It’s a challenging time for commuters, what with rocketing fuel costs and ongoing pressure from governments to lower pollution levels. However, as car sharing initiatives such as Strathclyde Partnership for Transport’s (SPT) JourneyShare continue to increase in popularity, an economical and green solution is out there.
As well as sharing the same journey every day, three commuters from East Ayrshire also share something else in common: savings on their annual travel costs of over £2000.
Meet Janice, Vicky and David; three perfect strangers until signing up to SPT‘s JourneyShare, a free regional car sharing scheme launched in 2009 in partnership with UK-wide car sharing organisation LiftShare.
The savings I make could cover a holiday on a cruise ship plus spending money but as my son is soon to be married, I’m going to pay for his honeymoon to Thailand.”
Janice Millar, JourneyShare commuter
“My primary motivation for signing up to the scheme was the cost of commuting from Darvel to Glasgow every day” says Janice, a paralegal who discovered the scheme on the internet.
“The savings I make could cover a holiday on a cruise ship plus spending money but as my son is soon to be married, I’m going to pay for his honeymoon to Thailand.”
In addition to the financial gain, renewables enthusiast David cites the environment as one of his main reasons for car sharing:
“I use solar power to heat my water and air source to heat my house, so I suppose I’m very ‘green’!” says the Glasgow City Council worker. “This is my third car share arrangement and should circumstances change between the three of us, I would definitely want to continue with the scheme.”
Vicky, who works for a letting agency, says she understands people’s initial reservations but that they shouldn’t be put off:
“I had several telephone conversations with Janice before we agreed to car share”, says Vicky. “The system is incredibly secure in that when you are matched with others making the same journey you are asked to make contact by email, so no details are exchanged without both parties consent. You can even select if you would prefer to share with male or female commuters”.
It is simple to develop a routine with the scheme and David believes that early adoption of car sharing is a wise move in terms of the future:
“Economic times of doom and gloom force people to think outside the box and essentially what JourneyShare does – as well as saving money and the environment – is help change people’s attitudes towards travel. Fuel costs will only continue to increase so people have to be prepared to adapt to that.”