CarPool Karaoke


 Carpool Karaoke, OLLI-Style? By Mariann Klinger

While carpooling may well be the subject of a book, a commercial, a game and karaoke, more importantly, it can be an entertaining way to get to an OLLI class, with lots of advantages.

So says Judy Mathias, who rounds up a crew of eight when she heads for class on campus. With that many OLLI students on board, the group often needs two cars. This is the third semester that Judy and her friends have carpooled to class. They attest to the fact that it’s becoming a habit with them. “We’re taking two classes this semester and attended class last semester and the semester before that,” she said. The group, she added, carpools all the time.

Going together cuts down on the difficulty of finding parking, paying an “outrageous” fee for parking, walking a long distance and saving gas costs, according to Judy.

While not everyone can round up friends and neighbors to join a carpool to OLLI, Judy praises the idea of carpooling. The office should post availability for interested parties on a central bulletin board, she said. Currently there is no such transportation aid for OLLI students, said Office Administrator Becky Low, who agreed that it might be a good idea.

The CSULB website cites carpooling as the second most popular form of travel, and statistics indicate it accounts for 43.5 percent of all trips in the United States. The campus website identifies a number of drop-off and pick-up locations for ride sharing, and more than a dozen apps offering ride sharing can be accessed on phones.

America’s carpool culture began in the 1940’s, when World War II created a shortage of oil and rubber that limited the use of individual vehicles. At that time, many companies provided collective carpool services for employees.

A recent survey of America’s university students by Liftango found that about 85 percent of respondents would be willing to participate in a carpooling program. The University of Iowa claims to operate the oldest vehicle-pool service in the country, and YouTube boasts a carpool karaoke playlist for those who want to sing along, as well as ride along, James Corden-style.

Judy’s OLLI carpoolers haven’t taken advantage of the playlist nor indulged themselves in a karaoke session while riding, but Judy said it may be something to think about for the future – Carpool Karaoke, OLLI-Style!

Photos by Catherine Paez