Three Saves in One Ride

Gas prizes are rising. Do people these days not have two feet to walk on? If we must drive everywhere, why not share the ride by carpooling?
The American Automobile Association found out that the average for driving a middle sized car 15,000 miles a year is $7,471. Who wants to pay that cost? That money’s practically flying out of your exhaust pipe! We can boost our car’s efficiency without paying anything by trying to fit more people into one car, in other words, carpooling. The “Your Driving Cost 2008 Study of Monthly Commuting Costs for Driving Alone vs. Sharing a Ride” showed that when not carpooling, driving a round trip of twenty miles costs about $102. Driving with two people, the same distance, the cost is lowered by about half, so $51. This will save you a lot of money! If you can work out a system with your fellow carpoolers, where everyone pays a fair share of the gas money and takes turns picking up then, you can save over $1500.
One reason some people don’t carpool is because they don’t find it safe. If you start finding carpool contacts on the Internet, I would recommend meeting the people you’ll be carpooling with in advance to get to know them before deciding if you want to carpool with them. If you don’t trust them, don’t carpool with them.


Another question you might have is: Are my fellow carpoolers reliable? Let’s say that you have to get somewhere in ten minutes and your carpool buddy doesn’t show. The riders need to set solid times for when you need to be somewhere. Maybe working out a calendar will help.
I have a great time carpooling. Riding with others gives me time to relax, the chance to meet new and interesting people. The roads will be less crowded during rush hours if we share a ride rather than driving in a separate car.
The Intelligent Transportation Society of American stated that nationwide 500 million hours of your weeks are spend commuting to and from work each week. On average, that’s about eighty minutes per person in a day. I can see why driving through the jammed roads of rush hour is stressful.
Despite these benefits of carpooling, a June 2006 study in the American Sociological Review found that the number of close friends, a person has, has dropped by one third over the last twenty years. Do you go to the bar to watch the Friday night football game? No, now days we don’t need to socialize with our neighbors because we’ve got our own sixty-four inch plasma flat screen TV hanging over our dining room table. We go forward in creating a society of new phones and gadgets, but somehow we manage to take one big step back by loosing the interaction we used to have with others. Carpooling can help reconnect people.
One of the fuels we use in cars is oil, so the demands and prices for it are high. One day it will be gone. One way to save oil for future generations is to use less: we can carpool! Greenlivingtips.com states that a small car spits out .59 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. A large SUV or four wheel drive vehicle emits as much as 1.5 pounds per mile. That’s not that much right? Well, think of the millions of cars out there and how many miles they drive every day. That’s a lot of poison we breathe. The amount of gas we mix into the atmosphere can be lowered if we get fewer cars on the roads. This reduction also has benefits for the car owner. Gas and maintenance costs would be lowered.
Larger cities have public transport systems. Even though they are crowded, the subways and busses decongest traffic and save the environment, as carpooling does. The gasses can cause asthma and other lung problems. Driving your own car to work everyday, while you can carpool with a friend, can be a health hazard.
However, others might argue carpooling is complicated. That’s not true. There are many safe websites that will allow you to find people who need or offer rides. Go to www.commuterpage.com and check out their system. Still, there are other ways. I carpool all the time. I call my friend and ask her if she needs a ride. All you need is someone who will drive, one car, and the will to do something good for yourself and the world. Every car left in the garage will make the difference in the weight or your wallet, in your heart, and in the quality of the air you breathe.
~Rahel





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