The world would be a deathly silent place if we did that, would it not? No one, let’s repeat, no one loves traffic. The heat, the noise, the pollution, all added to the waste: time, fuel, sanity. Can you MAD about traffic? No, no. Not road rage. Make A Difference…MAD.
Even before the seasonal skyrocket of fuel prices for summer, it costs around 55 cents to drive one mile. This covers fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance and the unstoppable depreciation of the vehicle. How far do you drive everyday? Sounds expensive.
Considering the national monument is the construction barrel, still one third of roads are rated poor or mediocre based on heavy traffic and little or no maintenance and repair.
Burning one gallon of gasoline produces 18 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). What kind of mileage do you get? And how many miles do you drive everyday? Where’s your calculator?
Time to get over the stigma of the carpool. Only 10% of workers rideshare. National HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes are deserted. What is the benefit of sharing a ride?
$2,860 per year: Savings for each person in a two-person rideshare for a 40-mile round trip. What could you do with an extra two and a half grand? Would you put three of you in one vehicle for $3,810?
12,000 gallons of gas: Savings if 100 people would carpool the daily commute for one year.
135 million gallons of gas: Savings if there were a 10% increase in public transportation use for one year. That includes the increase in mass transit consumption minus the private consumption.
- 1,848 pounds of hydrocarbons (like methane)
- 1,320 pounds of carbon monoxide (CO)
- 792 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NO)
- 2,376,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2)
Environmental impact of 100 people choosing rideshare for one year: Keeping all of the above pollutants out of the atmosphere. Nearly 1,200 tons of pollution would stay out of the air we breathe.
Are you on board for saving money, less stress, a cleaner environment, less wear on your vehicle, less dependence on oil and less traffic?
Find a buddy to rideshare: Co-worker, classmate, friend, teammate, neighbor. Check with your school, college or employer to see if there is already an organized rideshare program. Meet before your first commute to discuss preferences:
- Air conditioning
- Cell phones
Equitably split the driving and the cost. If one of you is always going to drive, the other should pay more to cover the wear-and-tear on the vehicle and the other expenses.
Set a probationary period to be sure it is an arrangement you can both (or all three) abide. Discuss how you are going to handle days when you will not be available to ride/drive.
Set the itinerary. Know the route you are going to take and reasonably budget time for traffic hang ups, pit stops and emergencies.
Give your carpool participants’ names and information to someone else (Mate, office, Parent) in case of emergency. Make sure someone else knows the route you will be taking to and from your destination and how long it should take.
Be punctual. Do not make your rideshare buddy wait. You are both sacrificing a few minutes to save money. Be fair. Be on time. Dawdling can make you both late and cost you your jobs or demerits at school.
Do something worthwhile with the $2,860. You can Make A Difference. MAD about traffic by cutting the number of cars on the road. MAD about your personal finances by spending less on commuting by carpooling. MAD about the environment by reducing emissions.
Can you cut your emissions into the environment? Would you rideshare with someone who works in a building close to you? Can you ride with friends when you go (to dinner, golfing, to the movies)? Do you want to save money on gasoline and vehicle repairs? Have you ever taken public transportation?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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