Carpooling is a great way to save money, make new friends and reduce your contribution to air pollution. Sharing the ride could save commuters $1,000 a year in gas, maintenance and depreciation costs, yet 83 percent of Kansas City commuters still drive alone. That’s a lot of missed opportunities for savings and cleaner air.
Try these tips to fill those empty seats:
- Find carpool matches. Modern technology makes it easy to find matches. Simply sign up for RideShare Connection to find others interested in carpooling who have similar commutes to yours. Find co-worker carpoolers by sending out an e-mail or posting a notice in the lunchroom.
- Make a schedule. Start slow. Even carpooling once a week can provide you with significant savings. Decide how often you would like to carpool and which days make sense, then schedule meeting and pickup times and locations for both ends of the commute. Choose a date to start and don’t forget to exchange phone numbers.
- Charge non-drivers. Some carpoolers may not have a vehicle or may not wish to take a turn as driver. You can use AAA’s cost of driving rates — divided by the number of carpoolers — to establish fees for non-drivers.
- Learn simple carpool etiquette. Communicate with your fellow carpoolers and let them know if you’re running late. Always drive safely, and keep your vehicle clean and in good condition. Respect any restrictions the carpool has agreed on, and above all, be flexible.