Friday Fuel Economy: Jump in a Carpool

Reader Contribution by Staff

Whether your drive to work is 10 miles or 50, look for a carpool buddy. Sharing the journey with one or more coworkers will save you big bucks on gas and reduce air pollution and other emissions that cause global warming.

I’m lucky enough to carpool with two other editors. The entertainment value is worth it alone, but I also know I save about $1,000 a year in gas and maintenance costs. To figure out how much you could save, try these two savings calculators:

Other benefits of carpooling:

Get to work faster: many metropolitan areas have HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes that are strictly for vehicles with multiple passengers. Driving in these can save tons of time each day, giving you more time to get things done at work or get home to family. Plus, you’ll enjoy zipping by all that bumper-to-bumper congestion.

Get more done: When you’re not driving in the carpool, you can finally read that book, get a jumpstart on the work day or simply get a few more minutes of rest.

Less stress: If your commute is a hectic one, you’ll feel much less stress if you’re not driving every day.

Get to know your coworkers: The social time will pay dividends in your working relationships.

So how do you start a carpool? Ask around, post a sign on the break room bulletin board, talk with the Human Resources department, send out a mass e-mail, write about your interest in the company newsletter. Many cities also have rideshare setup programs — Google your city’s name and “carpool” or “rideshare.” Here are a few general Web sites to help you:

Odds are there’s at least one person nearby with which you could share rides. You may even spark enough interest that multiple carpools have to start. Do you have advice for starting a carpool? Share you thoughts by posting a comment below.

John Rockhold is a green car enthusiast and Contributing Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

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