Carpools: Pablo's Perspective

How do carpools help the environment?

School is back in session.  But unlike the recent past - gas prices this year are higher than ever.  It's something to consider as many students will face sticker shock just filling up to get to class.  So what do you do?  Well if you're attending college and you live off campus - you could try to lump more of your schedule together in order to make less trips.  Most high school students don't have that luxury, but there are other options. 

Carpooling has been around for quite sometime.  It was big back in the 70's during those odd/even gas fill up days.  While we have not gotten to that yet, carpooling is certainly something to consider this fall.  Metrolink offers a program which signs schools up to help families find carpools.  It's quite simple really.  Schools match up parents' needs online and you than contact other parents on your own to set up a weekly carpool schedule. 

Word of mouth is often a way to get other parents involved in a carpool.  I don't know about your school, but the traffic nightmares I see each morning at schools near my house could certainly be cut down if parents would just share the ride.  Now some students may not be all that interested in sharing their ride with others each day.  So you might want to try making them more responsible for filling the tank if they don't already.  That way they have a little more incentive to have others pitch in to fill up. 

So how many students and parents are carpooling these days at local high schools?  We set out to find out recently and traveled to one local high school.  Students in an environmental studies class went out on their own and surveyed other students on campus.  The results?  Better than the overall average in Southern California, where only about 12 and a half percent of local commuters share the ride.  The results are in the attached story.

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