How to Organize a Rideshare

Rideshare programs are a great opportunity to meet new people, save on rising gas costs, and get involved with your community. In an effort to raise awareness and reduce concern over fuel costs, many commuters and travelers participate in a Rideshare programs in their community! Rideshares are common in Europe, and are gaining popularity in the United States for a variety of reasons.

The official RideShare Alliance is a publicly-supported organization that is dedicated to ‘reduce our dependence on the oil economy and greenhouse gas emissions through the promotion of ridesharing in the United States and Canada.’ This outreach program has constructed a web-based database to help people locate, organize, and promote rideshares across the country. It is just one way that locals, schools, and businesses alike can take part in the ability to reduce travel costs. On a larger scale, this may help reduce traffic congestion, commute times, parking lot space, and save money. To use the national program, you simply register yourself on the main website at Rideshare Alliance .Here you will fill out a questionnaire describing your situation, locations, as well as your ability to provide or join a car, van, or other form of transportation. It is a great way to connect with people for a shared cause. Other resources and online registries include eRideShare, Carpool World, and Road Buddies.

You can also create an individual rideshare or carpool program at your workplace. Your best approach is to check with your human resources department for policies and current activities, and take it from there. This is also a great way to meet people, and commuter programs can be very valuable when you share similar schedules, neighborhoods, and travel resources. You’ll need to keep in mind how much to charge for gas, how to handle late people, and general carpool etiquette! Begin by posting a newly forming group on your company bulletin board, arranging a kickoff event, or simply e-mail-by-request to see what type of interest there might be at your workplace.

Creating a rideshare or carpool program for after-school activities, home chores, or other home-based activities is another option. Local civic groups, churches, and social groups can create a database of locations and frequent trips, and coordinate them accordingly via carpool. This is definitely ridesharing on a small scale, but still provides the opportunity to mix and mingle, and save on gas! Seek out opportunities on your town or cities’ Craigslist, and contact local people individually.

A big benefit of ridesharing is not having to worry about driving! You can use this time to read, write, daydream, or simply enjoy the view. Carpooling in the city gives you the privilege of using the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes too, so you may just bypass a lot of traffic on your daily commute.

Ridesharing is a constructive approach to a growing problem; it not only contributes to the environmental aspects of fuel reduction, consolidating trips, and lowering daily mileage, but may also be a great networking opportunity in the short or long-term. You can take part by joining a current program in your community, organizing one at your workplace or local civic group, or simply browsing local forums and groups for updates on this rising trend. Even if it is just once per week, the benefits can really add up!

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