Consider carsharing or carpooling

by Ericha Moores

What’s great about living in Waterloo Region are all the innovative resources and options that we have in our community! It’s pretty great!

In this post, we are going to discuss carshare and carpooling options. In Waterloo Region, we have Community CarShare and the TravelWise program.

Community CarShare

The Community CarShare program was founded in Waterloo and Kitchener in 1998. Due to its success, it has expanded to include Hamilton, Elmira, Guelph, St. Catharines and London. In Waterloo Region, there are more than 1900 members and access to over 60+ vehicles. The Community CarShare’s fleet has a number of different sized vehicles and allows you to choose how many seats you need, from everyday cars, to big movers, to green cars! Additionally, you are able to select specific special features within the car, such as navigation or bluetooth.

Becoming a member of the Community CarShare program is pretty simple – you just go to their website and sign up. You can join as an individual, a household, or even a business/organization. All you have to do is choose your plan (how much you would be using the service) and pay, and that’s it! You can calculate how much it would cost for individual rides on their website, but here is a price chart outlining the different plans available:

If comparing the price point of the Community CarShare program to that of renting a car (a one-time event) or even owning a car, you can tell you would definitely be saving money with this option.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits for using the Community CarShare program with the primary benefit being the financial savings – especially with insurance! It’s also a very convenient and efficient service that allows you different commuting choices with comfort and flexibility.

The main selling point of the Community CarShare program is that it gives you access to a car, without having to own one yourself. Having a membership is ideal for simple trips to the grocery store on those cold winter days; taking long trips around the Waterloo Region; or even longer trips outside of town!

If you want to be especially green you could even choose a hybrid or electric vehicle!

TravelWise WR

Another option outside of the Community CarShare program is TravelWise, which is a transportation management association located in the WR. It provides different services and tools to businesses and organizations in order to encourage their employees to take transit, cycle, walk, or carpool to work!

TravelWise is more targeted towards organizations, but it would be a great idea to propose! It would mean that your business or organization is staying ahead of the curve but actively providing programs that are benefiting the community.

What are the benefits?

Similarly, the TravelWise program has many benefits, many of which parallel the benefits of the Community CarShare program.

As TravelWise encourages all forms of alternate transportation, and we’ve already discussed the benefits of public transportation, cycling, and walking, we’re just going to focus on the carpooling element of TravelWise.

Ultimately, carpooling benefits:

Your wallet!

You can save money because you are going to be sharing the costs of driving with other riders, for example, dividing the cost of gas. The more passengers you have, the more money you can save.

Your environment!

It helps the environment because for every passenger you have in your carpool you are taking a car off of the streets, thus reducing the amount of pollution, as well as your own personal carbon footprint.

Your time!

When you carpool you’re allowed to use the carpool lanes which means avoiding the traffic in highly-congested areas. This saves you time and allows you to arrive at your destination earlier.

Your health!

Carpooling is less stressful than driving alone. If you’re the passenger you can read, listen to podcasts or music, or just relax!

Your community!

Carpooling also represents a great opportunity to meet other people that you may not have otherwise met.

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