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How easy is it for you to take your child to and fro school every single day? Do you have friends or neighbors whose children attend the same school with your child or one close by? If yes, carpooling for school runs is a brilliant idea you should consider to save time and money.
School runs can be very hectic for working class parents, especially when they own one car and work far from their child’s school. However, there are many ways to kill a bird. You can save money from reducing the amount of fuel burnt on school runs, by getting your child to hitch a ride to school sometimes, while you return the favor by giving other children a ride at other times.
Read Also: Five Ways to Manage Back-to-School Stress
Carpooling is not a very common practice in west Africa, because there are a lot of things to consider for both the person offering the service and the beneficiary. However, in recent times car owners are becoming more receptive to the idea of sharing rides with total strangers, and that is why a platform like GoMyWay has been gaining traction.
Anyway, you don’t need to put your child in the care of a total stranger, you can discuss with some other parents you are already familiar with. Nonetheless, these are things both of you have to agree on.
Haven found someone you want to strike a carpool deal with, it is essential that both of you agree on the take off/pick up time and spot. Who starts first and for how long? You can agree to rotate the responsibilities every week or every month. Eg: You drive your child and that of your dealer to and fro school for a week/month and the other person takes over the next week/month. You can also partner with 3 parents or more depending on how big your car is and how many kids they have.
You and your partners need to agree on the best, safest and most reliable route to school and back home. This will help you stay calm in case you hear about a road accident along one of the routes leading to your child’s school or home.
With the mutual pattern of carpooling you have chosen, you will have to bear the cost for fueling your car the same way the other dealers will. Not withstanding, you will be saving both fuel money and time on weeks when you are not taking the kids to school. In a case where a parent who doesn’t have a car is part of the deal, then you can ask for a fee, something moderate as compared to the actual amount the parent would naturally spend if they took their kids to school themselves. Although you are offering them comfort, convenience, as well as buying them time, you don’t have to over-price your service.
Kids can be very extreme with expressions, from showing dislike for another kid, to being overly friendly with the ones they like. All partners should talk to their kids individually and all the kids collectively, urging them to co-operate, as this process is to help the parents take care of them better.
Now that your child will be sharing rides with other kids, it is important that the child and the car is clean at every point in time. No eating/littering the car, no farting, no . . . anything that makes the car unconducive for everyone.
Things to note:
- Create a carpool contact information sheet containing the names and numbers of each child’s parents, school name/address and home address.
- Contact your carpool members as soon as possible if there is any change of plan to enable them plan ahead.
- If the members of your carpool do not share the driving equally, agree on reimbursement costs and if it affects you ensure that you pay on time.
- Be Punctual.
- Drive carefully; you have a family’s future in your car.
- Moderate the temperate of your car to suit every child and ask them occasionally if they are okay.
- If it’s a school runs car pooling, it should be strictly that: no stopping to shop or run errands with the kids in the car.
- Call every parent after each trip to school or home just so they know their child is safe. They too will return the favour whenever they drop your child.
With every step followed through and effective communicative, you are about to have a great a carpool experience.