This summer's commute is going to be one of our most expensive in history. It's a good time to consider all transportations alternatives.
Your company or community may have vanpools already set up which can be even easier than organizing a carpool. Go to the website of your local department of transportation to see what kind of opportunities are available to you. Also contact human resources at your company to see if they offer a vanpool or will help you organize a carpool.
Many companies will help you organize a carpool and often offer cheap or preferential parking to people who carpool. If there is nothing like that available you can always set up your own carpool or see if any fellow employess have one with an open seat.
The amount of money you can save by carpooling or ride-sharing is very significant. Many commuters have an annual fuel cost between $1,000 and $2,000. If you can organize a carpool with four people you can save between $750 and $1500. That is a lot money any way you slice it and that doesn't even take into account less wear and tear on your car. Even if you can only find one person to share your commute with you have cut your costs in half.
You can usually buy monthly passes that offer a significant discount over the regular fare. If there isn't a train stop or bus station near your house look for a park and ride close to you.
Walking, Running or Biking
The distance you have to travel to work may make walking, running or biking to work impossible but if you live close to work its worth considering. Are you one of those people that lives 5 to 10 minutes from your work and drives everyday? You will save money on gas and get all the health benefits that regular exercise brings. If you work at a large company they may even have a shower room for employees.
If you currently drive a vehicle that gets poor gas mileage, switching to a car that gets great gas mileage will put a lot of money in your pocket. Also, many cars that get really bad gas mileage, like SUVs, cost more to purchase. You can save thousands of dollars a year by switching to a fuel efficient car. To evaluate your options and potential savings visit http://www.fueleconomy.org/
The next time you move be sure to factor in your commuting costs. Research the availability of public transportation and the homes in close proximity to your job. It may not be the most important consideration when moving but it should be a factor in your decision.
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