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The Benefits of Carpooling

Commuting can be one of the most onerous parts of the day, and it could be getting worse: The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that time spent commuting is on a steep upward trajectory. While some people can take advantage of public transportation for their trips to and from work or school, many others cannot. Carpooling, or sharing rides with one or more people who are headed to the same place as you at the same time, can significantly improve the commuting experience. Here are some of the advantages of ride-sharing.

Save money

This may sound obvious, but if you’re on the fence about carpooling, it’s worth reminding yourself: every mile you travel as a passenger in someone else’s car is a mile that’s not being put on your own car. The fewer miles you drive your car, the less wear and tear it will experience, and the fewer repairs it will need. Every group of people will work out gas costs in their own way, but many carpools decide to all chip in evenly for gas, which can end up saving you money as well if you share rides with folks who get better mileage than you do.

Get where you’re going faster

You’ve heard of life in the fast lane, but how about life in the carpool lane? These special lanes, also known as HOV lanes, are marked with a diamond signal that indicates they’re reserved for cars with multiple people in them. During rush hours, they’re often much less congested than the rest of the road, meaning you and your carpool can get where you’re going more quickly.

And if you’re ever held up by car trouble, the more people there are in your car, the more likely it is that someone has a AAA membership, which can save the day in the event of mechanical difficulties.

Get to know your community

Carpooling can also be a great way to connect with those around you, especially if you’re new to the area you live in. Time spent in the car together can be an opportunity for conversation, or to share favorite songs or podcasts (or even to sit in amicable silence and prepare for or unwind from the day, depending on your carpool’s preference).


The connections you make in your carpool can carry over. If you’re sharing rides with coworkers, you can expect to find yourself more at-ease in your workplace now that you’ve gotten to know some of the people you’re working with. Carpooling for school drop-off and pick-up to ease the weekday schedule can create opportunities for connection between you child and the other kids in their class, and it can give you a chance to exchange tips and recommendations about babysitters, assignments, and activities with fellow parents.