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Children smiling and giving the "thumbs up" in the back of a car.
September 20, 2023

Save Time and Money: Carpool to School

by Cate Longino

Do you drive your child to and from school every day? Are you tired of waiting in long lines for pickup/dropoff? Now that students have settled into the hustle and bustle of the new school year, it’s the perfect time to explore a new way to get your kids to school: Carpooling.

 

Why Carpool? 

Between traffic, time spent in line, and money exhausted on gasoline, commuting to and from school multiple times per day takes a toll on parents and guardians. Sharing driving duties with other families alleviates these stressors by shortening the amount of time you’re on the road, lowering the number of cars in line at pickup/dropoff, and reducing the fuel you expend driving to and from school. 

 

Sharing driving duties also boosts the health of your school’s environment. By lessening the number of cars on the road, carpooling minimizes greenhouse gas emissions, reduces air pollution, and contributes to better air quality. This is especially important in school zones where children are present, as improving air quality has been linked to reducing rates of health conditions such as childhood asthma. 

 

In addition to saving time and helping the environment, forming a carpool is an excellent way to find community at your school. When you create a carpool group, you connect with other families in your neighborhood and create a social environment for your children to interact with their peers. Why not share driving duties while forming bonds with your school community in the process? 

 

Carpooling Safely

As parents and guardians, it’s understandable to have concerns about other parents driving your children to and from school. While sharing the ride may be a leap outside your comfort zone, there are many ways to ensure your kids get to school safely. Check out a few of our carpool safety tips below: 

 

Meet the Families 

Before your first ride to school, meet with the families in your carpool to ensure you’re on the same page about safety. Make sure that all families involved are comfortable with the parents who will be driving and the vehicles that will be used. Discuss any safety essentials specific to your child, including necessary car seat accommodations, to make sure that each family is equipped with the proper gear. 

 

Check Seatbelts and Car Seats 

One of the easiest ways to keep children safe is to make sure that all riders are properly buckled in. Before starting the car, confirm that every child’s car seat is installed correctly and that all children are wearing their seatbelts. Certain car seats are easier to install than others, so look for those models, and invest in a spare to loan out to whoever is driving the carpool that week/month.  

 

Create Communication Guidelines

Make sure that you have a way to reach all parents in the carpool and create a system of communication about safety-related matters. For example, some carpools have a group chat where they alert all parents when their children have arrived at school safely and when they have been picked up.

 

Save Time, Earn Money, Use SchoolPool!

Interested in carpooling, but not sure where to begin? SchoolPool is a free carpool matching system that pairs you with families in your neighborhood to carpool to school. You can even opt to match only with families that attend your child’s school. This fall, for a limited time, families at participating schools will be entered into a raffle to win a $25-50 gas gift card after logging their first trip. 

 

Learn more and find out if your child’s school is participating at goDCgo.com/SchoolPool.

 



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