Even oil companies are jumping onto the car pooling bandwagon Photo: Tasman Miller

We’re used to hearing about the need to reduce the number of cars on the world’s roads if we’re serious about reducing carbon emissions. What we don’t expect is for a petrol company to be pushing that line.

But that’s exactly what Portugal’s largest gas and petrol company, Galp Energia, is doing with a new car pooling scheme.

Springwise business ideas newsletter reports that Galp Energia has launched a carpooling platform where commuters create a profile to match up with others using the same travel route.

Called Galpshare, it allows users to list their musical preferences and interests to help them find people they’d enjoy sharing a ride with.

While it might seem counterproductive for a gas company to get cars off the road, most petrochemical behemoths are actively branching out into renewable energy sources and sustainable energy consumption, according to Springwise.

Galpshare’s launch was widely promoted to commuters through an ad campaign, and the service is available throughout Portugal.

Galpshare joins other carpooling companies such as Zipcar and Zimride which aim to help consumers save money and lower their carbon footprint.

Zipcar, which operates in the US and UK, manages a fleet of cars at the disposal of its members any time for as brief as one hour. A reservation for a specific car in a specific location can be made online or by phone.

Zimride has tapped into social networking site Facebook to arrange shared rides, which overcomes the anxiety most people feel when faced with sharing a car with a stranger.

– lblundell@thefifthestate.com.au