March 29, 2005
Fewer cars on the road means cleaner air, less congestion and less noise, but more people nowadays are carpooling to save some cash.
"It saves them a lot of money. With today's increasing gas prices, that's certainly something people want to do," said Rhonda Edmunds, the manager of Rideshare.
Officials said carpooling in Charlottesville and some surrounding counties has doubled since last year.
Jennifer Watlington is one of the many people that chose carpooling as an alternative. She lives in Richmond and commutes to Charlottesville for work five days a week.
"Gas prices are definitely one of the reasons why I decided to carpool," said Watlington.
She said it was an easy decision to commute with three others.
"I was in a car that had much less fuel economy. I was getting about 12 miles a gallon and it was just going to be cost prohibitive for me to work and keep the commute," said Watlington.
As gas prices continue to climb with no end in site, Edmunds said typically people save hundreds of dollars a year in commuting expenses, including gas, oil changes, tires, repairs and parking fees just by sharing their ride.
On Rideshare's website you can calculate how much your commute will cost you daily, monthly and yearly. Rideshare promises carpooling would cut that number in half.
"There are actually other costs, such as wear and tear on your vehicle [that] are being reduced. Sometimes you can get a reduced insurance rate if your not driving as many miles," said Edmunds.
Watlington said the savings are too good to pass up and she's not turning back.
"I definitely love my carpool. There is no way I would go back to driving myself every day," said Watlington.
For more information about carpooling and Rideshare, check out their website at www.rideshareonline.com.
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