Technology plus a growing awareness of environmental issues has reintroduced people to the benefits of carpooling and ridesharing, ideas that first caught on in the 1970s, during the oil crisis.
Carpooling has its own immediate benefits, too. As Kelsie Davis of BambooHR wrote, you can get to and from work faster by taking advantage of carpool lanes, you get to become closer to your coworkers or your other passengers, and you’re more likely to never be late for work again if others are counting on you to drive.
Most importantly, though, you’re doing your part to be greener. Davis noted that you and others you know can help contribute to annually save up to 1,600 pounds of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere by carpooling.
If you live in the area and have a schedule that can accommodate carpooling or ridesharing, we recommend at least giving it a shot. Here are 25 great options including local and statewide carsharing programs — to get you started.
Zimride by Enterprise
Enterprise, the a car rental company, has expanded beyond its core service with Zimride. Using your social media accounts, you can hook up with other similar riders who enjoy the same hobbies and music that you do. At least then you know that you two won’t argue over the radio dial. Zimride is free to use, and you can also post your own rides if you want to be the driver.
CarpoolWorld just requires that you sign up, get in touch with riders or drivers, then coordinate a carpool. It’s free to sign up, and there are more than 300,000 users across the United States. To find Boulder Valley carpoolers, search for as far as you’d like to drive in miles on the CarpoolWorld site.
Boulder Valley School District
If you have school-aged children, the Boulder Valley School District encourages you to work with other parents to transport kids to school in a single vehicle. The BVSD’s ToSchool program also recommends that children consider biking to and from classes in a group. Of course, school buses are available on a daily basis.
eRideShare.com is a useful option for one-time travels rather than for a recurring commute. Drivers can list their origins and destinations on the site, and other users can ask to join for a leg of the trip or the whole thing.
Carpling offers a few sharing options: There is the carpool itself, but the social network also lets you share taxis with other users or even parking spots. Your personal information stays private with Carpling, which takes some of the uncertainty out of using it.
SkiCarpool is an awesome way to get to a local ski resort. This nonprofit’s website is free to register, and its aim is to help you “make friends, not traffic.” Take a look at the rideboard to see which ski resorts other Colorado drivers are visiting, and then get in touch if one of those works for you. You can also sign in with your Twitter, Facebook or Google+ accounts.
36 Commuting Solutions
US 36 is a major Colorado corridor, and nonprofit 36 Commuting Solutions wants to make it easier to drive through this part of the state by offering advocacy and carpooling options for residents. The organization has some interesting stats about Colorado travel, noting that up to 53 percent more people will be employed in the state by 2035 and that up to 28 percent more people will use US 36 to get to and from work. 36 Commuting Solutions even gives you a $75 reward to incentivize you to carpool.
Another group interested in clearing up major roads in Colorado is GoI70, which wants to reduce traffic on I-70. As this is a big roadway for many ski resorts, carpooling makes it easier for everyone to enjoy their weekend getaways..
The University of Colorado-Boulder has designed its own carpooling services, called CU Commute. With a trip tracker, you can eventually rack up enough miles to be in the running to win prizes. Whether you need a ride or have your own vehicle to drive others, you can gain access to special parking lots on campus that are exclusive to carpoolers. You can also opt to vanpool.
First Pres Children
In Colorado Springs, First Pres Children, a Children’s Ministries school, ensures that your child will get to and from school safely with its carpool program. Another parent will take all of the kids to the school before their first classes start, or you can volunteer yourself to pick up and drop off students five days a week.
The City of Aspen’s website has its own carpool service, called CommuterConnect. Book a one-time ride or set up a regular mode of transportation. Besides driving, you can also find others who are interested in biking and walking to various destinations across Colorado.
Northern Colorado residents have SmartTrips for their carpooling needs. If you find that there is no one in your area offering rides, get in touch with SmartTrips, whose staff often posts fliers and posters near you to get the attention of carpooling drivers.
Metro (Mountain Metropolitan Transit)
Colorado Springs has its own transportation service, called Metro, or Mountain Metropolitan Transit. These Mountain Metro Rides include bicycle resources, schoolpooling, vanpooling and carpooling for free. Just register with RIDEPRO, the commuter database, and it will find you the driver in your area who can best work with your schedule. You can choose to drive others or be a rider in someone else’s vehicle.
RickyRides wants more people to commute to concerts, festivals and other events, so to promote carpooling, it offers it services absolutely free. Even better, with Google Maps and other technology, all information on the site is incredibly accurate. You can get to or from Colorado once concert season starts in the summer and make some new buddie salong the way.
Poolmyride is an app available on the Windows Store, Google Play and the Apple app store. You can cabpool or carpool by inputting your destination or searching through the available commutes others are already driving. If you have a truly unique trip in mind, create your very own carpool and let others join in or take you there in their car.
The University of Colorado-Boulder’s eGo CarShare carsharing program helps college students save money by giving multiple people access to the same vehicle, which they can book to drive when they need it. By paying a subscription fee to have access to a vehicle rather than outright owning it, students can save thousands of dollars every year.
If you ever need a ride out of Boulder, try the Craigslist rideshare. Just like with all other parts of the site, you don’t need an account to browse through the rides available. You can narrow down your options by ride wanted or ride offered. Once you register, you can email the poster of a listing to set up the transportation.
If you’re traveling and don’t want to rely on rental cars, let Ridester be your guide. Just input your pickup and drop-off city, and as long as your trip is longer than 20 miles you can find some good transportation. You get to choose the driver based on your own filters, and if you ever change your mind and select a different driver, Ridester will be happy to accommodate you.
Way to Go through the DRCOG
The Denver Regional Council of Governments has its own Way to Go program, which offers vanpooling, carpooling, schoolpooling, walking, biking, mass transit and carsharing accommodations. You just choose the transportation option you need, and Way to Go lets you input your starting point and destination. Drivers get kudos for being the top commuters. You can register with this service for free by making an account or signing up through Facebook.
Enterprise also has its own CarShare program. It only costs one dollar to join, and from there, you can drive yourself around the Denver metro area at hourly rates of just five dollars.
Zipcar works like Enterprise’s CarShare program. Just register, reserve a car when you need it, confirm, then go. Vehicles available in the fleet include a Ford Focus hatchback named Franklin, a BMW 328i xDrive named Czar, a Mazda 3 hatch named Stroder, and a Subaru Impreza named Sandlot.
eThos Electric Car Share
eThos Electric Car Share is America’s first all-electric carsharing program. That means you can rent a Tesla Model S to do grocery shopping this weekend, if you’re so inclined. You do have to pay a one-time membership fee (with renewals every year) and get your driver’s license inspected (which is not free), but eThos offers up to five hours of free driving once you register.
Ridebuzz Rideshare’s nonprofit program is a nationwide service that lets you search for a ride by your city and state. Just choose where you want to go and how many miles away your driver can live (from five to 500 miles), and then read through the filtered results. You can connect with the driver’s user account and possibly arrange regular trips. If you need a one-time ride out of the state or to another city, you can find this here, too.
Colorado State University RideShare
Yet another convenient resource for college students, the Colorado State University RideShare website lets you see which rides are available without even registering. Trips are arranged by origin city, their purpose (school or work), the date, the frequency of the drives, and the departure and return times.
If you want to give others a ride but don’t have your own vehicle or don’t feel comfortable using it for those purposes, try the car2go carsharing program. This Denver service also has its own app. Each car2go vehicle is distinct — they’re small, environmentally-friendly and easy to park in any lot. When you register, you receive a membership card that you swipe before you drive.