From traffic complaints to an increase in environmental awareness, transportation in Malta has always been a hot topic, a topic that has been analysed, criticised and roasted from various angles. But how can each and every one of us make transportation more sustainable?
Whilst we all might wake up in an anti-social manner (until we’ve had our first coffee that is :P), carpooling is one of the most convenient ways to reduce traffic, especially if people you know are all going in the same direction. Carpooling may take many shapes and forms, including:
The School Commute
Not everyone is keen on having their children wait for transport at 6 am in the morning or having them arrive at around 5 pm on a daily basis, therefore many parents take their children to school themselves. It would be a great initiative for parents from the same school to join forces and plan to take a handful of children to school themselves.
The Work Commute
Sharing fuel costs, solving parking problems, “team-building” and breaking down the monotony of your daily commute are some of the reasons why you should try carpooling with your fellow colleagues. You might not work on the same team, but with carpooling, you’ll be definitely working as a team to not only be part of the traffic-reducing solution but also helping the environment too.
The Socializing Commute
Double the reason to carpool with your friends? A designated driver should there be anyone who will be drinking and the perfect solution to the parking problem.
Clare Agius sure found people who made carpooling look super easy!
Keeping vehicles maintained on a regular basis is not only beneficial for the longevity of your vehicle, but also helps reduce fuel consumption. Here’s how:
Check tyre pressure as often as possible and keep them well inflated – under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by 3%.
Tighten the Fuel Cap
After fuelling, tighten the fuel cap as much as possible to reduce evaporation of fuel.
Along with keeping all vehicle fluids regularly topped up, a yearly service to check filters, engines, brakes, and additional bits and bobs can help use 15% less fuel.
Watch How YOU Drive
How we drive is another factor that influences fuel consumption… apart from it being a safety measure whilst driving.
We’re not talking about slowing down to Sunday drive speeds, we’re talking about not thinking that the road is a racetrack. Apart from being illegal to speed up over the speeding limit and dangerous for other drivers or pedestrians, unnecessary speeding on the road uses up a lot of fuel. Pair it with sudden braking, and you’ll be rushing to fuel your tank in the nearest service station.
Avoid Heavy Baggage
Whilst this might sound like an emotional intervention, it’s actually a literal tip to avoid packing your vehicle with heavyweight for a long period of time. From your monthly laundry detergent shopping to a camping getaway, it’s easy to underestimate how much fuel a vehicle uses up when it’s packed with additional weight.
A Hand Brake Love Affair
In chock-a-block traffic, the vehicle’s hand brake is your friend. Apart from easing your foot from muscle strain, keeping your car “raised” on a first gear and gas pedal balance unnecessarily consumes a lot of fuel. Additionally, if you’re noticing that traffic is not moving at a constant pace, switch off your vehicle, and plan your route better to avoid traffic prone areas.