Gas too expensive? Make $500 a month from your commute on the Sea-to-Sky
In this article, we calculate the cost of being a daily commuter on the Sea-to-Sky corridor, and explain how you can use Poparide to make $500 a month on your commute.
You’ve decided to live in Squamish to escape the property bubble and live closer to the mountains, but still work in Vancouver or Whistler. At first, the one-hour commute wasn’t so bad (the view is still pretty great) but increasing gas, rent and property prices are starting to really affect your bottom line.
Turns out there’s an easy way to reduce your costs…
True cost of your commute
Let’s say you commute 4 days a week, or 200 days a year (taking holidays into account). Multiply 200 days with a return trip to Vancouver (130 km), the result is 26,000 km driven per year.
By using the CAA Driving Costs calculator, we can estimate the yearly cost of your commute. Assuming you drive an average car (2014 Mazda 5) and drive a distance of 26,000 km per year, here’s the breakdown:
*Depreciation and financing costs cannot legally be incurred with Poparide.
😱 Your commute is costing you over $12,000 a year 😱
Your seats are worth money
Let’s say you have two empty seats in your car each way, every day. Using Poparide, you can fill those two seats and collect money from your passengers. Here’s some quick math on how much you can make:
The two seats in your car are worth over $500 per month or $6,000 per year.
That’s 5 Epic Season Passes at Whistler!
How it works
It’s really easy, all you have to do is follow these two easy steps (it only takes 5 minutes):
- Post your trips on Poparide (it's free!) - You can schedule your trips by using the “Recurring trip” option. Use the trip description field to indicate where you’d like to pick-up and drop-off passengers (e.g. pick up at Squamish Adventure Centre and drop off at Burrard Skytrain).
- Download our app for iOS or Android to respond quickly to passengers and fill your seats efficiently.
Here are a few other things that you should know about how Poparide works:
- Passengers pay online: when passengers book, they pay online, in advance with their credit card. We keep the money until after the trip is completed, then send it to your bank account or PayPal. More info
- Cancellations: if a passenger cancels on a trip less than 24 hours before departure, you get 50% of the money. If the passenger doesn’t show up, you get 100% of the money. More info
- Instant book vs Request to book: when you post your trip, you’ll be able to specify how you’d like to receive bookings. With Request to book, you need to manually approve each passenger; with Instant book, passengers are automatically approved on your trip as soon as they book. More info
Is it legal?
Yes. Poparide operates under the carpooling section of the BC Passenger Transportation Act, which states that carpooling vehicles are allowed if:
- The driver and passenger have a common origin and destination
- The driver only receives compensation towards the operating costs of the vehicle on that journey
To ensure drivers cannot turn a profit and operate a carpooling service, prices are capped at 12 cents per km on Poparide. More info
And no, Poparide is not like Uber. Uber provides an on-demand, taxi-like service within the city, and they are regulated by taxi laws. Poparide offers a service between cities to help drivers fill their empty seats when they are already driving and complies with existing carpooling laws.
Do I have to pay income tax on my earnings?
No. Money that you collect with carpooling is not considered as income and therefore non-taxable.
However, if you are already claiming driving expenses, you might be double-dipping. We encourage you to consult with your accountant on the tax rules.
Have any questions? Leave us a comment section below or contact us, we’ll get back to you ASAP!