What options do Southeast Michigan motorists have to combat rising gas costs? SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, suggests sharing a ride to work to keep commuting costs low.

MiRideshare, SEMCOG’s free carpooling program has been saving commuters money since 1980. According to the AAA, a commuter who drives alone 25 miles one-way to work spends about $5,800 per year. This amount includes gas, maintenance, taxes, depreciation, and finance costs. That same commuter can save as much as 50 percent of these costs by carpooling with just one other person. Commuters can calculate their own commute costs online at

Commuters can save additionally once out of the ride-alone commute by letting their auto insurance know about their new commute status. Many offer discounts for lower mileage usage on vehicles.

MiRideshare’s matching software gives commuters a quick, easy, and no-cost way to find carpool partners by matching them with other users based on shared commuting routes, schedules, and preferences. Features include a commute calendar and automatic e-mail alerts along with carpool and bike matching.

More information on transportation options is available at SEMCOG’s Web site, Click on MiRideshare under Hot Topics on the home page.

“Southeast Michigan commuters love their drive-alone commute. In these times, these habits may need to change,” said SEMCOG executive director Paul Tait. “If you’d like to save half of your commuting costs, carpooling options through MiRideshare should be seriously considered.”

SEMCOG is a regional planning partnership of local governmental units serving 4.7 million people in the seven-county region of Southeast Michigan striving to enhance the region’s quality of life.

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