Car sharing (also known as carpooling, travel share, lift share or ride sharing) is when two or more people, usually heading to the same destination, travel together by car for all or part of a journey and agree to share the costs.
Car share can be used for lots of journeys including; getting to work or school, doing the weekly shop, travelling to a match, festival or the cinema, or just for visiting friends. We all car share regularly with friends and family without thinking about it but there are often times when a driver has empty seats simply because they don’t know anyone who needs a lift or because they are not aware of the benefits of sharing.
According to the Leeds Annual Travel to Work Survey (which has responses from around 30,000 Leeds employees each year), the number of people car sharing their journey to work in Leeds, either as a driver or a passenger has consistently stayed at between 10% and 11% for the past 6 years. Increasing the amount of car sharers is a great way to reduce the amount of cars travelling on Leeds’ roads, reduce journey times, lower carbon emissions and improve air quality in the city.
As well as the obvious environmental benefits of reducing congestion and pollution, car sharing has social and networking benefits. A recent popular TV programme featuring car sharers showed how much sharing your journey can improve the quality of your journey to work. Car sharing can also significantly reduce travel costs. Check out this savings calculator to see how much you could save and how much you could reduce your carbon footprint by car sharing your journeys.
There are a number of web or app based car share providers operating in the UK including; FAXI, GoCarShare, Carshare UK and BlaBlaCar. The UK’s leading car share community, Liftshare has over 600,000 registered members. Some of the Liftshare members have shared their positive experiences here.
Organisations and businesses can set up their own car share schemes to help them meet their travel plan targets and address pressure on parking spaces. By creating priority car share parking spaces and offering rewards or discounts to regular car sharers, a car sharing culture can be quickly embedded in an organisation.
All drivers and passengers over 18 years, living or working in West Yorkshire and looking to find car sharing matches can sign up to wycarshare.com for free. Many West Yorkshire businesses already have thriving car share communities, a list of some existing car share groups is available here. For more information and FAQs about car sharing take a look here.
The more people talk about car sharing, the more people will be encouraged to do it.
The more people that car share, the fewer cars on the road, meaning less traffic, less congestion, improved air quality and quicker journey times.
So what are you waiting for? Show you care, drive as a pair!