Why are over 5,000 people in Tompkins County sharing rides to work, school and elsewhere, every day?

  • To save money, paying 1/2 or 1/4 at the pump by sharing the cost.    
  • To kick back by letting someone else drive for once!
  • For the fun of it; amazing things can happen.
  • To save our air: easier breathing; fewer cars and carbon emissions.

To talk to a real person about how to share more rides, contact Way2Go Educator Sophie Somerfeldt at or 607-272-2292 ext. 184.

Finding rides & riders

  1. Start where you are: Who do you know? Who’s around you… in your neighborhood, at or near your job, part of a club or activity? People might want to share rides--ASK!
  2. Spread the word: Make announcements at meetings, post to a bulletin board, a listserv, or a newsletter. Post trips as a driver or nondriver at Finger Lakes Rideshare (zimride).
  3. Get others in on the act: Other people can help!
  • Ask your supervisor or HR person if they can help connect carpoolers.
  • Talk to the leader of your club or child’s team or activity group.
  • To talk to a real person about how to share more rides, contact Way2Go Educator Sophie Somerfeldt at or 607-272-2292 ext. 184.

Keep in mind:

  • Sharing rides is NOT ALL OR NOTHING: try sharing 1 new trip 1 time that you usually take alone.

  • Consider sharing a long-distance trip, organizing ridesharing to faith services, or setting up regular carpools with other parents.

  • MAKE CLEAR AGREEMENTS on pick-up and drop-off spots, sharing driving or expenses, car music, talking or smoking, and how long a driver waits for a no-show.

Who should carpool?

Anyone can carpool, but it works best for those who have regular and relatively long-distance school or work or social commutes--including going to religious services.

costs & Savings

Ridesharing is costsharing. In general, you can divide the costs of the trip by the number of people in the car. With Finger Lakes Rideshare, the driver sets the amount for the trip. With your neighbors and co-workers you should take time to figure out an amount that works and feels fair to everyone.

A person who carpools to work with two co-workers with a 15-mile round trip can save over $1,500 a year, using AAA figures, and avoid emitting over a ton of carbon into the air. If your commute is longer, the savings are greater--especially if it means you can live without a car.

Other Resources

Read more about carpooling on Way2Go’s website.

Need a car of your own on occasion? Try Ithaca Carshare.

One Carpooler's Story

I have been living in Ithaca for 29 years, and commuting to work in Syracuse for the last five.

Whenever I drive to Syracuse, I see numerous cars that are obviously “Ithacan”: they have the “Gimme!” or “Gorges” bumper stickers, or the Bill Cooke or Maguire license plate frames. I thought it would be easy to find someone to ride with, but it wasn’t. About 3 years ago, after multiple posts in various websites, someone “found” me and invited me to join her carpool. It has been a very rewarding experience, personally and financially.

I have made a few friends, some who have moved on to other states and countries. I have learned about the cultures of China and India. We have enjoyed numerous podcasts and e-books (the Hunger Games trilogy is a favorite), and very interesting conversations. I have taken numerous naps and had fun with Facebook and Words with Friends while others drove. Last year, one of the guys gave each of us a tin with some of the best Christmas cookies I have ever had.

And I have saved A LOT of gas and parking money.

Only one of the original carpool members is still in the group, but he just got a nice new job in Ithaca, so in a few days I will be the oldest member, both in age and “tenure”. While I will miss his company and friendship, I am looking forward to meeting his replacement, whoever he or she might be.

Christian Nielsen

Read additional stories of carpoolers in this blog article.