transportation Icon

4 CARPOOL COMMUTE

This action focuses on carpool commuting, whether with a partner, friend or co-worker, to reduce transportation energy.

  • Spring Icon
  • Summer Icon
  • Autumn Icon
  • Winter Icon

why?

One of the quickest and easiest ways to cut transportation energy is to carpool with at least one other person. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 76.1% of Americans drive themselves to work each day and only 10% carpool. Depending on circumstance, carpooling can be a very simple step which has big impact on transportation energy reductions.


how to do this action:

Carpooling can either be done with someone going to the exact same place or to a place nearby. For example, an ideal carpooling situation may be with a fellow co-worker who lives in your neighborhood. On the other hand, carpooling could also be done with those you live with- spouse, partner, roomate- if you have similar schedules and are commuting to destinations relatively nearby.

Many cities facilitate ‘ride-share’ or carpool connections. If you live in Minneapolis, the first step is to create a commuter account to look for possible matches for ride-shares.

It’s best to schedule a meeting with your fellow carpoolers before the first trip to talk about insurance, communications and personal preferences.

TIPS
  • Determine your route & schedule.
    Establish the morning pickup point(s) and designate the meeting place(s) for the trip home.
  • Draw up a schedule for driving responsibilities.
    If all members of your carpool alternate driving, decide among yourselves if you want to alternate on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Determine how driving expenses will be shared.
    If the members of your carpool do not share the driving equally, come to an understanding of how the costs will be shared and agree on a payment schedule.
  • Establish policies & preferences.
    Smoking or nonsmoking; music and volume; eating or drinking, or talking, particularly in the morning. Your carpool will have a better chance for success if potential irritants are discussed in advance.
  • Be punctual.
    Decide how long the driver is expected to wait for latecomers. Be wary of making side trips or running errands while carpoolers are present.
  • Choose a chain of communication.
    If a driver is ill, or will not be going to work one day, an alternate driver should be notified to ensure that other members of the carpool will have a ride. If a rider is ill or will not be working, the driver should be contacted.
  • Register!
    Be sure that your carpool is registered with Metro Transit and that each carpool member is enrolled in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which offers two coupons every six months for cab fare reimbursement (up to $25) or for emergency bus or train fare.

An agreement to share the ride isn't a binding contract. But if you find car- or vanpooling isn't for you, give your partners ample notice so they can make alternate arrangements or find a replacement.


what will be measured?

KEY QUESTIONS

QUANTITATIVE QUESTION: What percentage of transportation energy can be saved when commuting to work with a carpool (2,3,or 4 people)?

QUALITATIVE QUESTION: How does the experience of carpool commuting affect your happiness, convenience, health and costs?

BASELINE WEEK TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
During the baseline tracking week before the project begins, use the corresponding spreadsheet (T4_BASELINE) to track the mileage you travel by each mode (bike, walking, car, bus...) daily.

QUALITATIVE


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria on the spreadsheet (T4_BASELINE) as it relates to your current commuting habits:

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
Use the corresponding spreadsheet (T4_QUANTITATIVE) to track commute miles traveled each day by the number of passengers in your vehicle.

QUALITATIVE
Part 1 - Ranking


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria, every IMPLEMENTATION day on the spreadsheet (T4_QUALITATIVE) Your answers should not be rated in comparison to your baseline week, but in general as a reflection of how you are feeling.

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

Part 2 - Blogging
Keep a narrative log of your experiences changing this action in your life. What was your carpool experience like? How did you find a carpool? What were some of the benefits and struggles?


resources

Consult the following websites for more information:

ACTION SPREADSHEETS

The spreadsheets referred to above can be found in the Excel file at the following link:

T4_Carpool Commute Spreadsheet

If you prefer to enter your responses by hand, printable PDFs of each spreadsheet can be found at the following links (at the end of the project, all data will have to be entered into the Excel spreadsheet):

T4_BASELINE
T4_QUANTITATIVE
T4_QUALITATIVE