4imprint, LLC

Wayfinding and city signage
Hitchin' a ride: New trends in carpooling
According to most recent statistics, roughly 10 percent of the U.S. population travels by carpool each day. Carpooling, ridesharing and other similar programs that allow people to share private transportation have long been popular means for saving money and time as a commuter, especially in urban areas. Many cities have implemented formal programs because they’ve seen benefits, too—less congested roadways, lower emissions and a shift in the perceived quality of life for citizens.

These days, though, carpooling programs aren’t just about the carpool lane and rideshare boards hosted on a city’s website. Startups, social networks and mobile technology are working together to change the face of ridesharing as we know it. Consider the following trends in carpooling and how your city or state can embrace them today.

Social networking
The biggest change in carpooling since it was in its heyday in the 1970s has been how carpoolers find and offer rides. What started as word of mouth and bulletin board posts in the lobbies of office buildings and libraries has shifted to social networks.

Avego.com, GoLoco.org, and Zimride are just a few of the startups that have launched in recent years that harness the power of the social graph to connect commuters with rides. A hybrid of carpooling, buses and online auctions,  these sites enable users to log on to a website, download mobile apps or connect via Facebook™ to see real-time results of people looking for rides or offering them, and most provide access to profiles to learn about other users. The result is a carpool program that’s fast, convenient and friendly.

“We embrace ridesharing as a social activity and Facebook provides a rich social context to connect and establish trust,” explain’s  Zimride’s website. “Zimriders can view profiles for common networks, interests and friends before deciding to share a ride.”

In addition to matching commuters and helping companies organize fleets, many of these services that work as mobile apps also offer GPS coordinated directions to drivers to pick up new passengers and calculate the cost of routes so everyone can chip in or employers can reimburse.

Alternative programs
Another trend in the traditional approach to carpooling in recent years is a little outside the box: Instead of sharing the ride, users are now sharing the mode of transportation itself. Car sharing services like Zipcar and iCar, along with bike rental programs like Minneapolis’s Nice Ride MN, offer fleets of vehicles available for short-term rental on demand. Users can pick up a car or a bike where the nearest one is available and then leave that transport at their destination for other users to pick up. Such programs might not mean that people are riding together, but it can mean that fewer people need privately owned transportation in urban areas.

In addition to new technology and new thinking when it comes to carpooling, many cities are now offering incentives to citizens who choose to share their commutes. Lansing, Mich., Madison, Wis., and San Francisco are just a few of the many cities that now offer special parking rates and reserved spaces just for carpool drivers. Some of these cities also offer lots specifically designed for commuters to meet-up, park, and pick up and drop off conveniently.

Other cities, like Portland, offer tax breaks and other tax incentives to certain carpoolers and employers who encourage employees to carpool. Then, there are cities like Seattle that hold annual challenges for residents that offer the chance to win big-ticket prizes and gift certificates for driving less.

Getting the word out
Once your community decides to act on these new trends in carpooling, ensure success by spreading the word far and wide.

  • Make information about these programs easy to find—update a page on your city’s website and make sure this page is promoted front and center on the home page, too.
  • Create a grassroots campaign—get volunteers outfitted with T-Shirts, pens and clipboards complete with sign-up-for-more-information sheets.
  • Promote programs through social networks and consider creating a Twitter™ or Facebook™ account devoted to carpooling information. Try broadcasting stats about the growing program, available rides and more.
  • When launching these programs for the first time, offer incentives like tote bags, travel mugs or helmet reflectors to the first 200 people to sign up.
  • Consider holding a launch event to get everyone excited and be sure the press is involved. Provide fact sheets about local traffic, gas prices and other figures that may help illustrate the appeal of carpooling.

It may not be a new idea to cut costs and improve the quality of life by commuting with others, but the way we carpool is changing. Embrace these changes today in your city to offer more choices in transportation.


