Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Should I Care?

Smart Trips promotes alternatives to driving alone. More than 90% of our region’s residents drive alone. Here are three reasons why you should care:

Cost Savings

What does it really cost to operate a car? The answer: between $7,500 and $9,500 annually for gas, repairs, insurance, depreciation. Most of us work one day a week to pay for our cars. If you drive just 12 miles one way to work each day, you are probably spending more than $4,000 a year in commuting expenses. Think how much you could save by finding an option to driving alone every day. And, there are potential tax benefits for employers and employees.

The Environment

You may be surprised by the extent of our region’s air pollution problems. The U.S. government ranks us seventh worst in the country! Roughly half of the problem comes from vehicles. Anything we can do to reduce the number of vehicles on the road can help. Bad air also means more health problems.

Our Economic Future

Because of our air pollution problems, we now face federal restrictions that can have a negative impact on our region’s economic future. These restrictions can affect decisions by businesses considering moving here and those already here who might want to expand.

2. How do I find a carpool?

Smart Trips can help you find carpool partners for daily work trips or one-time events with our online carpool matching database. All you have to do is sign up to be a part of the Smart Trips program. It only takes a minute to register.

Simply click on the company you work for, or “Other Company” if your employer isn’t listed. This link will take you to the Commuter Programs page, and all you have to do is click on “Join Now!” to enroll.

Once you’re officially a Smart Trips member, log in and click on “Find a Carpool” to search for carpool options in your area.

3. I’ve heard there’s an IRS tax incentive program for certain types of commuting. Where do I find out about this?

IRS Commuter

4. How many people drive alonein America

About 66% of all Americans commuters drive alone daily.

5. It seems like we’re paving everything in sight.

The amount of paved land surface in the U.S. is now roughly equivalent to an area the size of the state of Georgia.

6. Is driving safe?

There are more drivers, and more serious wrecks. Driving a car has become the most dangerous thing most of us do. It accounts for 40,000 deaths a year in the U.S. and is the leading cause of death for Americans ages two through 24. (source: National Safety Council)

7. How much does Smart Trips cost?

Smart Trips services are free for all employers and commuters who live and/or work in the following counties: Knox, Blount, Sevier, Jefferson, Anderson, Loudon and a portion of Roane and Cocke counties. Smart Trips is funded by the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Knox County.