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19 February 2018

Roger Simons, Clint Kisters, and Michel Olberts discuss carpooling

"We split the costs of commuting and parking three ways"

Roger Simons, Clint Kisters, and Michel Olberts, employed by the Municipality of Maastricht, share their experiences of car sharing.

Roger and Michel have been car-sharing since 2012 and had this to say, ‘We started working for the Municipality of Maastricht via an external company, which had a subscription for De Griend multistorey car park. When the municipality offered us jobs, we were no longer reimbursed for the parking costs. We were able to take on a colleague’s subscription for a multistorey car park in the city. It was for just one parking space, so we had to start car-sharing. It’s been working out so well that we are still sticking to it. Clint joined us in 2015.’ 

‘Every day there are at least two of us in the car,’ says Roger. ‘Michel and Clint each have a day of parental leave every week, so our schedules don’t always match up. We meet up at the Chinese restaurant in Hulsberg and continue from there in one car. We always make it to Maastricht in half an hour. The trip to work is usually quiet in the morning. On the other hand, there’s usually a lot to talk about at the end of the day. Then we chat about things both work-related and completely unrelated to work. We can really discuss a lot of things in the car, which even prevents some household arguments.’

‘We don’t really have tips for other people,’ notes Clint. ‘It’s really up to you, whether or not you can and even want to car-share. It’s very easy for us, as we already worked on the same team and knew each other before considering. You need to get along if you want to car-share. It also requires a little flexibility when it comes to agreeing on times and taking the other people's needs into account.’ Roger adds, ‘Clint sometimes naps in the car. We keep talking regardless; it's just one of those things. We split the costs three ways, regardless of how often you join. We don’t break down all the costs because it’s unnecessary. We each take a turn driving for a week.’

‘There aren’t really downsides to car-share,’ they agree. ‘Well, except that Roger is always late,’ jokes Michel. ‘But we're talking about a few minutes, so waiting for each other isn’t a hassle. Unfortunately, the area where we park the cars that we don’t drive to work is getting crowded as more people start car-sharing. That won't stop us though; we can just meet at my house instead. We'll stick to carpooling for some time yet!’