Carpooling Basics

Why Carpool and How to Get Started

Lots of people share cars regularly, with friends and family, without thinking about it. But there are times when drivers have empty seats because they don’t know anyone who needs a lift.

  • Organized car pooling is one solution. In fact, 12.2% of American workers already carpool.
  • 75.7% of US workers and 73.8% of Canadian workers commute alone via car, truck or van.

Car pooling benefits you, the community and the environment. It reduces travel costs; lessens congestion, pollution and parking problems; can eliminate the need for a private car; and is a solution to public transportation problems. It is also a way to meet like-minded people.

  • Register with Carpoolconnect.com (US), and search its database of commuters in your area going where you’re going. In Canada, try Commuter Connections (Carpool.ca), Canada’s leading rideshare program. There are many other websites too, including local ones, as well as non-Internet-based carpools. You’ll be matched with someone to share the trip and its costs.
  • Use “Park & Ride” sites. This is when people travel independently to a meeting point and then take a public bus or minivan to a common destination, such as downtown from a parking lot next to a freeway.
  • The cost of fuel is rising, with no real reversal likely. With carpoolers to share the cost, carrying one passenger can cut the fuel cost in half; two passengers could entirely cover the costs.

 

Before car sharing, keep in mind some basic safety guidelines:

  • Avoid exchanging home addresses with your traveling companions before you meet them.
  • Arrange to meet in a public place.
  • Arrange to meet near mass transit, so you have an alternative if the ride falls through.
  • Tell a friend or family member when and where you are traveling, and with whom.
  • The first time you lift share with a stranger, satisfy yourself as to his or her identity. You could ask for identification, such as a passport, student card or driver’s license. 








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