Monday, March 8, 2010

Carpool cool

As a way to procrastinate and learn about frugal blogging, I've been reading other blogs, archives and all. In doing so, I just came across Suddenly Frugal's "Carpooling in the Real World" post (from 2007 - see, archives, I told you!).

One thing she says is that she doesn't think the traditional notion of office workers carpooling really works in today's world, because of satellite offices, varied work schedules, and the variety of after-work commitments that people have. She does talk about carpooling for kids/after-work commitments as being green, frugal, and socially productive, especially for the kids!

Personally, I think that even with satellite offices and non-traditional work hours, carpooling can work, as long as the carpoolers can be flexible. If Person A doesn't need to be at work until after Person B, then Person B is simply dropped off first, and contents themselves to waiting to be picked up. Or Person A arrives early (which could mean starting work early, or taking advantage of the down time to read/eat breakfast/something), and knows that s/he will have some time at the end of the day to wait as well.  This isn't the most time efficient method, but it can still work.

On days when I don't take the bus, or drive myself to work (or before we had two cars), this is similar to what my husband and I do. He'll drop me off, and go on to work. I get to work on time, if not early, and have time to wrap everything up before he gets here. Getting me to work on time forces him to get up and get ready earlier than he would on his own (he is not a morning person - at all!), and he ends up being on time, if not early.

For us, being early is not a bad thing. We'd rather be early than late. Especially to work.

As a bonus, sometimes we have time to have breakfast together, either at home or at a restaurant (sure, not frugal, but it feels special to have breakfast - reminds me when we would do so in TX, before school). When we do have breakfast, sitting together feels is like a reflective respite before we start our days.

What are your feelings on carpooling (when public transport is not a valid option, of course)? Is it an outdated mode of transportation, or the coolest thing since sliced bread?

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