Whether it’s a slow, lonely crawl to the office in your private vehicle or having a stranger fall asleep on your shoulder while on the bus, travelling solo can leave a lot to be desired.
Those hours you spend listening to morning radio as you count down the seconds to the next green light could be better spent on socialising and improving the planet, all while saving you cash.
Interested in shaking up your commute? Here’s how carpooling can improve your life, one trip at a time.
Once high school disappears in your rear-vision mirror, it can get harder to meet new people. But just as kids bond while sharing the same sandpit, spending regular time travelling with others can liven up your social circle. This might mean learning more about your colleague in the next cubicle than what time she takes a coffee break, or seeking out new people altogether.
If you’re not sure where to start, try asking around at work or in your neighbourhood – chances are others are keen to reap the benefits of carpooling as much as you.
You can also search online for the right match, from when you need to travel to whether you want a smoke-free ride – visit www.letscarpool.govt.nz to find out more. Before you know it, you could have some new mates to keep you entertained on the way to work.
Teaming up with others means there’s no need to shoulder the whole price of the trip yourself. By sharing parking and petrol costs, carpooling can mean a cheaper commute. You’ll also save in the long run by reducing wear and tear on your vehicle; by clocking fewer kilometres, you’re likely to spend less on maintaining your ride.
Ever been stuck in gridlock, gazing longingly at travellers zipping down the carpool lane? That could be you. Some areas even have car parks that prioritise carpoolers, to help streamline your commute and make you feel like a VIP guest in your own city. Carpooling can also beat public transport in the time-saving stakes. If you’ve ever sprinted to catch the train to work, you’ll appreciate the security your carpooling buddies can provide. Just make sure you set clear rules for how long you’re prepared to wait for each other, so you’re all on the same page.
Save the world
It’s no secret traffic takes a toll on the environment, not to mention the sanity of the human race. By carpooling, you can feel justifiably smug knowing you’ve cut the number of vehicles on the road, thereby reducing your carbon footprint and clocking up karma points by making the roads less stressful for others.