Carpooling, even with a busy schedule, is an attainable green transportation option. To affirm how easy carpooling can be, MassRIDES decided to collect and debunk a few common carpool myths that we often hear.
Myth 1: It’s difficult to find people nearby who want to carpool
Finding potential carpool partners nearby is easier than you think. Bay State Commute, MassRIDES’ free green commuting rewards and ridematching program, helps commuters find carpool (or vanpool) matches. Commuters can narrow their search by gender, language, and other preferences. As an added benefit, this service tracks how much money commuters save on transportation costs by showing your carbon footprint through measures such as gallons of gas saved and greenhouse gas emissions reduced. It also rewards travelers for green trips tracked.
Myth 2: I’ll have to commit to carpooling everyday
The number of times per month or week that you want to carpool is completely up to you. Carpools can meet every day, or as infrequently as once a week. Everything is customizable and dependent on the riders who share the carpool.
Myth 3: I’ll be stranded in an emergency
“Commuter insurance” is just another benefit of partnering with MassRIDES. The Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program supports sustainable commuters with a free ride if an unexpected emergency arises. MassRIDES reimburses commuters up to $100 a trip, up to four times a year for qualified emergencies.
Myth 4: Carpooling is too restrictive for my schedule
Whether you find a carpool partner on your own or use Bay State Commute’s carpool matching system, customizing your carpool is completely up to you. Commuters may elect the days and times on which they are able to carpool and find matches nearby who meet their schedules. Additionally, MassRIDES’ ERH program gives commuters more flexibility should they have to leave work unexpectedly.
Myth 5: Driving alone really isn’t that expensive
The hidden costs, or unforeseen expenses, of driving contribute to this popular misconception. In 2013, the average person spent between $10,000 to $13,000 per year on vehicle costs according to AAA. Carpooling helps alleviate that cost by sharing the cost of gas, parking, and potential vehicle repair with other carpool members.
So there you have it: five of the most common carpool myths busted. While carpooling may not be a realistic option for everyone to use every day, it can be a commute option for many of us, whether several times a week or just a few times e per month. Most importantly, regardless of frequency- monthly, weekly, daily, or some other combination- carpooling helps to protect both the environment and your wallet.