Rideshare Makes a Comeback as Pump Prices Go Sky High

March 2, 2012 7:13 pmBy: 

photoGas prices are surpassing their historic high watermark in the fleeting days of  winter.  This morning’s average price is $3.74 a gallon  in the Washington metro area,  and from coast to coast, and it is  $3.86  a gallon in Washington, D. C. proper.

Higher pump prices are not only forcing  metro area motorists  and commuters to change  their driving habits, gas prices are also compelling them to stand in slug lines for a ride to work and to sign up for  carpool options  with RideShare, and even to click on to CraigsList to find ways of beating the cost of gas, observes AAA Mid-Atlantic and Commuter Connections.

“The pace of retail gasoline increases has slowed in recent days,  the cost of gas continues to venture into never before seen territories, and motorists are weighing their options,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic ‘s Manager of Public and Government Affairs.

“We changed our driving habits when gas prices soared to into record terrain and hit four dollars a gallon for the first time ever in 2008 and we are doing it again in the wake of the latest spike in gas prices. One upside for motorists living in the Washington metropolitan area is the ability to have a back-up commuting plan when they do not want to drive.”

In several senses, the high cost of gas  has a way of serving as a wake-up call to commuters.  It sends a powerful message: there are options to driving to work alone. As a result, c carpooling is making a comeback in the Washington metro area, as it is in other parts of the region and country.

In fact, history and experience show, new rideshare applications tend to go up and stay up while gasoline prices are on the rise, notes Commuter Connections. As proof, new ridesharing applications increased by double digits, 20 percent, last year, the most expensive year ever for the cost of gasoline.

“Commuters have more reasonably priced choices they can make in the way they travel to and from work,” commented Nicholas Ramfos, Director of Commuter Connections at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “Ridesharing even just one day a week can cut commuting costs by 20 percent.”

In 2008, when gas prices soared to four dollars and higher for the first time ever, the Washington metro area saw a spike in the number of applicants for the Commuter Connections Ridesharing Program. The numbers increased by 48 percent between May 2007 and May 2008. What is more, the number of carpool applicants increased by 22 percent in just one month, from April 2008 to May 2008, according to Commuter Connections officials.

The Commuter Connections Ridesharing Program provides residents with a free list of commuters who are interested in carpooling/vanpooling, who have similar work schedules and commutes. According to information provided by Commuter Connections, over 20,000 commuters rely on their services to provide free, up-to-the-minute ridesharing information.

“There are a lot of things a driver can do to save some money at the pump,” adds Townsend. To this end, AAA Mid-Atlantic and Commuter Connections offer the following tips to help motorists save money in these times of increasing gas prices:

  • Consider Alternative Ways of Commuting – Make carpooling a part of your routine once a week. Consider participating in Rideshare Tuesday.
  • Drive Sensibly – Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas and lowers gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and by 5 percent around town.
  • Observe The Speed Limit – Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Also, observing the speed limit keeps motorists and their passengers safer.
  • Remove Excess Weight – Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle. An additional 100 pounds could reduce your vehicle’s MPG by up to two percent.
  • Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned – Having an engine tuned can improve its gas mileage by an average of four percent. Fixing other serious maintenance problems can improve gas mileage by as much as 40 percent.
  • Plan And Combine Trips – Making several short trips can use twice as much fuel as longer multipurpose trips. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and it can reduce the distance you travel. The AAA TripTik mobile app gives motorists turn-by-turn directions and lists daily fuel costs at gas stations near a user’s location.
  • Choose A More Efficient Vehicle – Selecting which vehicle to purchase is the most important fuel economy decision you will make. Use www.fueleconomy.gov’s Find and Compare Cars section to find the most fuel efficient vehicle that will meet your needs.

