Thursday, June 26, 2008

Innovative approach to increasing fuel prices

Surprisingly enough, an innovative, greener way of travel in cars is being pioneered in the US. Unsurprisingly, it is an idea that is most popular and originates from the west coast, specifically the San Francisco Bay area.

To be honest, it is not that new an idea, however with fuel prices what they are it has become increasingly popular. In a culture where the pursuit of happiness is often symbolized by the lone rider on the open road, a more attainable form of happiness is being on the special fast lane for car poolers and getting to work in a third of the time it takes everybody else, skipping the traffic jam and the poll booths.

Apparently, car pooling has its own etiquette, however it differs between the two types of car pooling, the organised steady car pooling partnership and the random passenger car pooling. If you have standard car pooling partners (coworkers, neighbours, kids, etc.) then you must not be late, you must agree on an amount to pay to the driver for the upkeep of the vehicle and you must be careful of how much perfume you put on that morning.

That last rule applies to the second type of car pooling, although what is more important is, apparently, not speaking (unless the driver starts the conversation), and naturally no eating, drinking or smoking.

Strangely enough, car pooling has not picked up very much in Europe, although there are websites for car pools in certain European countries. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. It's cheaper and usually faster than any other form of transportation (if everyone is doing it or there are incentives similar to those in San Fransisco). Maybe this will be the next step in our adapting to our new needs in the face of diminishing oil reserves and increasing prices.


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