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A map of slug line locations in Washington D.C. source

Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as 'Instant Carpooling' or 'Casual Carpooling'.


Slugging is an informal car pooling system that started in Washington, DC in the late 70's when high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes were introduced. A car needing additional passengers to meet the required 3- person HOV minimum will pull up to one of the known slug lines. The driver either displays a sign with the destination or calls out the destination, such as Pentagon or L’Enfant Plaza. The people first in line for that particular destination then get into the car and are given a lift to the destination. No money is exchanged because of the mutual benefit; the car driver needs riders to access the HOV lane and the passengers need a ride.

Although unofficial, with no government or corporate control or sponsorship, slugging is a very organized system and over the years has evolved its own set of rules, proper etiquette, and specific pickup and drop-off locations.

External Links - a website catering to slugging participants.


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