It has launched an online program called “Roceasyride,” designed to connect commuters interested in carpooling, bicycling and public transportation. Users create a profile to find matches and information. There’s a calculator to determine how much money you would save.
Fewer Rochesterians carpool these days, according to the census. Only 6.9 percent of us carpooled to work in 2010, down from 8.4 percent in 2000. Nationally, the carpooling rate also decreased in the last decade, from 12.6 to 10.1 percent. In 1980, 15 to 20 percent of Rochesterians shared rides.
Experts attribute the decline to jobs spread out in the suburbs, cheaper cars, flexible working schedules and more people working at home.
I think job sprawl is the factor that could make this carpooling initiative more difficult. Job sprawl has also made access to public transportation hard. Jobs used to be clustered in the city. A Brookings Institution study found 100 percent of city residents live near a bus stop, but only half can get to a job in a 90-minute-or-less bus ride. In the suburbs, only half of residents live near a bus stop and even fewer can get to work in a reasonable time period.
The average commute time is 19.1 minutes and it would likely get longer if we leave our cars in the driveway every morning.
Still, Roceasyride could be helpful for many people who want to save on gas and help the environment. Would you consider creating a profile?