You’re stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the city. Look around you - most likely every car has only one person in it, and the High Occupancy Vehicle lane is empty.
By carpooling or using public transportation, you could be helping reduce traffic congestion, noise, roadkills, and air pollution. According to the CT Dept. of Environmental Protection, driving a car is probably the single most polluting activity you do. An average passenger vehicle driven 12,500 miles a year emits 121,403 pounds of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen that can contribute to problems like chronic respiratory illness, cancer, headaches, and global climate change.
If you use mass transit rather than driving alone, you can also save an average of 300 gallons of gasoline a year, based on 24 mile round trip commute. (Source: US EPA 2003) Not only will you save money on expensive gasoline, but you will also save wear and tear on your car.
The IRS calculates the cost of operating a car in 2006 at 44.5 cents per mile. To figure out your cost of driving to work, follow this simple formula:
Multiply your round trip miles ____ X 44.5 cents X 21 working days per month (average) = _________ your total monthly cost.
Also see a new CT DEP commuting calculator
The True Cost of Driving Calculator
Finally, ride sharing is more relaxing. Doug Zimmerman, who has been van pooling to Hartford CT from Woodstock for 17 years, says “Commuting in a vanpool allows me to read the newspaper on the way to work, instead of fighting traffic or worrying about finding a parking spot.”
For information on vans, carpooling, bus and train options: