Carpooling

Why carpool?

If you are commuting alone by car in the GTHA, fill those empty seats and save time and money. Carpooling is sharing your ride with at least one other person and avoids the need for others to make the same trip at the same time on their own.

Carpooling helps to reduce pollution, cuts down on gas and oil consumption and costs (you can split these costs) and can extend the life of your car. If more people carpooled, peak travel times would be less stressful and parking would be more accessible to those who require it.

Did you know that on average, carpooling with another person can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.72 kilograms? (Source: Transport Canada). If you were to carpool for a year, you would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 893 kilograms.

Benefits of carpooling:

  • Save money: Sharing your commute costs can reduce fuel, tolls and parking costs.
  • Reduce traffic congestion: Reducing lone driving trips can reduce overall traffic impacts thereby improving community goals and objectives for sustainable travel and development.
  • Carpool parking: Take advantage of your organization’s designated carpool parking spaces, which is often free and more convenient if you’re sharing the ride.
  • Improving personal well-being: Carpooling allows sharing of the driving responsibility, which can reduce stress and lead to higher employee retention and satisfaction.
  • Ease parking requirements: If more people carpooled, it means spending less time finding a parking spot! This one is for employers and building managers - carpooling can help reduce overall parking requirements and often prevent the need to build additional parking.
  • Reduced environmental impacts: Reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The estimated average annual cost to own and operate a personal vehicle in Canada is approximately between $7,000 and $10,000.

Getting Started

If you are having trouble finding a carpool partner who lives close to your home, consider meeting at one of the many carpool lots around the GTHA, which can be found on the Triplinx planner.

Before you start carpooling, here are some tips to consider:

  • Meet in advance. Regardless of whether you are planning on carpooling with a co-worker or someone new, set up an initial meeting in a public place to get to know one another’s expectations around carpooling and plan your commute together to ensure your carpool match will work for you.
  • Ensure your carpool partners have your home, work, or cell numbers just in case plans change. Also, do not forget to give notice of vacation, personal or overtime plans.
  • Register through the SmartTripsON tool or app by providing your information and then log your trips and plan a route for new carpool trips.
  • Establish your route and schedule, agree on the pickup/drop-off point(s) and times to meet for the trip home. Decide as a group how long you will wait for a passenger.
  • Cost-sharing: If your carpool partners do not share the driving equally, decide how the costs will be shared and agree on payment dates.
  • Establish a driving schedule if the driving is shared: Driving schedules can alternate on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Set ground rules on what can be done in the car, such as eating or drinking, whether the car is scent-free and whether side trips are okay, such as a morning coffee stop.
  • Keep the car clean, in good repair, filled with enough gas for each trip and drive carefully and responsibly.
  • Check your insurance policy if you will be a driver in the carpool. Your insurance rates may rise or fall if you carpool on a regular basis.