CAVPOOL: How to Start a Carpool

If you're reading this then you're well on your way to making a economic and ecofriendly commuting choice. Carpooling can save people hundreds of dollars in fuel and vehicle maintenance costs per year, and now carpoolers can save even more money per year with the Cavpool program. The Department of Parking and Transportation has implemented the Cavpool program to reward carpools with discounted permit rates, free Occasional Parking Permits for those days when members need to drive seperately, and a special Zipcar bonus. Please note that Family Housing permit holders are not eligible for the Cavpool program.

Have Some Concerns About Joining a Carpool?

Getting Home in an Emergency

One of the biggest concerns commuters have when thinking about joining a carpool is "what happens if I need to get home in the event of an emergency?" Thanks to the efforts of RideShare, carpool commuters needn't worry about how to get home if their child needs to leave school sick, or they themselves get sick, or if any other emergency situation arrises. RideShare offers a free Guaranteed Ride Home Program that will reimburse carpool members the price of their rental car or cab ride home in the event of an emergency (up to five times per year). Please visit RideShare's website for more information about the Guaranteed Ride Home Program. Guaranteed Ride Home

Getting Around Town

Another concern is getting around Charlottesville without a car if you're not the primary driver. Luckily for you, you can ride any University Transit Service (UTS) and any Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) route FREE! The combined transit system will take you to virtually any area of grounds, and even out to popular shopping areas such as the Barracks Road Shopping Center, Rio Hill Shopping Center, Fashion Square Mall, and even Walmart. To make riding the transit systems even easier, both services have GPS bus arrival predictions to let you know how many minutes it will be before a bus arrives at a particular stop. CAT also makes it easy to plan your trip with their Google Transit feature.

Additionally, all U.Va faculty and staff over the age of 18 with a valid driver's license for at least one year may apply for membership with Zipcar. Zipcar offers several fuel efficient vehicles on Grounds available for reservation by the hour or by the day. Click here for more information.


Occasionally Need to Drive Separately

By joining the Cavpool program, riders will also receive free Occasional Parking Permits. These permits allow a commuter to park in a certain lot for the day, making it perfect for those days when riders need to drive separately due to a change in schedule or even a doctors appointment. Riders will receive 10 "reserved" Occasional Parking Permits each year for "reserved lots" such as the Emmet/Ivy Garage. Riders will also receive 10 "commuter" Occasional Parking Permits each year for "commuter lots" such as U-Hall, which has several transit routes available with UTS to get you around Grounds. Riders can use the UTS Route Finder to find out how to get from U-Hall or the Emmet/Ivy Garage to other popular locations around Grounds. Occasional Parking Program

How Do I Find People to Carpool With?

Online Ride Matching

The University of Virginia has contracted with Zimride to provide free online ride matching. U.Va employees and students can join for free to post their trips and instantly find matches.


Cavpool Benefits:

Total Riders Permit Discount Permit Location Occasional Parker Permits per Rider Zipcar Driving Credit
2 Riders 25% No Preferential Assignment 10 in Reserved Lots
10 in Commuter Lots
$15 (details)
3 Riders 40% Preferred Assignment 10 in Reserved Lots
10 in Commuter Lots
$15 (details)
4 Riders 100% Preferred Assignment 10 in Reserved Lots
10 in Commuter Lots
$15 (details)
5+ Riders 100% Dedicated Space 10 in Reserved Lots
10 in Commuter Lots
$15 (details)
Cavpool members are eligible to enroll in the Guaranteed Ride Home Program offered by RideShare. RideShare is a program of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District and is not affiliated with or administered by the University of Virginia.
RideShare may be contacted at or 1-888-974-5500.


Think Carpooling Might Be Right For You?



Already In a Carpool and Ready To Join?