 

 

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Chantilly Education Top Stories Local dancers win six world championships

    Local dancers win six world championships

    Chantilly-based Creative Dance Center Competition Team (CDC*CT) crowned its award-winning season at the Star Dance Alliance World Dance Championships held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. The CDC*CT made it to the finals, securing six first place championships and two second place championships in various divisions. “I am extremely proud. I am very fortunate to work with a very talented staff of choreographers/teachers, the very best parents, and the most amazing group of dancers any studio director […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories GMU partners with TheDream.US to aid undocumented students

    GMU partners with TheDream.US to aid undocumented students

    George Mason University announced today that it will be an education partner with TheDream.US, a private national scholarship fund that helps highly motivated undocumented students attend college. TheDream.US works with colleges across the nation by awarding up to $25,000 to students who qualify and have received and maintained Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The goal of the scholarship is in line with George Mason’s commitment to making college accessible and affordable. And it supports Mason’s desire to collaborate […]

    Read more →
  • Springfield Top Stories Transportation Jeff Todd Road opens, linking Route 1 & Telegraph Road

    Jeff Todd Road opens, linking Route 1 & Telegraph Road

    For the first time since 9/11, Fairfax County motorists will have a way to get between Route 1 and Telegraph Road, traveling through Fort Belvoir. Jeff Todd Way (Route 619), a new, nearly three-mile road that was built through a partnership between the county, state and federal governments, opened last week. Along with U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, Fairfax County and state officials marked the road’s opening at a ribbon cutting ceremony today. Fairfax County contributed $12 million to the project […]

    Read more →
  • Business Police & Crime Top Stories Ex-Strayer University admissions officer, two others sentenced in immigration fraud case

    Ex-Strayer University admissions officer, two others sentenced in immigration fraud case

    Two managers of McLean-based Integrated Academics and a former admissions official for Strayer University have been convicted of conspiring to create fraudulent transcripts so that foreign students would appear eligible to retain their student visas in the United States. Mohamad Yousef Tellawi, 34, of Falls Church, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III to 22 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in the immigration document fraud conspiracy. Co-conspirators Lea Dzhin, 37, […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories Ex-Rep. Tom Davis named GMU Rector

    Ex-Rep. Tom Davis named GMU Rector

    George Mason University’s next rector is former U.S. Representative Tom Davis. Davis, who served seven terms in Congress representing Northern Virginia voters, was elected by his colleagues on George Mason’s Board of Visitors to lead the 16-member board. The board also chose Stu Mendelsohn as vice rector and Kelly McNamara Corley as secretary. Davis has served on Mason’s Board of Visitors since 2013. He was elected to the board after three decades of service representing Fairfax County voters at the […]

    Read more →
  • Business Real Estate Top Stories Northern Virginia homes selling quickly, Long & Foster reports

    Northern Virginia homes selling quickly, Long & Foster reports

    The Northern Virginia real estate market experienced some positive trends in July. According to The Long & Foster Market Minute reports, median sale prices increased in many parts of the region, and homes are continuing to sell at a quick pace. The Northern Virginia market includes the city of Alexandria, and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. The Long & Foster Market Minute reports are compiled from data from residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories Virginia asks Supreme Court for expedited review of gay marriage case

    Virginia asks Supreme Court for expedited review of gay marriage case

    As requested by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Commonwealth of Virginia has filed its response to a motion by the Clerk of Prince William County to stay the 4th Circuit’s ruling regarding marriage equality — meaning that gay marriage would not be permitted in Virginia pending the Supreme Court’s ruling. In its brief, the Commonwealth of Virginia agrees that a stay is warranted because of unintended negative consequences if the Court later rules against marriage equality, and asks the Court […]

    Read more →
  • Military Top Stories NORAD exercises in D.C. area Tuesday night

    NORAD exercises in D.C. area Tuesday night

    The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 14-11 Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, in the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C. Flights are scheduled to take place between midnight and 2 a.m. (EDT). The exercise is comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region (NCR) Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil […]

    Read more →

The forecast for 22030 by WP Wunderground