WASHINGTON — Metro’s yearlong repair project will mean service disruptions, which could drive commuters to look for alternative ways to get to work. One way is “slugging,” a term used to describe “instant carpooling” or “casual carpooling” where drivers in the D.C. area pick up strangers or commuters hitch a ride with someone they don’t know headed their way in the area.
Kalai Kandasamy created Sluglines.com and has now created the Sluglines app, which is free and available for both Android and iPhone users.
“If you know any slugger their biggest complaint is that the lines are unpredictable always,” said Kandasamy, adding that if you head to the same commuter lot at the same time each day sometimes there may be 25 people waiting and other times there are only five people waiting to slug into work.
He says the app would allow you to know the status of a slug line in real time, cutting down on the unpredictability and the amount of time a slug or driver has to wait.
“I don’t want to go there and wait for riders to come, I want to go there and pick up riders and be on my way,” said Kandasamy.
The app uses real time data and uses a check-in system to connect riders and drivers. But he says you have to be in the slug line in order to check in.
“We want to make sure they are in the line and not sitting somewhere else,” said Kandasamy. Your phone’s GPS shows that you are actually in the slug line.
He says instead of going to a commuter lot and waiting for a slug or driver, the app takes the uncertainty out of the process. It’s a little like a Match.com, but for drivers and slugs.
He says the app allows drivers and slugs to arrive at a commuter lot and quickly get on their way.
The app is new so Kandasamy says so he is still working on adding slug lines to the list. For example, he recently added Rosslyn to 610 for slugger. He adds routes as users request them.
Kandasamy has been slugging since the early 2000s. Although he says he has tried VRE, Omni Ride and car pooling, he says slugging works best for him.