One Smart Answer to Pricey Gas? Carpooling

Commuters save big money by driving together.

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Recent surveys suggest that consumers are increasingly feeling the pain of rising gas prices. If you fall into that category, here's a possible solution: Carpool.

Carpools usually work best for those who both live and work in nearby locations, such as neighbors who both work downtown or colleagues who live in the same suburb. Sharing rides saves gas money and reduces traffic (not to mention air pollution). If you're looking to carpool, RideSearch and eRideShare can help you get started. There are also many regional sites that specialize in connecting commuters. Do a Web search on "carpool" and the name of your region.

There is a downside, of course. You'll have to be more flexible on when you leave and possibly where you get dropped off. But according to the RideSearch savings calculator, if you commute 10 miles round trip to work 21 days a month, pay $3 a gallon for gas, and your vehicle gets 20 miles per gallon, then you're spending $84 a month, excluding parking costs and including 25 cents per mile in maintenance. Joining up with just one other person could split that expense in half.

Readers, if you have any good carpooling tips, please share them below.