Get with a Carpool: Save Money, Get the Good Lane

Innovative carpool-connection services and ride-share programs help commuters reduce their environmental footprint and save big bucks on gas.

| Jan. 8, 2009

  • Carpool Lane
    In many cities, not only do carpoolers save money on gas, but they can also get to work faster and bypass traffic congestion via dedicated express lanes for those who share rides.
    ISTOCKPHOTO/TIM MCCAIG

  • Carpool Lane

Even with a sharp drop in gas prices at the end of the year, 2008 gave us the highest gas prices we’ve ever had to pay, topping out at more than $4 a gallon. What can you do about high gas prices? Plenty! We Americans average about 25 minutes on each leg of our work commutes, yet amazingly, just 10 percent of us manage to share that ride. Gold stars for all you carpoolers! (And walkers, bikers, bus riders — and work-at-homers, too!)

What about the rest of us? You may not realize that there are free and easy-to-use services that can connect you with others making the same daily to-and-fro. And even if there’s no one heading directly to your place of work, there may be a solo driver at the business right down the street who would love to carpool with you. The good news is that there are lots of ways to find people to carpool with, especially because they’re out there looking for you, too.

Connect with a Carpool

The easiest way to start is to post a notice on the office bulletin board. Something like: “Adorable, Extremely Safe Driver with Super-reliable Car Seeks Carpool Buddies who love Elvis, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles.” (There really are only those three kinds of people anyway, right?)

If you don’t find anyone in your office to team up with, check out one of these handy carpool-connection services to see who’s going your way. Some of these sites can also help you plan shared trips for running errands or even traveling cross-country.



How Much Can You Save?

Not sure you want to commit to a carpool? Well, start doing the math. Carpooling with one other person saves half the gas you use to get to work. And the more the merrier: With five in a carpool you’ll only use 20 percent of the gas you use now. Plus, think of all the emissions that aren’t spewing from the cars we would be driving.

Carpooling can be fun, too. Here’s what some of us at Ogden Publications think about it:






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