Carpooling: The alternative “public” Transportation

Carpooling is seen as an alternative form of “commuting.” There is Grab, Uber, now this. It is simply riding with someone going your way. Many countries, including the Philippines, are warming up to this new way of traveling.  You can catch a ride with a friend or neighbor or call one thru the app Wunder (though Grab and Uber can also offer carpooling). There are good reasons why.

traffic jam
Carpooling can help reduce traffic by reducing the volume of cars on the road because the extra space in one car can be occupied. Credit: Carlo Migue Castaneda (

Carpooling Helps Reduce Traffic

The idea of carpooling is to reduce the volume of cars on the roads. According to automotive guru James Deakin, what needs to be done is to maximize the space in the car. Usually one or two people are in a car and the rest is pretty much empty. Multiply that a hundredfold and you get traffic. So instead of driving your own car, share a ride to take up that extra space. This will lessen the volume thus reducing traffic. Furthermore, it also lessens emissions that is good for the environment.

It Is Not Expensive

You hardly pay a thing at the very least, except perhaps contribute for tollway and fuel expenses which you may chip in with your companions. For some that charge (Grab, Uber and Wunder), you still pay less.

You get to save on fuel and toll expenses by leaving your car in the garage, using it only when it is absolutely necessary.

It Is Comfy

Like Grab and Uber, you get to travel in comfort (cars are the latest models, no obsolete ones) as opposed to the discomfort you might experience on public transportation, including regular taxis. These vehicles are well-maintained by their owners. You arrive at work less stressed or get home relaxed.


You are in the company of friends. You could treat carpooling like you are on a road trip to somewhere. If you are among strangers, it provides a good opportunity to socialize and make new friends. They could be your riding companions on a regular basis.

It Is Safer and More Secure

There have been numerous stories of passengers victimized even by Grab and Uber drivers. In carpooling, you are in good company and it can give you a sense of security (safety in numbers).

Of course, no system is perfect and there are disadvantages to carpooling.


It is hard to determine your time of arrival because you are sharing a ride. Carpooling in some ways behaves like public transport where they drop off people in a certain order (if you are not the first though there is no guarantee you are the first out). Thus, it is hard to know what time you will arrive at work. In some cases, it might take time to get a ride if you call one on your app or schedules are different.

The rates are also unpredictable and may go up any time. This is especially true during rush hour when traffic is at its heaviest. Rates are usually higher than what you pay in non-peak hours. Best solution is to wait out the traffic stay for a while or unwind somewhere if you are in no rush to go home.

It Can Be Awkward

Just like in public transport, you might come across some people who have issues. As such, these are the ones who are not in the mood to socialize and it is better to keep to yourself lest you get in trouble.

As mentioned before, nothing is perfect. Carpooling is still favored because its benefits outweigh the disadvantages. People do not mind it so as long as they get to where they want to go. For those who want to subscribe to carpooling (not using the apps), you will have to make the necessary arrangements.

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Aaron Ronquillo

Quizzer, Practical Shooter, Martial Artist, Movie Buff, Avid Reader, Amateur Foodie and Photographer, Cat Lover; Someone with a wanderlust; got a keen eye for detail, trivia; enthusiastic but cautious; patient, calculating