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Carpooling impractical to go long distances

Updated: 2013-02-15 13:59
By Cao Yin ( China Daily)

Editor's note: Zhou Pengzhen, 26, who works at an IT company in Beijing and grew up in Southwest China's Yunnan province, tells China Daily reporter Cao Yin why he did not choose to carpool to travel home for Spring Festival.

I had intended to go back home by car sharing, but eventually I gave up.

I do not think carpooling is suitable for a long distance, such as traveling to my hometown, which is more than 3,100 kilometers from the capital and takes about four hours by air.

Carpooling impractical to go long distances

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Related: I thought car sharing is good way to get home

Last year, I wanted to carpool on a trip of less than 1,000 kilometers, from Beijing to Qingdao, Shandong province, but compared with the ticket price of trains and planes, I found it would have cost me more to travel by car.

The short distance was not worth sharing a car.

I decided to book a round-trip plane ticket a month before Spring Festival, which was cheaper.

In my view, carpooling is more practical in a city, because it can help people who live in urban-rural areas get to their jobs downtown on time and save money. It also turns out to be a good way to make friends.

I work in Wangjing, north of the capital's Chaoyang district, but I live in the east of the city, in Tongzhou district, which is not too convenient to reach by subway and bus.

So I've been for car sharing since September 2011. Previously, I had to get up more than two hours before I started work if I took a bus. That's been shortened to one hour since I have been sharing a car with others.

I pay less than 20 yuan for a private car driver, much cheaper than a taxi.

But carpool drivers won't pick up pregnant women, children and old people for fear of possible difficulties, which is also my concern.

Meanwhile, people who want to carpool seldom sign safety contracts with drivers, which I think should be improved and regulated in the future.

In addition, some drivers were irresponsible. I was late for work once when a driver didn't let me know he had changed the pickup time. It was so embarrassed, it made me angry that morning.

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