5 steps to make car sharing your new favourite way to travel19 January 2017
‘New Year, New Me..?’
If you’ve found yourself voicing this phrase at some point this month, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. The New Year can be a great chance for us to reflect on the last 12 months, and think about what we’d like to achieve going forward, one step at a time.
Last year, we talked about why taking up public transport should be your New Year’s resolution, and how it is a great way of revitalising the way you travel – not only does it help you to reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also save you money along the way.
However, we understand that sometimes, public transport may not be a viable option for your journeys. For car owners in particular, it can sometimes be that bit harder to break your normal routine and make the switch to bus or train if the routes aren’t suitable.
So what can you do? We had a chat with Deborah Stux, the Welsh Government’s Travel Plan Co-ordinator for South East Wales about her experiences with car sharing, and to help break the ice on the subject – as a car share user herself, she has some great advice on getting started, and what you can do to give it a go this year:
Where do I start?
If you’re interested in car sharing, a great place to begin is to start the conversation with people in your workplace. Does your work have a car sharing scheme already in place? If so, you may be able to get involved with people who are already active car sharers within your place of work.
Did you know? According to the Department for Transport’s Road Use Statistics 2016 report, commuting accounts for 1 in 6 personal car trips.
Or perhaps you sit across the room from someone who lives in a similar area to you? Starting off small and sharing journeys with people you know could help ease you into a new way of travelling.
Not in work? Ask your friends!
It’s not just commuting where car sharing can be a great experience – teaming up with your friends when going out for the day is an opportunity for you to save the worry of parking multiple cars and cut down your carbon footprint at the same time.
Do what’s manageable for you
No matter what resolution you decide to take up this year, finding what works best and is manageable for you is the best way to work it into your everyday routine.
Perhaps try car sharing one day a week? If you find this works well, you could then try increasing the days as it suits you and your car share partner.
Don’t be put off by car share sites
One aspect of car sharing that can discourage people or make them feel nervous about getting involved is travelling with someone you don’t know. However, finding a match for your journey doesn’t have to be a daunting experience.
Liftshare and Share Cymru are two car sharing sites that you can use to help match you with another person looking for the same journey. As well as regular journeys, you can even search for one off trips; these can be ideal if you’re travelling to an event on your own and want to find someone you can share a lift there with.
Liftshare have some great testimonials from car sharers about their experiences, giving first-hand stories of their car share journeys to help give you peace of mind! They also have some useful safety tips and advice available for you to help get started safely, which you can read here.
Enjoy the ride & make new friends!
Ultimately, car sharing can be a fun and sociable way to travel; you may even make some new friends along the way, getting to know people who may have similar interests to you – why not try car sharing to an event or concert with someone new who is also going along? It could be a great chance to start a conversation and get into the car sharing world.
Let us know if you’ve ever given car sharing a go, or if you’re feeling inspired! It’s a great opportunity to re-think the way we travel, and gives us the option to reduce our carbon footprint without saying goodbye to our cars altogether.