Transforming School Commutes: Join the Carpooling Movement!

Imagine your morning commute to school free from the chaos of honking cars and congested drop-off lines. Even better, what if you didn’t have to drive your student to school five days/week? With school carpooling, this can be your new reality!

The Good News!

Carpooling has proven to be an effective way to save money and time. For example, carpooling, using transit, walking, or bicycling-just one day a week for a year can save the typical commuter about 1,200 miles on their vehicle and about $455 in total driving costs. If everyone carpools for at least one day a week, the traffic on the road will be reduced by 20%.

When families work together to share driving responsibilities, it does more than just reduce the number of cars on the road. This cooperative effort speeds up the school run, saves precious time, and lessens stress. Carpooling also creates opportunities for our children to build friendships and begin their day in a positive, relaxed manner, enriching our entire school community.

What is Carpooling?

Carpooling involves two or more households coming together to share the responsibility of driving children to and from school. Carpooling can mean alternating driving responsibilities throughout the week or designating just one driver.  The important thing is that everyone involved agrees to the carpooling arrangement and knows what to expect.

How to get started

Find Carpool Partners: Connect with other parents/guardians in your community whose children attend the same school. Social media groups, school meetings and events, school/classroom contact lists and community boards are great starting points.

    • Utilize the Go 831 Ride Amigos Platform: For a more streamlined experience, we recommend using the Go 831 Ride Amigos Platform. This user-friendly ridesharing platform is specially designed to make finding compatible carpool partners easy and efficient. Schools can utilize this platform to create their own carpooling program groups. To access this feature, parents and guardians will need to obtain a special code from their school. Contact your school to get a custom link to Go 831, which will enable you to easily find and organize a carpool match for your school’s specific needs. This platform is an excellent tool for building a cohesive and convenient carpooling community within your school.

Connect: Once you find potential carpool partners, take the time to connect and get to know each other. This step is crucial for building trust and ensuring a comfortable carpooling experience for everyone involved.

Set a Schedule and Plan: After forming connections and building trust with other parents or guardians, it’s time to collaborate on your carpooling arrangement. While designing your carpool schedule, consider that some families may need to rely on a single designated driver for the entire week. Work together to create a carpool schedule that is both fair and transparent, accommodating the varied needs of each family.

Here is a weekly template to help get to start planning: Weekly Carpooling Plan  Plan Semanal de Viajes Compartidos 

Keep in mind the essential elements for a successful carpooling experience:

    • Establish Pick-Up and Drop-Off Points: Choose locations that are convenient and safe for gathering and dispersing the kids (such as the driver’s house).
    • Communicate Clearly: Maintain open communication for any schedule changes, availability updates, or specific child needs.  Give your carpool as much advanced notice as possible.
    • Practice Safety: Make sure all drivers in the carpool have reliable, well-maintained vehicles, and follow laws such as requiring children to use seatbelts
    • Start Carpooling! With everything set, begin your carpooling journey. Join your school’s efforts to reduce traffic and get every child to school on time and ready to learn.

Start Carpooling! With everything set, begin your carpooling journey. Join your school’s efforts to reduce traffic and get every child to school on time and ready to learn.

Resources

For more ideas on how to start and run a Carpooling program check-out the following resources:

https://www.rideshare.com/easy-commute/environmental-benefits/

https://wheelzine.com/facts-about-carpooling

Contact

If you are interested in starting a Carpooling program at your school, contact Ariadne Sambrano, Transportation Agency for Monterey County at ariadne@tamcmonterey.org