

Of course, the exact date is uncertain because there really aren’t any official government records that have studied slugging from its infancy.

Just people, coming up with a way to save time and money, developing their own set of strictly-followed rules, without any government oversight. Imagine that.

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2 Responses to “Slugging”

  1. WARNING FELLOW SLUG RIDERS!

    In these times of + $4.00 for Gasoline and $5.00 for Diesel Fuel, it’s been hard on us all. Today, I was listening to a group of Slug Drivers from Woodbridge, Virginia today, who stated that they were going to start a group discussion on charging their Slug Riders $2.00 to $3.00 a day to commute into the Washington D.C. Metro Area. Even through I understand the perceptions of the Slug Drivers and the High Cost of Gasoline during our current economy, I refuse to pay money for a ride into Washington D.C. from Woodbridge, Virginia! BOYCOTT, SUPPRESS and SQUASH any discussions of charging SLUG RIDERS $3.00 a day to drive into work! TO HELL WITH THE SLUG DRIVERS AND TO HELL WITH HIGH GAS PRICES! SOMEONE NEEDS TO FIX THIS PROBLEM ASAP!

    Thank you for listening.

    John

  2. Darkman Says:

    Frankly, when I first heard about slugging, I was surprised that the drivers received no other compensation than the ability to drive in the HOV lane. If I was car-pooling with anyone, I would expect to help pay for the gas. Since I live in a place where slugging does not exist, and car-pooling is difficult to impossible for most (and impossible for me personally), I don’t have any sympathy for you. I think you should chip in a couple of bucks a day to help pay for gas and count your blessings that it isn’t more expensive than that.

    But whatever you do, please don’t try to bring legislation to achieve your desired end, because if you do, regardless of the outcome, you will have lost.

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