Despite government efforts to encourage it, the number of people who carpool to work continues to drop. At a new low of just 9 percent, some agencies may be wondering if the last-minute convenience of ride hailing apps like Uber® or Lyft® could be the solution.
Ride sharing, no matter how it is done, has countless benefits. It helps reduce traffic, road congestion and pollution. It also saves on fuel and reduces the time and stress associated with commuting. Here’s how you can encourage carpooling in your community.
- Flexibility: The ability to schedule rides when it’s convenient is changing the way people think about carpooling. No longer are people forced to travel during times that don’t work with their schedules. The Bay Area’s Carma® app, for example, offers peer-to-peer carpools where users can find other riders traveling similar routes at similar times.
- Shared costs: Ride sharing apps Uber and Lyft offer the choice between a regular ride and a shared ride. Those opting to share their ride get to share the fee, too. All parties win—riders are happy to pay a lower fee, and drivers get to reduce down time between passengers.
- Increased productivity: Carpooling allows riders to avoid spending time parking, and it allows them to be productive during the drive, too. Passengers can catch up on emails, listen to podcasts, and with the help of a personal hotspot and laptop, conduct business.
The advantages of carpooling are clear to see. Your agency can encourage carpooling by promoting its advantages. Imprint bumper stickers and license plate frames with your favorite local ride sharing apps to promote awareness. You may even want to offer incentives to those “caught” carpooling. Encourage participants to check your agency’s Facebook® page or website for winners, who can be awarded an MP4 player or Commuter Tech Kit with Power Bank.
Urge local businesses to discuss the benefits of ride sharing at new employee orientations and staff meetings. If offered, parking and transit benefits can be extended to include ride sharing fees. Imprint apps on car vent notepads and litter bags that can be distributed at parking ramps, in new community member welcome packages and at area businesses.
If your agency is wondering how to encourage carpooling in the community, look no further than promoting its benefits. A little more time, flexibility and money in the bank are easy benefits to sell.