When I was a kid, my mom and a bunch of other parents in and around the neighborhood arranged a carpool system whereby each parent would drive a group of kids to school one morning and pick all of us up one afternoon each week. I never really thought much of it other than it allowed parents to go to work on time most days of the week (for those that did work). In retrospect, it was a great way to not only save time, but money as well. The amount of traffic was reduced by up to four cars for each group that carpooled. Costs were also driven down, not just gasoline, but also wear and tear on the car. For those that don’t remember the halcyon days of their youth, children can take a toll on the car itself.
With the recent uptick in collaborative consumption, more and more companies that engage in this type of consumerism have come to our attention. One of those companies is Carpooling.com. With 3.5 million registered users in 2011, they help provide transportation to roughly 1 million people each month.
Founded by 3 German business students, carpooling.com is currently available in 9 countries on the European continent. For a fun infographic on the impact of carpooling, click here.
According to their mission, Carpooling.com “believes that being on the road can still be cheap, green and fun. By sharing a ride, people save gas and money, reduce auto emissions and meet new friends. Pollution, traffic, parking and road maintenance are reduced. People can share experiences and help each other: everyone benefits!” In order to make this mission a reality, their service is available through Facebook as well as applications for the iPhone and Android operating systems.
Carpooling.com has been endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program in addition to being nominated for a Smart Green Start-Up Award. In addition, the service has prevented 725,000 tons of C02 emissions and saved 375 million liters (nearly 100 million gallons) of gasoline. Carpoolers have reached an astonishing 5,000 cities in 45 countries.