High gas prices spark interest in blind carpooling - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

High gas prices spark interest in blind carpooling

Commuters line up to participate in blind carpooling called "slugging." (Source: CNN) Commuters line up to participate in blind carpooling called "slugging." (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - More people are resorting to blind carpooling, called slugging -- a way commuters from northern Virginia going to Washington, to catch a free ride with drivers looking to beat the rush.

It started more than 30 years ago, but David LeBlanc's website helped organize this pseudo-secret society, listing where passengers can line up to find a ride.

It's not really benefiting drivers to pick up slugs – especially with high gas prices.

"It's not saving them any money, but it is saving them a lot of time. Like I said, it probably saves me at least 20 to 30 minutes each way on the commute," LeBlanc said.

That's because Virginia law requires drivers to have at least three people in a vehicle to use carpool lanes to breeze by the stop-and-go traffic.

"We've added more and more slug lines. As gas prices increase, those that may not have considered slugging now look at it as an option."

LeBlanc easily picks up a passenger hitching a ride from Virginia to the Pentagon.

"It's inexpensive, it gets me where I need to go, and gas is really expensive nowadays," said commuter Lee Dell Powell. "With gas, nowadays, anywhere between $60 to $70 to fill up my tank. With the commuter bus, $7, which would be $14 for the whole day."

These nondescript slug lines form for the evening commute for commuters going back to northern Virginia from Washington. And the practice is catching on in other congested cities, like in Dallas and San Francisco.

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