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What are the benefits of carpooling?

A statement that had a lot of commuters and drivers losing their cool is when Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the traffic in the metro is just a byproduct of Filipinos’ ‘state of mind’.

Manila Bulletin file

Manila Bulletin file

While the number coding scheme is widely adapted (and confusing in certain areas), it creates the second problem of people buying second cars to allow them to get around when their cars are affected. A solution that some people are aware of that has quite a number of interesting side-effects, is carpooling.

Generally, carpooling is an arrangement between several people to take a single car to a common destination. In other countries, people do this especially when they all happen to work in the same office and live within the same general area. It’s a transportation solution and it can save you money. Here’s how.

Less spent on the commute

While you’re required to help pay for your friend’s gas, you won’t have to deal with more than one ride to work. If you happen to own a car, you’re spending less on gas as well.

The most common variations of carpooling one might find in the country are UberPool and Wunder. Technically speaking, you’re still paying for it, but you’re paying less than you would for an actual Uber, or Grab. Both services are at least 25% cheaper than if you took a car on your own, the only issue is if all carpoolers are pressed for time to get to their destination.

At a glance, the cost of an UberPool from Makati to GMA in Quezon City without surge pricing is around P154 to P160, where an Uber costs up to P236. Wunder, on the other hand, varies pricing depending on whether or not you’re open to traveling on off-peak hours. For the same location stated above, pricing starts at P80.

Less spent on car repairs

Driving your car eventually wears it down, which is to be expected, but then having to pay for those repairs and necessary tune-ups will come less often when you’re carpooling with other people. Of course, if you’re the one driving, the savings you gain from spending less on gas goes to the repairs and tune-ups. This cost is mitigated by you and your friends switching out whose cars are taken to work every day.

The annual cost of owning a car in the country is P130,747.06. Imagine that cost just a few thousand pesos less because you carpool instead of taking your car to work every day, or having that cost mitigated because you’ve got friends willing to carpool with you and help you pay for gas.

Other benefits

One of the other benefits that carpooling has to offer is that it helps reduce everyone’s carbon footprint. On average, an average-sized sedan will spew about 575 pounds of carbon monoxide annually, according to an EPA study on emissions. Carpooling could potentially cut that to about half, if more people did it.

Every time you share rides with someone, there’s less carbon monoxide in the air. When you’re carpooling, you also get to talk to people – that is, if you’re lucky to have the same interests as the people you happen to be carpooling with.

For those who aren’t fans of solo driving, the benefit of having people with you in the car is immeasurable. There are people to help you look out for things you might forget to do, like lock the doors.

When you’re looking for people to carpool with, you’ll run into a lot of different kinds, it’ll be a matter of finding a set of people who matches your preferences.