The phenomenon of carpooling, that is sharing a car, has recently become a popular way of commuting. It is about increasing the number of passengers at travelling by car. This idea was founded in the 50ties in order to reduce the fuel expenditure (its cost is shared by the number of passengers) and take care about natural environment.
Initially, a small group of local travelers decided to commute together to school, work, rarely somewhere further. At present, the network of websites and profiles on Facebook as well as special systems allowing to travel together are functioning very well. The interest in carpooling in Poland was much more noticeable as the fuel prices increased several years ago. The popularity and universality of this method of travelling caused that in the Internet there are many „free places” in cars on different routes, not only Polish ones. It is becoming more and more easy to find a transport on a concrete route, in a convenient day, and for a low price.
The initiative of carpooling has been recently taken by companies and business centers. According to some research, slightly more than a half of employees in those centers wanted to travel in such a way to work as passengers or drivers. Moreover, the respondents consider a potential contact with other employees and making new friendships while travelling as a big asset except for financial saving, of course. In response to the needs of employees, a new platform enabling the organization of common commuting to and from work was implemented in one of the office complexes in Warsaw.
The development of carpooling all over the world is followed by many facilitations considering this form of travelling. One of them is a lane for vehicles with many passengers, so called HOV (high-occupancy vehicle lane), which is popular in USA, Canada, Norway and also even more often in Poland. This kind of a lane may be used only by vehicles with three, four or more people – depending on local regulations. Moreover, so called bus lanes sometimes perform the additional function of HOV. In Poland, the first lanes for vehicles with many passengers were founded in Rzeszów. Some parts of bus lanes in the city were additionally marked with „1+2” in 2012, which indicated that drivers with at least two passengers may benefit from them, except from buses, taxis and order services.
We will probably find out soon whether the trend of carpooling will develop in Poland and whether this economic and ecological way of travelling will become even more popular among private persons as well as employees of companies.