When you think about the time we spend in our car, the money we spend on fuel, and the types of driving we usually do, it’s strange that we don’t consider carpooling more often as a means of community transit. Often people in the same neighbourhood make the drive to work, school, extra curricular activities, or even weekend trips without thinking about carpooling.
Do you know other kids in the neighbourhood that you could offer to drive or pickup from school (assuming they don’t walk, bike, or bus…)? Do you know any colleagues at work that live on your route to the office? For my family, we try and schedule swimming lessons with friends so that we can travel together. This can save a ton of time, money, and stress!
If you don’t drive every day, but still need a vehicle for weekends or road trips, you could consider joining a car share. In Ontario where I live, there’s a cool service called VRTUCAR that lets you borrow a car when you need one without worrying about the maintenance, gas, or insurance. Alternatively, if you have friends that might be interested, you could share a vehicle between households! Or even just lend your vehicle when someone needs it in exchange for gas money and shared insurance. There’s lots of options out there to share vehicles.
If you do need your car everyday, there are still ways beyond car sharing that you can reduce the number of vehicles on the road by collaborating with friends. Plan your activities together – maybe hit up the grocery store at the same time or head out for a night at the movies on the same evening. You can carpool and enjoy the company!