Why carpooling should be encouraged in New Zealand (Part 3/3)

New Zealand can hope to achieve substantial tangible benefits from carpooling.

New Zealand - Mountains

The Carpooling Guidelines issued by the NZ Transport Agency contains a section on the benefits of carpooling which inter alia include benefits such as:

  • Reduces costs by sharing expenses
  • Reduces car parking problems
  • Promotes social networks and provides an opportunity to make new friends.
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces vehicle wear and tear

Offers alternative travel options:

  • Reduces vehicle emissions
  • Reduces traffic volumes and congestion
  • Treats the planet more kindly

NZ can hope to achieve substantial tangible benefits from carpooling. We would like to highlight how carpooling can help NZ in terms of:

  • Saving gas emissions
  • Reducing motor accidents
  • Enhancing tourism potential

Reducing gas emissions and motor accidents

Carpooling is a resource that has the potential of reducing gas emissions, just because it reduces the number of vehicles on the road. For instance, let us say there are 1000 people using 1000 cars to commute daily from home to work and back. Now, consider a case when 200 of these people keep their cars at home and commute with 200 others who will agree to share their rides. Straightaway, we can see that the number of vehicles on the road comes down by 200 and only 800 vehicles are on the road. If we stretch this logic a little more and say 500 people leave their cars at home and commute in twos and threes and fours with the 500 others who agree to share their rides. This incredible concept is not impossible.

Thus, carpooling has the potential to reduce gas emissions because fewer vehicles are on the road. This also sets off other benefits such as lesser congestion and consequently lesser traffic snarls and more importantly fewer accidents.

Carpooling is great for tourism

According to the Travel & Tourism Total Contribution to GDP report, New Zealand’s travel and tourism industry accounted for 17.9 per cent of GDP in 2017. New Zealand’s tourism campaign boasts the slogan “100% Pure” to promote its pristine environment. International tourists come to enjoy the natural attractions such as lakes, beaches and national parks located in New Zealand. Unfortunately, the contribution has remained static for the past 11 years. It is possible that the climate and environment have suffered and dented the image of the country as a “100% Pure” country.

There is no doubt that too many vehicle movements are causing problems for the tourism industry as revealed by a report from Tourism New Zealand, which says, “Road accidents and traffic congestion were the top concerns of survey respondents. Overcrowding, lack of infrastructure and environmental impacts were also mentioned.”

In order to help the most significant export industry of New Zealand to regain its premier position, it is imperative that people should bring down carbon emissions. This is definitely possible through carpooling. According to official statistics, the contribution of vehicles to total air pollution is 22 per cent. If 3 people travel in a vehicle instead of solo, the contribution of cars to total air pollution can reduce to about 8 per cent. Thus, carpooling should stand out as a dominant strategy to reduce air pollution and help the tourism industry.

Besides, carpooling offers other benefits associated with tourism for both New Zealanders and international tourists. They include

  • Meeting new international tourists
  • International tourists enjoying New Zealand hospitality and friendship
  • Reducing costs of travel to international tourists
  • Meeting new people, socializing and reducing costs of travel for domestic tourists

Contribute to your country by embracing carpooling

It is well within the reach of New Zealanders to gird up their loins and tackle the vehicle pollution bull by its horns by embracing carpooling in a big way. The government is also supportive of carpooling as it has issued guidelines for making carpooling safe and rewarding.