Ever since the mid-seventies the carpooling has been a reoccurring concept among people employed at the same workplace or going to the same place. The open atmosphere of the seventies mixed with the political pushes for carpooling and the opening of specific carpool lanes on highways made the concept very popular and although carpooling has become less covered by the media in later years it is still very common that people form carpools, either in their workplace or via the internet.
Carpooling – What is it?
The concept of carpooling can easiest be described as an organized way to hitchhike from one place to another. But instead of just stand at the highway roadside with a thumb sticking out the carpool is a group of individuals that take turns driving the others around. Something that is especially good when you all work in the same place and all live close to each other. The main idea of carpooling is that a group of people can ride in one vehicle instead of having all of these individuals driving their own car. In a way the persons in a carpool are all hitchhiking with each other, and since they all take turns using their cars no one looses any money on the deal.
Carpooling – Why is it a good thing?
The most obvious perks with a carpool are environmental and economical. For each person in a carpool there is one less vehicle on the road spewing out pollution. With fewer cars on the roads there will be fewer traffic jams and pile ups during the rush hours, thus letting traffic flow faster. This fact also has an effect on the economics of the individuals in the carpool, not only do they only have to use their own car once or twice a week, they also travel faster since their cars are not blocking the traffic during rush hours. The persons in a carpool also gain a psychological perk as they have each other to talk to during the trip. Studies have shown that carpooling relieves stress through its natural social interaction.
Carpooling – How do I organize a carpool?
In the early days carpools were generally set up in the workplace or in the home neighbourhood. It was otherwise quite difficult to find a reasonable carpool and although there are some known example where people put up ads looking for carpools it proved less than successful. In the later years people started to use the internet and keep contact using cellular phones though, and organizing carpools became a snap. Today there are a lot of different web pages which provides the service of logging carpools so anyone can see the area of departure and the destination area of any carpool that is a member. That way anyone can come in contact with a carpool and be a part of a more environmentally friendly community.
Carpooling – Problems with carpooling
The most obvious problem with a carpool is that unlike car sharing each individual in a carpool needs to own their own car to participate. Although a person without a car can pay a fee to the others in a carpool there will still be a lot of cars just standing around, and a standing car is for many people an unnecessary investment. The group dynamic can also be a problem since some people simply can not stand each other, and in case of an accident it is the driver that has responsibility no matter if it is a carpool or not.