You might not be aware of today’s topic, and it maybe sometime you haven’t heard before. But some of you may have an idea about it. That is about carpooling and our objective is to give the correct idea about carpooling.

What is carpooling? Carpooling is when two or more people share an automobile journey together. Driving takes a big bite out of your budget and time. By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person’s travel costs such as fuel costs and the stress of driving. Research also suggests that carpooling is less stressful than commuting alone.

Carpooling is a sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces traffic congestion on the roads and the need for parking space. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially during high pollution periods and when fuel prices are high.

Carpooling first became prominent in the United States as a rationing tactic during World War II. It returned in the mid-1970s due to the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis. At that time the first employee vanpools were organized at Chrysler and 3M.

Sri Lanka is not totally familiar with the carpooling concept. But Sri Lanka is familiar with huge traffic in urban areas. Nowadays it has spread to some rural areas as well. Actually today, roads can’t bear these high numbers of vehicles. Somebody can say expanding the roads is the solution.

As a small island with limited area we can’t always go for that solution. In some urban areas roads can’t expand because of that areas complexity. So we have to pay our attention to other methods as well. Carpooling is a much beneficial method to reduce traffic in Sri Lanka.

When you travel in your own vehicle you face traffic. Thus, a lot of your time is consumed. But if more people stopped to use their own vehicle and use carpooling system with you, how does it affect to you? Definitely it will save your time because of low traffic. Time and money are two of the most valuable things. If you can save one of this, that definitely causes your development and the country’s development as well.

Carpooling is not always arranged for the whole length of a journey. Especially on long journeys, it is common for passengers to only join for parts of the journey and give a contribution based on the distance that they travel. In an effort to reduce traffic and encourage carpooling, some governments have introduced High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in which only vehicles with two or more passengers are allowed to drive. HOV lanes can create strong practical incentives for carpooling by reducing travel time and expense. In some countries it is common to find parking spaces reserved for carpoolers.

Do you know about 51 percent of the people who carpool are in the same family and 40 percent of people carpool with their apartment or flat mates in the world and as much as 77 percent of carpoolers ride with just one other person. Carpooling means fewer cars on the road each day which means less oil usage, and this can help reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil. If everyone opted to carpool just one day a week, the traffic on the nation’s major highways and roads would be reduced by as much as 20 percent.

Carpooling is seen as more environmentally friendly. It causes to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and also improves air quality. Air pollution caused by vehicular travel is linked to a number of health concerns including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, allergies and neurological effects.

By carpooling, you help reduce these health risks for yourself and everyone else. Carpooling offers a commuter option that may work better than other methods of transportation. Carpooling works best for people who live where transit service may be limited or non-existent and compared to other options, carpooling may better fit your schedule. Carpooling is a great way to make new friends also.

Sri Lankan can look into this kind of method to make a better transportation system in the country. The government should encourage people to do this and people also have a responsibility to give their support to it. If we can make it practical, definitely it will demonstrate how effective it is to us all.