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Carpooling goes green and efficient

Carpooling saves gas. Hop in!
Carpooling saves gas. Hop in!
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Starting up a carpool is an excellent way to save money. Carpooling also saves fuel and other natural resources. You can socialize with friends and co-workers on the way to the office. Or, just read the news while someone else takes their turn at the wheel. Here's some ways to make carpooling an even greener and more efficient choice.

There are a multitude of ways to carpool.

  • Some carpools are made up of people who work at the same location.

  • Some are friends who work in different locations.

  • Some people carpool to run errands.

  • Parents use carpools so that their children get to school on time with a parent they trust.

  • Carpool users may share one car or take turns driving more than one car.

Setting up a carpool is quite simple. Talk to friends, neighbors and co-workers to see if there's any interest. Discuss what type of carpool everyone's looking for and whether needs will mesh.

Base your carpool on the needs of the majority. Those who don't fit in shouldn't feel left out. They can form a carpool for their own needs.

Determine the route the carpool will take. Decide on a schedule for pickups and drop offs. Establish a meeting place for the ride home if you all work in the same office.

Decide who'll be responsible for driving and when. If more than one person is driving be sure duties are equally distributed and agreed to by all.

Discuss expenses and how they'll be shared. Make sure everyone knows what their financial responsibility is. Let them know how and when they're expected to pay their share.

Be sure everyone is on time. If one person is running late the whole group could suffer. Everyone should know there's a limit to how long a wait there can be.

Establish carpooling rules. Discuss things like radio volume and smoking or not smoking before you begin. This will eliminate squabbles.

Have a back up plan for emergencies. If someone's ill, know who their replacement will be. Exchange numbers for easier contact.

Be ready for members to come and go. Have a list of perspectives ready to join just in case someone leaves or quits their job.

Use good judgment while driving. Obey speed limits and other traffic rules. Stay away from alcohol and other intoxicants while driving. Remember, you're responsible for keeping the other members of your carpool safe.

Vehicles for carpooling should be well maintained. Take care of scheduled maintenance in a timely manner. Keep an eye out for other problems as well. Have a spare tire available. One flat can make the whole group late if there is no advance preparation.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.