By Ian Williams
Nearly two-thirds of Australians drive to work – and most of them sit behind the wheel on their own. That adds up to an awful lot of cars and some very busy roads.
It’s a problem the District Council of Yankalilla is trying to ease by becoming the first regional council in South Australia to adopt an innovative car share program.
Drivers are being encouraged to register with Carpool SA Yankalilla so they can link with other people in the region and share the driving.
Several council staff members, including chief executive, Nigel Morris, are among the first users.
“Having seen the benefits of carpooling through setting up the program I decided to get involved myself,” says Nigel, who commutes from his home in Adelaide to Yankalilla every day.
Once a week he shares a car with Sally Morgan, the council’s manager of finance, procurement and infrastructure, who also lives in Adelaide.
Nigel says it’s a 130-kilometre round trip so they save significantly on fuel, CO2 emissions and wear and tear on the vehicle and council roads.
“With the conversation flowing we often solve the world’s problems by the time we get to the office,” he says. “I’d certainly encourage others to get involved.”
With no public transport servicing Yankalilla, Carpool is also ideal for people who live locally and work in Adelaide.
It’s also being promoted among local sports and social clubs and has been quickly picked up by the town’s netball and football teams for travel to regional games.
Nigel says the safety of Carpool members is a priority of the council.
The identity of people registering on the website has to be confirmed by their workplace or club, or by the council if they are registering as an individual.
All personal information remains confidential until they identify someone travelling on a similar route. Even then their details are only shared after they make a link-up request and it is accepted.
Carpool SA is an initiative of the South Australia Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
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