Want to save time and money? Split the cost of driving by carpooling.
Carpool Week, February 4 to 10, is an annual campaign encouraging people to carpool and celebrating how much commuters can save by driving to work, school or an event with at least one other person.
It’s also a good time to remind people that GO Transit reserves parking spots at several key stations for passengers with carpool permits. You can apply for a free carpool parking permit for some GO stations at www.gotransit.com/carpool
Everyone who’s commuted to a GO station knows that parking can be a challenge. And while GO says it understands that the demand for parking spaces at many stations exceeds supply, and it plans to expand parking in some locations, it also realizes many have little or no room for expansion.
But, when you register for a carpool parking permit, you get access to free parking, with prime parking spots available to carpoolers by permit-only at Burlington, Clarkson, East Gwillimbury, Long Branch, Port Credit, Oakville and Whitby GO Stations. And, soon, you’ll be able to carpool to prime carpool parking spots at Mimico, Oshawa and Rouge Hill.
To get a carpool permit, you and your carpool partners must create Carpool Zone accounts at www.CarpoolZone.ca and form a carpool through the online system. Then complete a carpool parking permit application form. (.pdf)
If you are already sharing a ride to your GO station, you can still apply for a carpool parking permit. You and your carpool partners must create Carpool Zone accounts at www.CarpoolZone.ca and form a carpool. Then submit your carpool parking permit application form. (.pdf)
Carpool parking does not reduce the number of parking spaces but allows more GO passengers to access the station with the same number of spaces. After 9:30 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, anyone can use them. By encouraging people to share rides, GO hopes to reduce the number of people traveling to its lots in cars and increasing the amount of parking available for those who can’t carpool.
Whether you’re driving all the way to work, or just to the GO station, chances are someone else has a similar commute. Carpool Zone will help you get in touch with them and get the carpool started.
How can you save time and money? Well, cars with two or more occupants are less likely to get stuck in traffic because they can use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
The average cost of owning and operating a vehicle in Canada is $10,500 per year. Carpoolers can reduce their costs considerably by sharing the drive to work.
Two people, sharing a 50-kilometre return commute five days a week will each save $56 on gasoline alone in one month (at $1.25 per litre). You can calculate your savings here.
During Carpool Week, Smart Commute is holding a contest to make carpooling even more attractive. Simply log in to your CarpoolZone account before February 10. (If you do not have an account, you can register here.) Once you’ve activated your account, you’ll autmatically enter your name into the draw.
The grand prize is a return trip for two people to Montreal (Business Class), courtesy of VIA Rail. The second prize is a two-night stay for two people in a Studio Suite, courtesy of One King West Hotel & Residence in downtown Toronto.