France offers €100 bonus to boost daily carpooling

The French government has announced a 100-euros boost for motorists who join carpooling in 2023 for short and long journeys. After a first plan initiated in 2019 and the difficult corona years for carpooling, the government thus wants to boost this practice, which limits traffic jams and pollution.

The 50 million euros dedicated to these bonuses will be funded by the energy-saving certificates of energy suppliers. The aim is to increase the number of daily journeys from the current 900 00 to 3 million as quickly as possible.

€200 in cumulative bonuses

The bonus will be paid only to new registrants on daily carpooling platforms (i.e., journeys of less than 80 km) from 1 January 2023, with 25 euros paid from the first journey and an additional 75 euros if nine trips are made in the following three months.

A bonus of 100 euros, which can be accumulated, will be paid to new registrants who make three long-distance journeys. These sums will be paid directly by the car-sharing platforms, which will determine the details. The knobs may also be paid in the form of vouchers.

According to the different carpooling platforms, there is a real financial and important ecological aspect to carpooling and a social gain because you meet people, friends, and colleagues.

900 000 carpool journeys/month

In France, about 900 000 journeys per month are done with an app or informally in the context of carpooling. The practice recently has taken off due to strikes and high gasoline prices, but a real “culture shock” seems not on the way.

Nicolas Brusson, the co-founder of BlaBlaCar, says that a driver who chooses to carpool regularly on their daily journeys can save more than 1 000 euros per year.

Other incentives on the government table

Apart from that plan to encourage carpooling with an envelope of 50 million euros, France’s Ministers for Ecological Transition and Transport, Christophe Béchu and Clément Beaune, have other incentives ready for a total budget of 150 million euros for carpooling.

The government, for example, has also plans to support local authorities that offer financial incentives for carpooling by 50 million euros. The same amount will be devoted to co-financing carpooling areas or dedicated lanes at a rate of one euro paid for every euro invested by the authorities.

The recent carpooling line, a model halfway between a bus line and hitchhiking, proves that it works, with stops and terminals indicating to cars that a passenger is waiting between Bourgoin-Jallieu (Isère) and Lyon. There are 2 500 journeys per month and 200 drivers. The average waiting time at stops is four minutes, better than a bus.

50 million empty seats daily

The aim is to increase the number of monthly trips from the current 900 000 to three million in a few years. With 50 million empty seats in circulation in France every day, with 107 million daily car journeys, tripling the number of carpoolers would avoid 4,5 million tons of CO2 per year, according to the Ministry of Transport. Transport in France accounts for almost a third of greenhouse gas emissions.

But then local authorities must wake up. According to Le Monde, only 50 of the more than 750 local authorities to which the law of 2019 on the orientation of mobility opens this competence are using it.

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