Carpooling: A Growing Trend

The car is the most frequently used mode of transportation for daily travel.  However, high gasoline costs and a heightened public awareness of environmental issues such as air pollution have spurred many road users to find cheaper and more ecological ways to commute.  The new trend: carpooling.

Who is it for?

Carpooling is for anyone who is looking for an easier and less expensive way to travel.  For some, carpooling is a great way of commuting or running errands, while for others, carpooling is the perfect alternative to taking the bus or train to get from city to city, or travel to another province or even to the United States!

The benefits of carpooling

Ridesharing has benefits for both the driver and passengers.

Passengers:

  • Lower their travel costs

  • Reduce their stress levels by not having to drive

  • Enjoy the company of other people

  • Contribute to the ecological preservation of the environment

Drivers:

  • Save money by sharing the cost of driving

  • Can use carpool lanes (for 2 or more people)

  • Have access to preferential parking

  • Enjoy the company of other people

  • Contribute to the ecological preservation of the environment

How does it work?

Some start a carpool group at their place of work or study: the people interested get together to determine who will drive, what the costs will be, times of departure and arrival, itineraries, etc.   Other rules are also discussed including whether smoking will be allowed, where pick-ups and drop-offs will be located, what sort of music or radio stations will be allowed.  Carpoolers should also agree on procedures to follow if one of them is late or needs to make an unplanned stop.

There are also many carpooling networks in Quebec that are safe and easy to use.   Most of these organizations have a website and all you need to do is join up as a driver or a passenger.  Another resource for finding a carpool service tailored to your needs is the Transports Québec website. They have a publicly available database including most of the cities and villages in Quebec so that you can offer others a ride or consult the offers posted.

Carpooling is not a recent phenomenon.  It emerged in the 1970s, during the crises in the oil market.  As fuel prices stabilized in the 1980s and 1990s, the incidence of carpooling ebbed.  Today, with the ever increasing prices at the pump, the direct impacts of air pollution on health and the climate, and all the benefits ridesharing has to offer, it is very likely that carpooling is here to stay.