Carpooling is essentially when one or more people share a regular ride to a predetermined location, which is usually a workplace. There are many benefits to carpooling, and some of them are the following; reduced transportation costs, improving the environment, sharing an unpleasant task, and helping to save the world’s energy reserves.
In most instances, carpooling agreements are made up of people that live close to one another, and either work together, or in the same vicinity. Carpooling arrangements will not be successful unless all the people in the group work similar hours.
How Carpools Start
In most instances, a couple of people that work at the same establishment will get together and come to an agreement. Then as the time passes, a couple of more people will join the group. Certain businesses also encourage carpooling, and some networks are started because of that.
Before you enter into a carpooling arrangement, there needs to be rules established that everybody has to agree to. Some of these are how the costs are to be shared, who drives on what day, what happens when somebody’s car breaks down, and why nobody can ever be late.
While most carpooling is done locally, it is becoming more popular for long distant commutes. When there are great distances covered, some people might only want to travel part of the way, which is very common. Thanks to the internet, there are now websites dedicated to both local and long distance carpooling.
On these sites, you can join a preexisting network, start one of your own, or sign up for a long trip. Just like other sites that consumers use, the carpool websites allow for user ratings, which helps everybody that uses the site.
Local Governments and Businesses Promote Carpools
Today, there are many reasons that a local government or business would want to promote carpooling. It might be that their roads are simply too congested and cannot handle the rush hour traffic. It could be that the city has an air population problem, and they need to reduce automobile emissions. In some downtown areas, there is limited parking, which is one more reason that carpools are encouraged.
Some cites have now constructed high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes that require more than two people be in the car to drive in it during certain hours of the day. This is often enough of an incentive for people that live close to each other and work together, to start their very own carpool.
Greenxc is an environmental organization that in 2011 created a campaign to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. One of their suggestions, was to create more carpools. In England, carpooling is called car sharing, and many charities support and promote it.
Unfortunately, the concept has not caught on worldwide yet. In certain cities like Beijing China the air pollution is so bad, that on some days the government does not want it citizens to even go outside, it is that unhealthy. In Hungary, it is against the law for somebody to drive in your car, and share the cost.
The History of Carpooling
When World War II began, there was less gasoline available for the US general public, and that is what started carpooling. In the mid 1970’s America experienced a gas crises when the many Middle Eastern countries reduced their exports to the US. When this happened, carpooling once again became relevant.
Over the decades as gas prices stayed affordable, the number of people that choose to carpool decreased. In the 1970’s carpooling peaked at 20.4%, and by 2011 it had dropped to just 9.7% for daily commutes.
Thanks to the internet and people being able to easily and quickly interact with each other, carpooling is on the rise once again. There are now websites that specialize in making arrangements for people to share rides.
Types of Carpooling
The following are some of the forms of carpooling.
#1 – A group of people will get together that usually live close to one another and work in the same neighborhood. In these types of situations, the costs are in most instances shared equally.
#2 – There is a concept called “Flexible Carpooling”, which is defined by designating drop off and pickup points.
#3 – The internet now makes possible for “Real Time” ride sharing for long distant journeys. When this happens, the person that is doing the driving offers their services and expects a portion of their costs to be covered by the individuals accepting the ride.
Some of the Issues with Carpooling
#1 – Scheduling – In order for a carpool to work, the participates must arrive and depart from a location on similar schedules. This is the number one reason that people do not carpool.
#2 – Breakdowns – Carpools fail to stay together and function as they should when one or more people in the network do not live up to their obligations. This can happen because an individual is continually late, their car breaks down way too often, or somebody refuses to follow the rules created concerning ridding in the car.
#3 – Long Distant Carpooling – When these types of arrangements are made over the internet, in most instances the people riding with each other, will not have previously known each other. This can and does often cause major problems.
#4 – Achieving the Desired Result – Presently, there is not any concrete evidence that supports the advocators of carpooling efficiency claims. Despite that, most respected observes believe that it is a beneficial concept.
Each day, there is a new story in the newspaper that talks about the world’s dwindling energy supplies and the environmental disaster we are creating on our planet. All of us should pitch in and do our little part to help solve these problems. Participating in a carpool is certainly a very good first step towards helping to find solutions for these very complicated issues.