Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pooling Together

This is somewhat of a rant posting. I have been thinking about this topic for about six months now. S.O.V. is an abbreviation that is common in traffic planning. It stands for Single Occupancy Vehicle. I do not own my own car. This is partly through choice, and financial constraint.

During the summer I worked at my university. Every morning for three months I took the bus to work. I live near a two-lane arterial road in my current city. While I stood in at the bus shelter I watched the cars and trucks and SUVs pass me by. I started to notice something I found peculiar with the cars that were passing me on this major avenue. Virtually all of them had a single passenger.

I watched the cars pass me on the road I could not help but wonder how many of them originated from similar places. More to the point I could not help but wonder how many of them were going to nearby places. It is impossible for me to know the actual destination and origin point of the commuters that passed me on the road, but in my life I have experienced concrete examples of people failing to carpool.

In my family, one member lives in the same neighbourhood as fellow co-workers. Every morning three of them drive from the same neighbourhood to a distant office park in a different city. If the three of them pooled resources they would spend one third the money on gasoline and take two cars off the congested route to their works. They would also force their work to provide less parking and have a more social commute.

Generally speaking I am very much in favour of car pools, and policies which support them, like car pool lanes on highways. But that’s easy for me to say as a person without a car I suppose.

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