In what is surely a love story for the ages, three City employees have discovered that their daily commutes are better together.

Last fall, when parking outside of City Hall moved to a paid permit system, Susy Munson, along with Elizabeth Oshel and Daniel Quick, got together to reduce their number of trips alone in the car and save money. Along the way, they discovered something special.

Elizabeth and Daniel each come from one-car households, and they’re hoping to stay that way. But, with kids and a spouse, it doesn’t make much sense for Elizabeth to drive her car to work and let it sit in the parking lot for eight hours. Daniel is in a similar place.

Susy’s been an avid carpooler for a while, loving the company it brings. She remembers trying to find a spark with another potential carpooler, but it didn’t work out. “I needed the commitment, and she just wasn’t able.”

Then, discovering that both Elizabeth and Daniel live near her neighborhood, Susy made her move. Daniel remembers being hesitant at first, but Susy’s confidence eventually won him over. “She basically parked in front of my house,” he says. Now, months later, the trio carpools together almost every day.

When asked about potential barriers to others finding their carpool soulmates, Dan and Elizabeth were thoughtful. Dan signed up for Get There, Central Oregon’s best transit matchmaking app, ages ago. But the anonymity spooked him. To Dan, it’s so much easier to reach out to colleagues he already knows. Susy laughs at this: “It must be a personality thing,” she says, “I’m not worried about that at all!”

To Elizabeth, carpooling might complicate getting to a mid-day meeting across town. Thankfully the City has shared vehicles they can check out. For those without that option, that’s where the Get There app, as well as Cascades East Transit, can come in. Another big inhibitor for Elizabeth was the feeling of being a burden, and as if asking for rides was somehow embarrassing. That makes sense! Putting oneself out there can be vulnerable. But on the other side of that discomfort Elizabeth found a new community.

And, she says, a sure-fire way to get to work on time in the morning and leave on time in the evening.

So how can we have what they have?

Sign up for Get There in the month of February, and start logging your carpool trips!

Every carpooler will get a $10 service gift card from Pine Mountain Sports! Additionally, carpoolers who log at least four carpool trips will be eligible for Prize Drawings, to be awarded on March 5. Grand prize this year is a pair of one-day lift tickets at Mt. Bachelor, and alpine ski rentals from Pine Mountain Sports!

Other Central Oregon businesses have donated prizes such as fat bike rentals from Pine Mountain Sports, a pair of gift packs from the Old Mill District, two matching Hydroflasks for your free beverages from Strictly Organic Coffee, and Downtown Bend Dollars to be shared with you and your Carpool Love!