Today I received an online carpool registration form from my kiddos’ school (along with a flurry of other emails that I’ll skim and then most likely not remember the content five minutes later). There are fields to enter the day of the carpool, name of adult driving, license plate, and notes. I applaud the school for having this resource and caring about carpooling.
That said, we are new to the school, and new to the area, so it was interesting to think “but I don’t know anyone to carpool with?” It’s exactly what I’ve been hearing from countless families over the past year. Of course, the school has a zip code list available–which is certainly helpful–but I would have to manually look up each person to see if they live near me.
Good thing I work for Pogo and have some tricks (well, an app) up my sleeve.
It got me thinking…what other #carpoolwoes are families thinking about as we start the school year?
Out of curiosity, I popped the hashtag into Twitter–and immediately started laughing out loud. I could either personally relate to all the complaints or had at least heard the same stories hundreds of times. I also knew that Pogo could could turn the woes into whoas! (Forgive me again for the corny play on words).
“Let’s carpool.” Always means they want you to drive. #carpoolwoes
Adam–you’ve got a point. It can be hard to make carpooling fair and balanced. And when the scale tips in one direction, that can result in frustration, guilt, and resentment among parents.
Would it make you feel better if you were compensated for your time? So maybe the person always wants you to drive because they legitimately can’t fit it into their schedule. By automatically keeping track of the rides you’ve given and charging a suggested amount of $5 a ride, you can recoup some of the gas expenses and be valued for your time.
This doesn’t mean you always have to say yes (oh no, we’re not doormats at Pogo). You are always in control when using the app. If someone requests to carpool, or asks for a ride, you can easily choose which days you can’t drive, which days you’d like to drive, and which days your car is “full” (we make is really easy to politely say “no thanks.”)
“Okay, where the heck is my kid?” #carpoolwoes
LJN, this one is easy. When you use Pogo to carpool, you automatically get a notification when your child is picked up and also once your child has reached their destination. You can also see exactly where they are on a map during the ride. Perfect for timing when you need to leave work or get dinner going. No more waiting. No more wondering. No more worrying.
This feature is also extremely helpful for the driver who has the option to text your child (only if you have provided their phone number in their profile, and only accessible to drivers you’ve approved of). For those times when there was a last-minute soccer field change and they show up to an empty field. now they can easily reach your child (who undoubtedly is wet,, starving, and cranky–perfect timing to head back home to you).
“Finally graduated from Gangman Style to Icona Pop’s I Love It” #carpoolwoes
While I’m shamelessly unapologetic about loving both of these songs, I understand all too well the (loud) backseat requests for songs to be repeated, over and over and over.
Need some music that’s adult and kid friendly? After all, if the driver ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! We’ve made our first playlist in a series for Spotify called “Hot Fun in the Summertime.” Go to Spotify and plug spotify:user:pogorides into the search bar to sing along with us (while keeping your sanity in check.)
“Planning carpool for September…can I ask 4 references, driving records and criminal check on potential moms lol? “ #carpoolwoes
Judy, we know you were kind of joking, but this really is a legitimate thought for many parents. It’s also slightly awkward to ask another parent if they’ve had any traffic violations lately. That said, it is important to trust who’s driving your precious cargo around. This is the most important aspect of our company as we are parents ourselves.
Using Pogo, you have several ways to gain this trust.
First, unlike just going off your gut when you first meet someone (which is actually very reliable–parents should always trust their gut) you have instant access to helpful information when you connect on Pogo. You can easily see who the other parent has carpooled with, read reviews that have been left for them, and see what mutual connections you have in common. (This seems to happen often when I demo the app, as Seattle is a big little city. Someone will look at my Pogo contacts and say “Oh, I know them! How do you know them?!”) It’s an instant sense of relief and connection. Hearing our peers vouching for parents we don’t know provides a level of trust that we need to make an informed decision.
As for background and DMV checks (which is a question we receive often) this is something that we offer as an option to groups at their expense if they would like it for their members. We use Checkr, which does these same checks for Instacart, Postmates, GrubHub, and Uber. When you pass, you get a cool badge on your Pogo profile!
1st grade boys’ jokes where the punch line is always “wiener” #carpoolwoes
Joanne, Pogo is a super helpful and easy tool for parents–not a miracle worker. I’m afraid you’re stuck with the wiener jokes for the next, oh let’s say decade or so. Buckle up my friend.
Happy (#woefree) carpooling!