The Smart Commute Tool is a free online ride-matching service provided by Smart Commute that rewards users for their eco-friendly efforts and tracks greenhouse gases and money saved by carpooling. Use the Smart Commute Tool to find a carpool partner and start saving!
- Save Money: Owning and operating a car costs approximately $9,000 per year. This figure is estimated by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) based on a mid-size car driven 18,000 km annually (a 30km daily round trip). Carpooling can cut costs from 50% to 75% by sharing the costs of fuel and parking.
- Save Time: Fast track to your destination in High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes that carry fewer cars but more people than regular lanes. Many employers also offer priority parking spaces for carpools, parking you closer to your office door.
- Reduce Stress: Sharing the ride to work takes the stress out of driving alone. Arrive at your destination less stressed and on time. According to a survey of Greater Toronto and Hamilton area commuters, 89% of carpoolers are satisfied with their commute.
- Improve Air Quality/ Take Action on Climate Change: Driving alone to work each day uses tremendous amounts of energy, and causes air, water and noise pollution. Transportation alone accounts for half of individual greenhouse gas emissions. By sharing fuel with other passengers in your carpool and travelling more efficiently you will be reducing pollutants that contribute to poor air quality. You will also be taking action on climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
- Convenience: Take advantage of carpool lots as convenient places to meet up with your carpool. For more information on the location of Carpool Lots, click here.
Carpooling Frequently Asked Questions
How do we divide the costs?
If you are sharing equally in the driving, you may not need to divide out the costs. However, if one person does most of the driving, you should decide on how to split the costs with the driver. Do this in advance, and consider establishing the cost based on fuel, maintenance and parking costs. Agree when money will be collected and stick to a schedule. One simple way of doing this is to use the Smart Commute Calculator. Remember to include the cost of parking and 407 transponder charges.
What if someone is sick or late?
Ensure everyone has a copy of home, work and cell phone numbers and agree in advance what will happen in the event of illness or mechanical problems – it is best to expect the unexpected. You should also make a point of deciding on a waiting time limit and sticking to it! An automobile association membership can be a great investment for those rare occasions when the keys are locked in the car or a jump-start is needed.
What if I have an emergency and miss my carpool ride home?
Smart Commute NTV offers an Emergency Ride Home program for employees of some of our partners. This program reimburses carpoolers for the cost of transit, a taxi or rental vehicle in emergency situations. If your worksite does not offer the Emergency Ride Home program, please email us.
Do you have any other tips for Carpooling?
- Always meet your carpool partners at a public place in advance of your first trip to work in order to discuss the details of your carpool arrangement
- Trust your instincts – if you do not get a good feeling about someone, do not carpool with them
- If you are sharing driving duties, rotate weekly, monthly or daily but develop a firm and regular schedule to avoid confusion.
- Discuss your carpool plans with your insurance company. Liability coverage is generally sufficient but double check with your provider. Some companies offer reduced rates for carpoolers.
- Exchange home, work, and cell phone numbers and emergency contact information
- BE PUNCTUAL – agree in advance how long you will wait for your carpool partners if they are late.
- Practice good personal hygiene.
- Drive safely and obey the rules of the road.
- Be willing to compromise and communicate.
- Agree on a back-up plan in the case of illness, mechanical problems or an emergency situation.
- Carpooling is a cooperative effort – common sense, dependability, courtesy, planning, flexibility and accommodation are essential.