There has never been a more opportune time for carpooling. So why are 76% of workers still driving to work alone? Perhaps they haven’t taken a second look at this patriotic pastime that can save time, money and stress.
- Who doesn’t want to save money? There are millions of motorist in the US – none of them are thrilled to fill up their gas tank. So why not add carpooling as part of your budgeting? David Bakke, Editor at Money Crashers saved nearly $500 in one year just by carpooling with one other person. Bakke also advises that carpooling cuts the amount of money you pay to maintain your car. You don’t need tuneups as often, and you reduce the chance of expensive repairs simply because you’re not driving as much.
- Technology is on your side. It’s never been easier to initiate or find a carpooling arrangement now that we have websites and apps dedicated to carpooling. You already know I’m a huge fan of buying and selling on Craigslist. Well if you look under their community section you’ll find “Rideshare.” You’re now hooked up. Looking for something a little more niche? Try Carticipate, ZimRide or Carpooling Network. If you’re a parent, check out the KarPooler app.
- Carpooling is not just for the morning commute. I get it; not everyone’s a morning person. You’d rather drive in peace. No problem, but think about carpooling in other situations like dropping off and picking up your kids from school each day. Think about the out of town college students who want to come home every now and then – on a college budget. And there are always weekend road trips that could use some extra gas money and a friendly companion. Shel Horowitz and his wife Dina Friedman organized several hub-and-spoke carpools when their kids were in high school. For a weekly orchestra rehearsal, students from different towns converged on a central point and carpooled the last leg, sharing 80 of the 100 mile drive.
- Need motivation to get to work on time? Just like when you exercise with a friend so you’re more likely to stick with your routine, carpooling maintains the same level of responsibility. This can only be a good thing. Getting to work on time, or even early, gets noticed and starts your day in a more relaxed state of mind.
- Carpooling saves you time. There are three ways this is true. One, look around your car or van. However many people are sharing the ride equals that many fewer drivers competing for road space on your exact route. Secondly, some cities have carpooling lanes that move faster than the other lanes. Laura C. Browne, who carpools in Phoenix, AZ, has reduced her commute time by up to 40% by using the carpooling lane. Last, if you take turns driving, all your off-duty time is yours. Look, you’ve just reclaimed that much free time!
- The environment thanks you. Less gas consumption means less pollution, better air quality, and less CO2 in the atmosphere, which is the leading cause of global warming. Think of the impact on the environment if even 10% fewer cars were on the road. What a reduction in our carbon footprint!
- Socialization is built in. I’ve heard carpool groups being referred to as therapy sessions among friends. That may be a little optimistic, but at the very least driving with a companion makes the ride go faster. Everyone has something to offer, so open up the dialog to find common ground with your carpooling companions. Keep in mind everyone gets along better if you practice basic etiquette, like being on time, respecting everyone’s space and honoring preferences such as no smoking or obnoxious amounts of perfume .
Do you carpool? What advantages have you found from carpooling?
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