Blog, Carpooling

While not all of us can realistically carpool or ride a bike to work, we can still find ways to change our driving habits to support a cleaner, healthier environment. And even if you’re not one to get overly stoked about reducing your carbon footprint, visiting the pump less often with gas prices approaching $5 per gallon is something we can all agree is for the best.

Think about what’s on your calendar and give up driving solo if at all possible.

Got summer concert plans? Ride with a group of friends to the show. You’ll save on parking if everyone pitches in and ditto for tolls.

Hosting a holiday barbecue? Suggest your guests who live near each other ride together.

Headed to a family reunion? Don’t go alone, especially if you have ample room in your SUV or van.. Make it a more economical and fun time by riding together with other family members, especially if several of you will be coming from a distance.

You’ll need to be proactive for any of these ideas. Initiate the idea before plans are firm and follow up. If you’re the organizer, make the suggestion part of the invitation. Start a Facebook group for the event that includes ideas for ridesharing. Introduce people who don’t know each other.

Now about those summer and fall weddings – wedding planners, brides and grooms should not just suggest ridesharing. Within reason, mandate it.

While just going green in incentive enough for many, others can be further incentivized with a prize awaiting the driver who carpools the most guests; gas cards make great prizes. Make it easy, especially for guests coming out of town, by sharing emails and contact numbers.

Create a Facebook event and spark a discussion if you know guests who don’t know each other are close in proximity to one other. Call out carpooling on your wedding website, too. Guests will feel a bigger obligation to comply with couples who stress that going green is important on their big day.

Consider having a designated driver for one or more carpools, or if multiple guests are flying in from out of town, organize a van pool or shuttle to take them to the church and reception.

Suggesting a guest who isn’t likely to know many people at the wedding be part of a carpool could make the difference between a yes or no to the invitation.

Don’t forget to log all trips in the MidPenRideShare app that will reward you for a cleaner, greener commute to and from your next outing or celebration.

MidPenRideShare is a free service operated by the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission for residents, workers, commuters, and tourists in Virginia’s Middle peninsula (Counties of Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, and Middlesex and the towns of Tappahannock, Urbanna, and West Point).
The Commission has partnered with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and their Virginia-wide ConnectingVA program to provide free ridematching to find carpools, vanpools, and all forms of public transportation, trip planning, and information on park-and-ride lots, bike share services, electric vehicle charging stations, and rewards.