3 common misconceptions about casual carpoolers


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I’ll admit it, I made a lot of assumptions before I ever met a Casual Carpooler or started research with Carma and UC Berkeley. I now realize that these opinions, which I rashly decided were fact, are shared by most people new to the concept of casual carpooling.

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3 common misconceptions about casual carpoolers

  1. 1. 3 Things you didn’t know about Casual Carpoolers
  2. 2. The initial reactions 1. Why would someone would take their lives in their hands every day, risk robbery or worse, all to save a few bucks? 1. How could they take part in something that has no supervision, no structure? 1. Do they realize they are voluntarily getting in a car with complete strangers? “11,500* people Casual Carpool each day and there have been no reported crimes in the community”
  3. 3. One: The No Choice Commuter Casual Carpoolers don’t use this system as they have no choice. Cost is a motivating factor, but not the sole factor in their decision - Casual Carpool came out on top. Why? • It costs max $1 per trip, • From Oakland it’s about 25 min faster than driving alone • You are guaranteed a seat each day (a main reason poolers switch from BART). “38% of Casual Carpoolers surveyed earn over $100k per year”
  4. 4. Two: The Male Commuter I believed Casual Carpooling was unnecessarily dangerous. I assumed that the lines would be made up exclusively of men; probably strong ex-marine types, maybe a few pro wrestlers. Surely only they would be capable of taking on these knife wielding scoundrels I had conjured up. “51% of Casual Carpoolers surveyed are professional female. Zero cited wrestler as occupation.”
  5. 5. Three: The Hyper-Efficient Commuter I assumed these savvy commuters would be dashing for the city before traffic began. It turns out that individually they aren’t the perfect commuter, but together they have formed a system that relies on their casual behavior. This system allows you to run late and get into the city just as quickly as the early bird. It is the ultimate example of the Sharing Economy: efficient, yet utterly reliant on the whole for supply and demand.“63% of Casual Carpools surveyed form after 8 am”
  6. 6. 83% of riders have never had the same driver The Truth About Casual Carpoolers
  7. 7. I now realize how much I underestimated the Casual Carpooler. They aren’t perfect, but they are part of a grassroots system which is as close to perfect as I’ve seen. This system tells us a lot about what we can do as a society. While we previously blamed our transportation woes on inept governing or inadequate funding, companies and individuals have proven that the answer is not an increase infrastructure. We have the resources, we just need to pool together and use them more efficiently. “We need to burst our bubbles of solitude and share.”
  8. 8. Keep up-to-date or get in touch @iTresell Adapted from a blog at: https://medium.com/keepin-it-casual-sf/459d01ada7dc Thanks to www.carmacarpool.com for the support on this piece * Statistics based on research run in 2014 by UC Berkeley and Carma Carpooling