Did You Know?

Only 11 percent of Chicagoland residents ride transit to work.

Hey, slugger

 A friend of mine in Washington, DC forwarded a link to me today, and asked me if I was aware of slugging.

Since it's a practice that grows out of areas that use high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes (Chicago does not), I'd never heard of it. HOV lanes put non-carpooling drivers at a disadvantage. It is a symbiotic relationship; drivers need another body to utilize the fast HOV lane and sluggers, as they are known, need a free ride to work.

Existing in some form in many cities within the larger category of flexible carpooling, slugging is the most base variation, and is ad hoc, meaning no formal or prearranged meeting place exists. Rather slugging queues and pickups evolve out of the commuting patterns of the drivers and sluggers.  

Slugging has its unofficial rules, such as no talking unless the driver permits it and a ban on exchanging of money. The banned practice of body snatching happens when a driver picks up a stranger en route or who is outside the line. Websites exist that profile the habits and practices of particular drivers.

Are you or have you ever been a slugger? Have you had any unique experiences? Are there any other benefits to the practice of slugging besides gaining access to HOV lanes? Is there a parallel to this practice that exists in Chicago?