New York Times Interactive Feature. “Car-Pooling Declines as Driving Becomes Cheaper – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 28 Jan. 2011. Web. 18 July 2011.
Adopt a Senior Pet Month
American Diabetes
American Indian Heritage Month
Aviation History Month
Banana Pudding Lovers Month
Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Epilepsy Awareness Month
Family Stories Month
Gluten-Free Diet awareness Month
Green and Plantains Month
Historic Bridge Awareness Month
International Drum Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
MADD’s Tie One on for Safety Holiday Campaign (11/16-12/31)
Military Family Appreciation Month
National Adoptions Month
National AIDS Awareness Month
National Alzheimer’s Disease
National Family Caregivers
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Home Care & Hospice Month
National Impotency Month
National Inspirational Role Models
National Life Writing Month
National Long-Term Care Awareness Month
National Marrow Awareness
National Medical Science Liaison Awareness & Appreciation Month
National Native American Heritage Month
National Novel Writing Month
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month
National Pomegranate Month
National Roasting Month
National Scholarship Month
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Plum and Pomegranate Month
PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month
Spinach and Squash Month
Sweet Potato Awareness Month
NoSHAVEember or Movember
Prematurity Awareness Month
Vegan Month
National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week: 1-7
National Fig Week: 1-7
Give Wildlife a Break Week: 1-7
National Patient Accessibility Week: 1-7
World Communication Week: 1-7
Health Information and Technology Week: 6-12
National Nurse Practioner’s Week: 6-12
National Rad Tech Week: 6-12
Dear Santa Letter Week: 7-12
National Young Reader’s Week: 7-11
Pursuit of happiness Week: 7-13
World Kindness Week: 7-13
American Education Week: 13-19
Geography Awareness Week: 13-19
National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week: 12-18
National Global Entrepreneurship Week: 14-20
National Farm-City Week: 18-24
National Bible Week: 20-26
National Family Week: 20-26
National Game and Puzzle Week: 20-26
Better Conversation Week: 21-27
Travelers with Disabilities Week: 22-26
1: All Saints Day
1: Give Up Your Shoulds Day
1: National Authors Day
1: National Family Literacy Day
1: National Go Cook For Your Pets Day
2: All Souls Day
2: Cookie Monster Day
2:  Plan Your Epitaph Day
2: National Traffic Directors Day
3: Cliché Day
3: National Men Make Dinner Day
3: Sandwich Day
4: National Chicken Lady Day
4: Use Your Common Sense Day
4: National Medical Science Liaison Awareness Day
4-6: Pumpkin Chunkin Days
5: Sadie Hawkins Day
6: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation
of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
4: Daylight Savings End
6: Eid-Al Ahada
6: Saxophone Day
6: Zero Tasking Day
7: Job Action Day
7: National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
8: Abet and Aid Punsters Day
8: Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day
8: Election Day
8: National Parents as Teachers Day
8: X-ray Day
9: 10: Kristallnacht
9: National Young Reader’s Day
9: National Child Safety Council
10: Area Code Day
10: Marine Corp Birthday
10: Sesame Street Day
11: Death/Duty Day
11: Veterans  Day
12: Domino Day
12-14: National Donor Sabbath Days
13: International Tongue Twister Day
13: World Kindness Day
14: Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day
14: National American Teddy Bear Day
14: National Girls Day
14: Spirit of NSA (National Speakers Association) Day
14: World Diabetes Day
14: World Orphan Day
15: America Recycles Day
15: I Love to Write Day
15: National Bundt (Pan) Day
16: International Day for Tolerance
16: National Educational Support Professionals Day
16: Prematurity Awareness Day
17: Guinness World Record Day
17: Homemade Bread Day
17: GIS Day (Geographic Information System)
17: Great American Smokeout
18: Married to a Scorpio Support Day
18: Mickey Mouse Day
18: Push-button Phone Day
19: Equal Opportunity Day
17: Use Less Stuff Day
19: Family Volunteer Day
19: Have a Bad Day Day
19: National Adoption Day
19: National Day of Play
19: National Survivors of Suicide Day
19: World Toilet Day
20: African Industrialization Day
20: Children’s Day
20: Name Your PC Day
20: World Day of remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
21: World Hello Day
21: World Television Day
21: Alascattalo Day
22: Humane Society Anniversary Day
23: Dr. Who Day
23: Fibonacci Day
23: Tie One on Day
24: Celebrate your Unique Talent Day
24: D.B. Cooper Day
24: Thanksgiving Day
24: Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Day
25: Black Friday
25-26: Buy Nothing Day
25: Flossing Day
25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day
25: Maize Day
25: Shopping Reminder Day
25: Sinkie Day
25: You’re Welcome Giving Day
25: National Native American Heritage Day
26: International Aura Awareness Day
26: Islamic New Year
27: National Day of Listening
28: Cyber Monday
29: Electronic Greeting Day
29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
30: Computer Security Day
30: National Meth Awareness Day
30: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Day
30: Stay Home Because You’re Well Day
Submit your review

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Hot Products

Shop 4imprint's Hottest Products!

Shop Now

Sale Products

Shop 4imprint's Sale Products!

Shop Now

New Products

Shop 4imprint's Newest Products!

Shop Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *