Commuters urged to carpool

Summerland commuters are being urged to get together during Carpool Week later this month.

Summerland commuters are being urged to get together during Carpool Week later this month.

The second annual Carpool Week, Oct. 22 to 26, offers commuters who visit Carpool.ca a chance to win prizes for their carpool efforts.

Julie McGuire, long-range planner and climate action coordinator for the municipality, said carpooling has plenty of benefits.

“In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, carpooling can save you money,” she said. “At a time when people are really trying to watch their pennies, carpooling is an easy way to reduce costs on fuel and vehicle maintenance while making new friends.”

At present, there are 29 people in Summerland carpooling as a result of carpool.ca.

While this is more than some larger communities in the area, McGuire wonders why more are not carpooling, considering the costs associated with driving.

“People must not be in dire straits yet,” she said.

She said according to information from Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spends more than $12,000 a year on transportation alone, making it the second highest expense next to shelter.

These costs include fuel, vehicle maintenance, insurance and registration and other expenses.

McGuire said commuters can find rides through Carpool.ca.

The service allows commuters to register and search for carpool partners.

“It’s important to note that carpooling doesn’t require a large commitment,” said Anne Marie Thornton, manager of Carpool.ca.