I started out by looking into a program called EasyStreet, which is a van pooling service for commuters. Unfortunately,they didn't have a van pool that would match up well with my driving route. I also found out that it is more expensive than I would have thought it to be. How about the bus? I would have to drive to Middletown to catch a bus by 5:45 am, which would get me to work in Bloomfield by 8am. That was too much of a stretch to work for me. Finally, I searched the Internet to see if there was any online carpooling programs and as it turns out there were several.
I found one service called Carpoolworld.com. Within two days of signing up, I was contacted by a potential carpool candidate. I had two main concerns. One was that our working hours weren't an exact match. There were two particular days during the week that the person I would be carpooling with worked at least an hour later than I did. The other concern was that there was a differential in the miles that each of us drove to work. How could I make this work? Well, the difference in mileage problem is fairly easy. If one person has to drive more miles than the other, you can balance it out by the amount of times that each person takes turns driving. The other problem of having to wait around until someone else gets out of work turned out not to be a problem at all. Here are some of the things that I have lined up to do during these waiting periods:
- Walking-I've been meaning to spend more time walking as a form of exercise but I've been putting it off to do other things. This will give me a perfect opportunity to do some walking.
- Library-There is a library along the route. I can spend hours in a library looking through books and magazines.
- Eating-enough said there.
- Stopping at Borders Book Store to check out the latest in Field Guides and birding magazines.
- Food shopping-this would be a good time to get it done.
Oh yeah-if all that's not enough, I suppose I could force myself to do a little birding after work. It could be a bit of a hardship on me but I think I'll get over it.
So is carpooling worth the trouble? I can't give a definitive answer to that question yet but I have a chance to save $1,000+ dollars a year on gas and 6,000 miles a year on my truck (I also get to use the controversial HOV lane). That gives me enough incentive to want to find out.