Click on the tabs below for transportation and carpool tips.

Buy

Before purchasing a vehicle, do your homework and be sure to make fuel economy a priority. For the current model year’s Fuel Economy Guide, visit FuelEconomy.gov, or U.S. EPA's Green Vehicle Guide

Considerations when purchasing a car:

  • Decide how you will use the car. A small, highly fuel-efficient model may suit your needs.
  • Shop around, try several models and check the fuel economy label posted on each car’s window.
  • Most major car and truck manufacturers now offer alternative fuel and/or hybrid vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the internal combustion engine of a conventional vehicle with the battery and electric motor of an electric vehicle, resulting in as much as twice the fuel economy of conventional vehicles.

Options to consider:

  • Automatic transmissions generally use more gas, especially on small cars.
  • Top-quality radial tires, particularly steel-belted radials, will usually result in 5 to 20% savings by reducing rolling resistance.
  • A light exterior and interior color and tinted windows will reduce heat build-up.
  • Cruise control will maintain a steady speed and may be a worthwhile investment.

Drive

A careful driver may get 20% more miles per gallon than the average driver and 50% more than a wasteful one.

  • If more than one car is available, use the most energy efficient one as often as possible
  • Drive at a steady pace
  • Plan driving routes to avoid congested areas. Avoid rush hour and peak traffic times when possible
  • Avoid extended warm-ups. Don’t rev up the engine. Instead, accelerate gently and drive slowly for a mile or so
  • Accelerate smoothly and moderately. Achieve the desired speed and then keep steady pressure on the accelerator
  • Do not let the engine idle for more than a minute. It takes less gasoline to restart the car than it does to let it idle
  • Minimize braking. Anticipate speed changes. Let off the accelerator immediately after noticing a red light or slowed traffic ahead. Observe the posted speed limit. On the highway, most automobiles get about 20 percent more miles per gallon at 55 mph than they do at 70 mph.
  • When the air conditioner is on, make sure the air is being recirculated instead of bringing in hot, outside air. If it is cool enough, use flow-through ventilation instead of rolling down the windows

For many Americans, driving is more than a form of transportation – it also is a form of recreation. Family road trips – short and long – are traditions for many. Whether it’s a weekend trip or a long vacation, careful attention to details can substantially cut gasoline use and save money.

  • For a vacation, choose a location where a car isn’t needed to get around once you arrive
  • Discover those treasures at home. Remember Missouri’s 85 state parks and historic sites, as well as its many other tourist destinations
  • Pack carefully. Unnecessary weight in the trunk will cut fuel economy. Baggage on a roof rack creates air resistance and decreases miles-per-gallon
  • Take a train, bus or plane instead of the family car. Let someone else do the driving. Save gasoline and enjoy the ride

Maintain

Regular car maintenance can mean greater fuel economy and dollars saved.

  • Have your car tuned at intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Regular tune-ups extend engine life and improve performance. A poorly tuned car can use as much as 3 to 9% more gasoline than a well-tuned one. The tune-up will pay for itself in gasoline savings and car reliability.
  • Keep the engine air filter clean. Clogged filters waste gasoline.
  • Use the gasoline octane and oil grade recommended for your car. Most cars run fine on regular. Regular grade fuel costs 10% less than premium grade. Look for the best price and limit purchases when prices are high.
  • Check the tire pressure regularly. Under-inflated tires increase gasoline consumption. Every pound of pressure under the recommended pounds per square inch can cause a 2% loss in fuel economy.

Carpool

Carpooling is an effective way to save energy on a large scale. Transportation fuel consumption constitutes a large share of Missouri’s total energy use, with Missourians commuting further on average than most other states. By using mass transit and by safely carpooling with friends, family, or others with whom you have a close relationship, you can help Missouri become more energy independent and save money by doing so.

Tips for establishing and maintaining a successful Carpool

If you are interested in starting a carpool, the following list provides you with several issues to discuss before starting a carpool.

Initial Meeting

Arrange a meeting with the interested commuters in the carpool before you start. You could meet for lunch or get together at a public place for coffee. Meeting before the carpool starts is a great way to discuss the issues listed below:

Number of Commuters in the Carpool

Talk about the number of passengers each driver’s vehicle can comfortably carry. The maximum number of members in your carpool depends on the type of vehicle of the carpool driver.

Plan Your Route

Plan a daily route and an alternate plan in the event of an emergency or weather. Discuss pick-up times and meeting places. Please note that commuter lots or other parking lots are ideal if you are coming from different directions.

Be On Time

Commuters should all agree upon your arrival and departure times. Exchange telephones numbers in the event of an emergency or weather. Please encourage all commuters in the carpool to be on time because nothing discourages a carpool faster than a member being frequently late.

Reimbursement

Commuters should discuss arrangements for reimbursement of gas and parking expenses by all participants in the carpool. Discuss all these issues before you start your carpool to avoid any misunderstanding by the participants.

Smoking or Non-Smoking

Decide right away whether your carpool will be a smoking or non-smoking vehicle.

Transit