Drivers save gas, money with WV Rideshare Program - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Drivers save gas, money with WV Rideshare Program

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Participants in the West Virginia Rideshare Program saved 7,818 gallons of gasoline in 2012, according to a March 14 media release from the state Department of Commerce.

It's a 4.4 percent increase from the 5,444 gallons riders saved in 2011. At the current West Virginia average cost of $3.76 per gallon for regular unleaded gas, it represents a savings of $29,395.

A recent survey shows the top three savers were Judy Ashcraft of Mineral Wells, who saved 1,125 gallons of gas for a cost savings of $4,230 at today's gas price; Michael Midkiff of Huntington, who saved 743 gallons; and Veronica Barron of Ripley, who saved 741 gallons.

Drivers can calculate and track their fuel economy and compare it with EPA test ratings at https://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do.

The West Virginia Clean State Program, a program of the W.Va. Division of Energy and the state's Clean Cities coalition, established the Rideshare program for state employees. The online directory makes it easy for people who are interested in starting a carpool to find other state workers who live in their area.

"People can save a significant amount of money by sharing the costs of driving to work with a group, or even with just one other person," said Jeff Herholdt, director of the Division of Energy. "All it takes is a quick search of the database and you may find several people in your area who are making the same drive you are at the same time."

The directory lists more than 30 areas of the state from which commuters travel to work. When registering for the directory, state workers can list their days and hours and smoking preferences.

The directory also features a "cost of commuting" calculator for potential carpoolers to see just how much the Rideshare program could save them. There is also a list of guidelines for carpoolers to make sure it's a smooth ride for everyone.

To register for the program or find a Rideshare partner, go to www.energywv.org/rideshare.