A carpooling promotion is an idea which should make sense in Summerland.
Of those in the workforce, half work outside of the community, according to recent statistics.
Most of those who travel out of town for work will go to Penticton, although a significant number work in Kelowna and West Kelowna.
Of those working in Summerland, around one in four live in another community, with most of those in Penticton.
With significant numbers making the same trip each day, sharing a ride seems like a simple transportation solution.
The traffic flow is already in place. Since many have similar destinations, sharing a ride can cut back on vehicle expenses for those in the carpool.
In the past decade, the price of a litre of gas has nearly doubled. The cost of fuel has increased faster than most wages. At present, the average Canadian household spends more than $1,000 a month on transportation expenses. If this cost can be reduced, it can leave more money for other purposes.
Carpooling also helps to reduce congestion on the roads, which is most noticeable in summer, and it helps to reduce air pollution from vehicle exhausts.
In addition to carpooling, the municipality’s transit service will begin later this month, again providing a transportation alternative for those who need to travel outside of the community.
Of course carpooling and the initial transit service are not solutions which will work for everyone.
Neither may be practical for those who have non-standard shifts, on-call positions or unpredictable workday hours.
Still, for those who have set hours and can arrange a carpool schedule, it is time to consider the methods which can help to cut back on travel expenses.