Jennifer Kraus-Smith

Jennifer Kraus-Smith

"It’s fun having someone to chat with. It definitely makes the commute seem shorter."

Jennifer Kraus-Smith manages Campus Card Services, the department overseeing employee, student, and contractor ID cards as well as the Bear Bucks cashless payment system. A WashU employee for almost 23 years, Jennifer commutes to campus from Columbia, IL and picks up her friend Sherri in South County along the way. Sherri works at the Brown School at WashU.

Jennifer and Sherri used to live in the same neighborhood where they first connected before becoming carpool buddies in 2010. In fact, they were the second carpool to join the Bearly Drivers carpool program!

Although Jennifer started carpooling to save money, she quickly discovered that having someone else in the car with her was a benefit of its own. The pair support each other throughout their commute, making it more enjoyable for both of them. It “definitely makes the commute feel shorter”, says Jennifer. Although Sherri gets a kick out of Jennifer’s “sometimes crazy road rage,” she also provides moral support during bad weather days and other stressful times.

Jennifer has small children, so she needs the flexibility to be able to pick them up on short notice during the day, which usually doesn’t happen more than once a month. For this reason, Jennifer does the driving in the carpool.

To others considering carpooling themselves, Jennifer assures that “it’s easier to get used to than you would think” and that “you won’t regret it.” 

Inspired by Jennifer’s commute story?

Find a carpool buddy of your own with WashU Rides,
WashU’s very own carpool matching platform!