Setting Up a Carpooling or Ride-Sharing Group in Savannah

Being a mom in Savannah means going places — to and from school, ball games, play dates, music lessons, or any number of other events that require a vehicle. With gas prices going through the roof, all that driving can really add up in terms of expenses — but you can mitigate that by starting up a carpooling group among friends, family, or co-workers.

Reasons to Set Up a Carpooling Group

One of the first and most obvious benefits to starting a carpooling group: saving on fuel costs! When everyone chips in, everyone saves money and has to fill their gas tank less often — but those aren’t the only benefits to starting a carpooling group. For one thing, the financial benefits aren’t limited to gas — you’ll also save money on parking fees and car maintenance, because you’ll be driving a car a lot less than you might be otherwise!

Some other perks of starting a carpooling group include:

It’s more fun. Commuting or driving back and forth from events can be a bit of a drag on your own, but if you have one or more friends along, things are likely to get much more lively. You might not notice the frustrating traffic and travel time so much when you have several people to talk to on the way!

It’s good for the planet. This one’s kind of a no-brainer: fewer cars on the road means fewer emissions, cleaner air, and less contribution to climate change. Remember when everyone was off the road in the early days of Covid and the air quality changed?

The carpool lane! If you’re traveling with more than one person in the car, you might be able to shave some time off that trip by using the carpool lane. Just imagine: shorter trips that are way more fun than driving alone? Bliss.

Another way you can save money by carpooling comes as a side effect of driving less — your Georgia car insurance rates could drop due to a low mileage discount. Check with your insurer to see if you’d be eligible — it can’t hurt to take a few more bucks off your insurance bill!

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask your employer about ride-sharing or carpooling incentives. You never know!

Getting Started

If you’re intimidated at the thought of starting a carpooling or ride-sharing group, don’t fret. If you’re a busy mom, chances are you either know other busy moms, or your kids have friends whose parents may well fall in love with the idea.

In fact, that should be one of your first steps — talk to your kids about whom they might feel comfortable riding with on a daily or weekly basis, and get in touch with those parents. You can also ask around during extracurricular activities to see who’s interested in sharing rides to and from those activities. Preferably, your group would mostly be made up of people from your neighborhood, but don’t rule out willing members if they live a couple of blocks away.

Keep in mind as well that your carpooling group doesn’t have to be massive, or even composed of more than one family — if you set up a ride-sharing schedule with your next door neighbors and no one else, that still counts!

Once you have some interested parties, it’s time to organize a meeting so everyone can meet and get on friendly terms with everyone. You want to keep this a pleasant experience, after all, and that means making sure everyone is a good fit for everyone else.

Once you’ve completed that step, you should plan a driving rotation. This won’t take much work if you’re involving just one other family, but once your group gets bigger than that, it’s critical to work out a clear schedule up-front and make sure everyone is accountable. Designating certain days of the week for certain pick-ups and drop-offs is one of the easiest ways to manage this.

You don’t all have to meet in person to do this, either — for example, you could create a Facebook group or start a shared calendar on Google to get everyone on the same page.

Next Steps

Once you’ve gotten the groundwork laid, you’re well on your way — but there are still a few finer points you might want to go over with your fellow carpoolers.

  • Make sure to account for traffic or other delays when scheduling pick-ups and drop-offs, and build in extra time! Better to be a little late than to drive recklessly to try to be on time.
  • Establish a course of action for when a child or parent is sick. You know it’s going to happen!
  • Set some proper ground rules, such as no running of errands with a car full of kids, or only parents allowed (i.e. no teen drivers). This will help avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings down the road.

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