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September 23, 2019
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Driving Alone to Work is Expensive; Carpooling Saves Commuters Money

Washington, DC – Record high gas prices mean driving alone to work is the most expensive it’s ever been.  A drive-alone commuter from Chantilly, VA to Washington, D.C. (64 miles round trip) spends $926 monthly and $11,110 annually in transportation costs*.  A drive-alone commuter from Silver Spring, MD to Dulles, VA (56 miles round trip) spends $829 monthly and $9,946 annually.  A drive-alone commuter from Frederick, MD to Greenbelt, MD (98 miles round trip) spends $1,338 monthly and $16,056 annually. 

By carpooling with just one other person, the commuter from Chantilly to D.C. would save $5,555 per year.  Carpooling with three other people would save the Chantilly commuter $8,333 per year.  The Silver Spring to Dulles commuter would save $7,460 per year by carpooling with three other people.  The Frederick to Greenbelt commuter, carpooling with just two other people, would save close to $10,704 per year or $892 per month.  Carpooling is significantly cheaper than driving alone to work, making it a viable solution to ever-increasing gas prices.  Use the Commuter Connections’ Cost Calculator at www.CommuterConnections.org  to find out how much it costs you to drive-alone to and from work. Other commuters have already done the math and switched to carpooling.  

Over the past year (May 2007 to May 2008), the number of Commuter Connections Ridematching Program carpooling applicants has increased by 48%.  In just one month, from April 2008 to May 2008, the number of carpool applicants increased by 22%.  The Commuter Connections Ridematching Program provides residents with a free list of commuters who are interested in carpooling/vanpooling, who have similar work schedules and commutes.  

Fortunately, for the environment and the wallet, drive-alone commuters are making smarter transportation choices in response to record-breaking gas prices.  According to a 2008 survey of professional workers conducted by Fortune 500 staffing firm Robert Half International, forty six percent (46%) of respondents who altered their work arrangements due to higher gas prices, reported carpooling or ridesharing as the most common change. 

For more information on ridesharing, public transit and other Commuter Connections alternatives to driving alone to work, visit www.CommuterConnections.org or call 1 800 745-RIDE.


*All figures are approximate and based on 22 commuting days per month, $150 per month for parking and by using AAA’s 2008 estimate for owning and operating a vehicle. The estimate factors the average fuel cost, maintenance, tires, insurance, license and registration and depreciation for a small sedan.  Cost for larger vehicles will increase accordingly.

Commuter Connections is a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and is funded by the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Departments of Transportation as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation. Commuter Connections promotes alternatives to drive-alone commuting, and provides free ride-matching for carpools and vanpools and also offers the free regional Guaranteed Ride Home program.


COG is the association of 21 jurisdictions working for a better metropolitan region.


Release Date: Jun 17, 2008
Contact: Lauren Udwari
Phone: 202-962-3209

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