Share the Ride

1 decade 11 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, October 23 2007 Oct 23, 2007 Tuesday, October 23, 2007 10:16:07 PM CDT October 23, 2007 in News

This week, the Department of Natural Resources launched the first statewide "Share the Ride" program. The initiative encourages drivers to buddy up and carpool with others.

With high gas prices, sharing a ride can save you big bucks.

"Hook up with another person, share the ride on a regular basis back and forth and share those costs back and forth, you've cut your commuting cost in half," Kerry Cordray, of the Missouri DNR Energy Center, said.

The Mid-Missouri Share the Ride program focuses on pairing up drivers who commute between Jefferson City and  Columbia. Even drivers who don't carpool yet, think it's a great idea.

"It's a good thing for people who work together in Jefferson City to get to know each other. It's a good thing for the community," carpooler Betsy Odle said.

Although the program aims to boost carpooling, for most, driving alone is still the way to go.

"It's more convenient for me, because when I want to go, I want to go, and when I get ready to come back, I'll come back," driver Bruce Lockard said. "I don't have to wait on anyone."

There are about 5,000 Mid-Missouri commuters who now share rides, and state officials hope this week will get more people to take a fresh look at carpooling.

"Give it a try for a while," Cordray said. "You might find that the social time is also a benefit."

Carpoolers have the opportunity to ride along, make new friends and save at the pump. Share the Ride program organizers are holding a drawing for commuters who carpool and for drivers who sign up before the end of the month. Prizes include free lodging and camping in Missouri state parks.

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