Millions of Americans drive solo to and from work every day—wasting gas, clogging up the roads, and creating a financial burden that could be shared. After biking and public transportation, the eco-friendly commuter’s next best choice is to carpool. But sharing a ride to work has many benefits beyond being ecologically sound.
Save Carloads of Cash
Carpooling reduces wear and tear on your vehicle by sharing the burden of the commute among several cars. Or, if there is one driver, other members of the carpool can contribute money. Either way, you’ll save money by spending less on gas and maintenance. AAA estimates that the combined cost of fuel and upkeep can be as much as 55.1 cents per mile for a small sedan, while a full-size SUV can set you back up to 91 cents per gallon. These costs add up, and, depending on the length of your daily commute, setting up a carpool can mean significant savings. The driver of a 20-mile one-way commute could save over $5,000 annually in a carpool.
Quality of Life
In addition to the clear financial and environmental advantages, you will find carpooling has another less apparant benefit: a better quality of life. Fewer cars on the road means less time sitting in traffic for everyone, besides reducing the emissions contributing to global warming. And carpool lanes on crowded highways can make travel much quicker. When it’s your turn to ride, you can take advantage of the extra time in the car to read, nap, socialize, or do last minute preparations for the workday. If you’re not ready to plunge in head first, no problem, start small—organize a rideshare with some co-workers or neighbors a few days a week and see how it works for you.