WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A cost-effective and efficient form of carpooling is making a comeback in the DMV.
Slugging, sometimes referred to as “casual carpooling,” allows people to get to work, while avoiding public transportation. The arrangement is mutually beneficial for drivers and riders: Slug lines help drivers meet HOV lane requirements, while passengers get a free ride to their destination.
Virginia slugging locations are set up in heavily traveled areas near the Interstate 66, Interstate 395 and Interstate 95 corridors.
When the pandemic hit, slugging came to a halt. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, and more people are going back to work in person, some people are trying to start a slugging resurgence.
Xernalia Marshall, a Woodbridge resident, is one of those people. Marshall is a special education kindergarten teacher at KIPP DC Pride Academy.
“And I have to go into the city five days a week,” Marshall said. “So we’re just trying push and get the word out here – we need riders, we need drivers.”
While popular ridesharing apps like Uber still require a mask prior to entering a driver’s vehicle, slugging relies more on communication between drivers and passengers.
“It’s the discretion of the driver, honestly,” said Marshall. “I am vaccinated, however I have two little ones at home who are unvaccinated. So my ask is that if you’re riding in my car to wear a mask.”