The week beginning 9 June marks Kiwi Carpooling Week in New Zealand, and Auckland Transport wants to encourage drivers to consider car-pooling as an environment-friendly gesture which also saves money.
I asked Auckland Transport – does carpooling really save money? Do they have any numbers to support the claim?
Auckland Transport believes carpooling helps us in saving costs of petrol and parking.
And these savings can be as high as $2550 a year.
They provided some numbers:
If two people carpooled for a 15km journey, this is what their daily costs would look like:
- Petrol prices = $1.50Â each
- Parking cost = up to $9 per dayÂ each
- Total daily cost = $21 for two people
- Savings per person = $10.50 per day; $52.50 per week (carpooling 5 days); $210.00 per month (carpooling 5 days a week for 4 weeks); $2,550 per year
Yes, you could save up to $2,550 annually by carpooling, and put that saving into paying off your mortgage sooner.
Auckland Transport has even provided an online cost calculator so you can figure out how much you could save â€“ www.letscarpool.govt.nz
But what’s the biggest hurdle to carpooling? Timing. Each person has their own time to go to work and come back from work. Also, because of the location constraint, commuters are limited to consider their own work colleagues as co-passengers, which also means you would typically carpool with people you get along with.
Auckland Transport helps you with the first part of this problem – finding a car buddy.
You can visit the site to find people living and working near you who are looking to join a carpool, or talk to you friends and colleagues about setting up your own.
Just put the starting point, destination and journey date and the website will find suitable rides for you.
Already, nearly 5000 Aucklanders have signed up on the website for carpooling, which increases your chances of finding the right carpooling partner.
What if you don’t find someone that lives nearby and works near your workplace? You will need to be a bit flexible.
You donâ€™t need to carpool all the way to work. Consider sharing a car to a central place, and jumping on a train or bus from there.
Also look at the larger picture. With more people carpooling, there will be fewer cars on the road, less traffic congestion, and less pollution.
And there is the benefit of human interaction, instead of shuffling through mundane radio stations.
Having another person in the car makes your journey more enjoyable and interesting, says Auckland Transportâ€™s Manager Community Transport Matthew Rednall.
Need more reason to carpool? â€œAnother benefit of having two people in the car is that you can use some transit lanes.â€
Carpooling could be a good opportunity to network with other professionals which could open up doors for the next big job opportunity or business potential.