Being stuck in traffic on the way to work is more than just frustrating. It’s a big gas-guzzling waste of time. With the average price of gas currently at $3.48, it’d be nice to spend less time (and money) at the gas station if at all possible.
But how? It might not be feasible for you to use public transportation or buy a brand-new, energy-efficient hybrid. So what can you do to cut your fuel costs?
We have a simple suggestion: find a carpool!
The benefits of carpooling
Sharing the commute with someone else (or several someones) means you can share the cost of gas as well. It also gives the environment a break by reducing pollution and congestion (since you’re using one car instead of 2 or 3). Best of all, you get to use the carpool lane to zoom off to work, which can help to ease some of the frustration of the daily grind.
Finding a carpool
Once you’ve decided to try carpooling, how do you find people to carpool with? Here are 4 great options to consider:
- Craigslist: if you can find a used lamp or U2 tickets on craigslist, there’s a good chance you can find a carpool as well. Why not? Rideshare postings are typically for a single ride, so it’s a great source when you’re planning a long road trip and want to subsidize gas a bit by picking up passengers or by being one yourself. To find rides, just visit your city’s craigslist page and add /rid/ to the URL (for example, http://atlanta.craigslist.org/rid/).
- Zimride: dedicated to helping people find rideshares, Zimride has a friendly interface and is quickly growing in popularity. Whether you’re looking for a ride or hoping to pick up an extra passenger or 3, Zimride makes it simple and convenient.
Not coincidentally, Esurance partners with Zimride to promote carpooling for sponsored events. In 2010 people who shared rides to the Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, Washington, saved 326,920 driving miles. We also have an internal carpooling program (through Zimride) that makes it easy for our associates to carpool to work.
- eRideShare.com: offering everything from daily carpools to cross-country travel, this is another great resource for finding rides. Just enter your location and the direction you need to go to find a list of others headed the same way. Then choose the most convenient option. Simple as that.
- Carticipate: Carticipate is an iPhone® app that uses your phone’s location-based capabilities to match you with other Carticipate users in your area. You can schedule or request a ride in advance or just check out all posted trips in your area to find your perfect carpool. (Know of any other carpooling apps? Let us know.)
If you’re looking for a carpool or are just curious about ridesharing, you might be surprised what you can find once you start looking, and how much money you can save in the process. Once you’ve found your perfect carpool and are ready to get started, check out these 5 tips on carpooling etiquette.