It may sound like a thing of the past, but car pooling is a great way of saving money, meeting neighbours and colleagues, and helping the environment.
Our energy consumption
Transport accounts for 41 per cent of Australia’s energy consumption and is responsible for 14 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Within this, cars and light vehicles account for 79 per cent of transport fuel consumption and are responsible for 80 per cent of the segment’s GHG emissions.
Transport energy demand is forecast to grow at about 2.3 per cent p.a., implying an increase in demand of 50 per cent to 2020 (ABARE 2001).
Road transport is currently serviced by petroleum-based fuels. Passenger vehicles account for 65 per cent of the energy demand in this segment (35 per cent freight). Road freight, which is fuelled mainly by diesel, is forecast to grow the fastest at 2.9 per cent p.a. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles accounts for 20 per cent of energy demand. There is currently limited activity with compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen and ethanol.
The price of ever-increasing fuel, tolls and the need for an extra vehicle makes trying to stretch your budget seem impossible.
Why not share?
Bearing all of this in mind, have you ever thought about car pooling?
It is a cost effective way of getting to work and a great way of minimising your impact on the environment.
Other benefits of car pooling:
- T2 lanes will be available to you
- Meeting colleagues and neighbours you otherwise might not have
- Your trip to and from work will be broken up by giving you someone to talk to
- The safety factor if you work late at night
There are car pooling services on the internet such as TheCarPool.com.au which will help you search for car pooling partners in your areas, help you calculate your savings and teach you about car pooling etiquette.
There are, of course, risks involved. The person you are car pooling with may have to leave earlier than usual or work back some days, leaving you to make alternative arrangements at the last-minute, you might have a falling out with one of your ever-late workmates, or maybe you’ll get trapped in a car with someone you discovered you didn’t really get along with. But car pooling has the potential to make commuting to and from work fun.
To be effective your company needs to support the idea, but you may be surprised – there are many ways they could help out. They’ll also find there are a few extra parking spaces.
Tell us about you car pooling experiences.