The sharing economy is an increasingly popular movement that not only benefits its users, but also yields a positive economic and environmental impact. The sharing economy has the potential to be so powerful that in 2011 TIME magazine named the sharing economy one of the “ten ideas that will change the world”.
So, have you gotten a chance to participate in the sharing economy? If you happened to have taken an Uber or carpooled with a friend at some point in the past week, then you have! Carpooling plays a large role in the sharing economy, and has a very positive impact on the environment. So, what exactly happens when you carpool?
You get to drive in the HOV lanes
This could be the reason most people choose to carpool on their way to work in the morning or on occasional commutes into the city. HOV, or carpooling lanes aren’t as busy and typically get you to your destination faster. In fact, some people find these HOV lanes so useful they even go to the length of buying mannequins to put into their car! What do you think, smart or idiotic?
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Aside from personal benefits like getting to skip the line of traffic on the freeway, carpooling also results in less vehicles on the road — which means a reduction of greenhouse gases. In 2015 Uber estimated that UberPOOL rides taken between February and March amounted to 674,000 miles of saved driving. That’s the equivalent of 240 people driving round trip from L.A. to New York.
Reduce Road Congestion
One of the biggest issues today is single drivers who take up space on the roads & cause congestion. By ride sharing, single drivers are taken off the roads, and free up space for other drivers. CSAIL, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, researchers published a study last December outlining that 3,000 four-passenger cars could serve 98 percent of taxi demand in New York City, with an average wait-time of only 2.7 minutes. Imagine how much clearer the streets of new york city would be if 98% of New York’s 13000+ taxis were eliminated from the roads by just 3000 cars?
Make Commuting Quicker
Less congested roads means less traffic and therefore a quicker commute!
Less Energy Consumption
By using less cars, we reduce our fuel and energy consumption — creating a more sustainable solution for drivers.
The annual cost of congestion in the United States is estimated to be approximately $160 billion, or $960 per commuter, which includes 7 billion hours of time lost to sitting in traffic and an extra 3 billion gallons of fuel burned and that number is only continuing to grow. If carpooling became apart of everyday life, this number would certainly shrink.
The sharing culture seems to benefit everyone, so maybe next time you and your friends are going somewhere you’ll carpool instead?
What do you think, is the sharing economy an idea that will change the world?
Let us know!