Thursday, June 19, 2008

Park N Ride

Subtitle: A flexible and fast short-term solution to our transit disaster

I'm so proud of my husband! He and two other co-workers have arranged to meet 3 days a week to carpool to work. Currently, he drives about 30 miles round trip each day in his '99 Jetta (~29 mpg), while his co-workers drive about twice that, and have pickup trucks (~10 mpg?).

The key to this arrangement is a Park N' Ride. A Park N' Ride is usually just a parking lot in a key location, usually a suburb, suited to leaving your car for bus transport or for car pools. These really don't formally exist here in OKC, since we have a puny transit system in a giant-sized city. OKC is actually the number 3 sized city in the country by actual square mileage. It is one huge suburb, with a small downtown and a few business centers here and there throughout the city.

Here in OKC, it is hard to rely on public transit, especially if it doesn't go anywhere near your workplace. Bike lanes or paths are what you might call "non-existant" (unless you want to ride round and round Lake Hefner).

So my husband & friends have decided to improvise by arranging a mini-Park N' Ride at a church that is right off the highway on the way to work. The church was VERY helpful when they called. This arrangement means that people won't be going "out of their way" to meet up. Hopefully, this will work. I know one of the co-workers is paying about $300/month in gas. Ouch!

Church parking lots are a perfect location for park and rides since they are often in visible places and their lots are NEVER full during the working day. Many businesses also have over-built parking lots that would work well too. I can even envision this being an institutionalized thing where Large Business X arranges a Park N Ride with Churches Y and Z in key locations.

So what's to stop you, your family, or your work, from arranging something similar? It takes a little more effort to find the right location and call them for permission, but carpooling can cut your gas costs/ carbon emissions by 50 - 75%. Put it to you this way: if you carpool with one friend - gas goes from $3.80 to $1.90 per gallon. With two friends, gas goes from $3.80 to $1.20/gallon. Try it!


Verde said...

Good post, and great ideas for car pooling.

What is a little odd is that it is dated last thursday but only appeared this evening.

Hausfrau said...

Thanks verde. I think it's because I started writing it last Thursday but only published it yesterday.

Lewru said...

I love your new banner!!

Hausfrau said...

Thanks Lewru! We took the picture at the Grand Canyon in 2006.