Gaucho Gazette > October 2012
> Administrative Services
Bus Claims Cool to Carpool
Ken Bus, director of the International Education Program, is an experienced carpooler. He shares his thoughts on why it is so cool to carpool.
How did you get started with the carpool experience?
Weíve been doing this several years, when the program started, maybe 10 years ago, for ride share participants. I carpool with my wife, Mary Jane Onnen, who is with the English Department and we decided we can meet the minimum on the carpool space, which is twice a week. But we carpool three or four times a week for more savings. Sometimes our schedule is that she has to stay late and I have to leave early. But, we are really happy we have this system because we have a guaranteed parking space right next to my building and next to her building, so itís handy for us.
Did you carpool with other people?
We had combined with one of our neighbors who also taught in the English Department.She carpooled with us occasionally. She works in the department with my wife and they would drive home together, maybe later in the evening and she would use that space after I left. We didnít have three people riding in one car but we had two people riding at different times. All three of us had permission to park in a single spot. But, our neighbor is now in a different location on campus.
How much do you save by carpooling?
We live in Peoria which is 7.5 miles from campus. My wife has a hybrid car that we try to use as often whenever possible, because that is an additional saving in fuel consumption. If we didnít carpool, then our driving expenses would be doubled. Gasoline is not cheap these days so if we spent $30 a week on gasoline then it would be $60 and that doesnít count wear and tear on the cars. Plus having the benefit of driving to work with your spouse and having discussions is beneficial.
Slight challenge in that you have to coordinate your schedules like office schedules and doctor appointments. If I have to leave right at a certain time, then she would have to leave at exactly at that time; so those minor things, which are minor problems.
Actually she has duties once a week in the evenings so she will either drive alone or I have to come back to campus, which is not saving anything because it makes an additional trip for another vehicle. On those days, weíll take two cars but itís relatively rare and so we just factor that in.
Any problem youíve experienced?
The only problem that comes up is when somebody takes our space, especially in the beginning of the semester. Parking is really crowded in the beginning of the semester and students are coming here to change their schedule or find a class. And so for those two weeks, it is so crowded you have to drive around the areas to look for parking. When that happens, people just grab anything thinking, oh it will only take a minute and they take our space. More so in the morning when I leave to get something, when I come back somebody is parked in my space. We just call College Safety and they come over and ticket the car. This happens even with a sign right there that says ďCarpool parking employees only. Permit required.Ē
How do you evaluate your carpool experience?
The carpool experience is a good experience as far as I am concerned. The fact that you get a reserved space is a big plus because this campus has a critical shortage of parking, especially in the morning. Having a reserved space is a big bonus as far as I am concerned and itís right next to the building I work in, so itís very convenient. I donít have to drive around looking for parking space or park far away from the building.
I do recommend it and if people are interested in the benefits of carpooling with the reserved parking space, they need to find someone who lives close to them and I think that is a big challenge. Iím lucky my wife and I work here but some people need to make some adjustments driving to someone elseís house, picking them up and coordinating the ride.
GCCís TRP team suggests visiting the confidential matching site to find your perfect carpool match at GCC and nearby offices. Ė submitted by GCC TRP Coordinators
Next: Buy Tickets Online to Gaucho Events