long article, but this should give you the gist of it.
Workers who have come down from the surrounding high-rise offices begin to line up on a sidewalk in downtown Arlington, Va., across the Potomac from the nation’s capital, about 3:30 in the afternoon. They stand in a perfect queue, iPods and newspapers in hand, and they look, by all indications, like they’re waiting for the bus.
Public transit never shows. But, eventually, a blue Chrysler Town & Country does. The woman behind the wheel rolls down her window and yells a kind of call-and-response.
“Horner Road?” repeats the first woman in line.
And two women get in the van, heading, presumably, for Horner Road. Several more cars pull up: a Ford Explorer, a Toyota Camry, a Saturn minivan. Each collects a pair of passengers and pulls out past the intersection for the on-ramp onto State Route 110, which leads three miles to the south, past the Pentagon and onto Interstate 395/95 and its glorious 28 miles of uninterrupted, controlled-access, high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
The queue of cars eventually backs up around the corner, and the line of passengers on the sidewalk ebbs. In a few minutes, the balance shifts again. Within half an hour, nearly 50 cars will have come through, capped by a dusty Ford F-250 pickup truck.
“I don’t care where we go,” yells the driver. “I just need two people!”
March-April 2011 Miller-McCune And off the three go toward the highway — and the suburbs — complete strangers, with not the least concern for personal safety, trying to shave 20 or 30 minutes, maybe more, off their afternoon trip home. “People are cooperating … to commute?” says Marc Oliphant, underscoring the novelty of what is going on here. “It’s like the opposite of road rage!”