Gas prices are on the rise and the State Transportation Department (MoDOT) is helping to bring together Missourians who want to carpool to and from work. MoDOT Web Manager Matt Hiebert says a service known as Carpool Connections has been launched to help match carpoolers anywhere in the state.
“You cannot only choose times, you can choose age groups, you can chose preferences like to allow eating in the car or not, to whether you want to be a driver or just a passenger,” said Hiebert in an interview with the Missourinet. “Then, of course, you have times and locations and things of that nature.”
Hiebert acknowledges that efforts have already been made to provide carpooling information to residents of the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield areas there had previously been no assistance to rural Missourians wanting to save money in this way.
“What we found was it was a lot of rural people who were commuting to larger cities,” said Hiebert. “So we set up this statewide option so no matter where you live you’ve got a square one to go to.”
With this kind of carpooling arrangement, concerns are bound to be raised regarding the safety risks involved in getting together with strangers. But it is expected those taking part will exercise caution.
“How the information is released between two parties is very incremental,” said Hiebert. “And we encourage people to be very cautions, to find out who else are in these carpools that they would be signing up, to actually talk to the person on the phone, and wait until they feel comfortable before making any ind of commitment like that.”
Hiebert says an idea like this is not only a cost saving measure for Missouri commuters, it is good for the environment in that there are fewer vehicles on the road.