Ride sharing is a very popular method of alternative transportation. A common version of ride sharing is carpooling. This isn’t surprising considering how many people have a personal car. Carpooling is an arrangement between two or more persons to travel together in a single car to a common destination.
Typically, as the driver of a carpool you agree to carry passengers in your car in exchange for compensation. As a passenger, you agree to pay the driver of the pool a portion of the cost to operate their vehicle. Alternatively, some pools choose to alternate the driver so that each driver reduces her fuel cost and mileage by at least one-half. Either way, the basic idea is to bring down the operating cost of a vehicle by sharing the cost among the pool members. So even if the agreement is simply to split the cost of gas between those in the pool, both the car owner and the passengers can save hundreds of dollars per year.
There are many apps and websites that can help you find and connect with other carpoolers in your area, such as Zimride.com and carpooling.com. Additionally, many states require employers to offer Trip Reduction Programs (TRPs) that provide the logistics for forming and facilitating carpool programs for their employees. Some will even reimburse a portion of fuel costs as well. Universities often provide similar options for students. Carpooling helps the environment by reducing the amount of air-pollution per passenger mile driven.
All things considered, car-pooling is an excellent way to reduce your travel expenses if you already have a car, or feel you need one.