After a few years of primarily teleworking, your company may be considering, or has already begun, transitioning employees back into the office. This means a return to your commute and potentially your vanpool. However, the world of commuting is different than it was in late 2019. Here’s some safety measures you can take to keep yourself and your fellow riders healthy in addition to wearing a mask, washing hands, and practicing social distancing outside of the van.
Keep Your Circle Small
Vanpools are a great way to keep your circle of in-person contacts small. Getting to and from work with the same group everyday can reduce your risk of infection by maintaining a consistent pod of fellow commuters. Within this group, maintain daily communication between riders via group messaging or email to easily check on the health and prevention measures everyone is taking to stay safe.
Maintain a Squeaky-Clean Van
When returning to your van, make sure this shared space is as clean as possible. Thankfully, Commute with Enterprise created Complete Clean Starter Kits for their vans returning to service. The kits include disinfectant spray, masks, and gloves for riders to use to keep themselves and others safe. They also recommend forming a cleaning schedule amongst your van in order to share the responsibility of keeping the van sanitized.
Regional Benefits are Resuming
Along with the benefits you receive from your company, many regional benefits are returning to help keep the cost of your vanpool at a minimum. Many times, regional benefits can take away any cost of your monthly commute. Those that have already or plan on coming back soon include the Vanpool Alliance regional benefit and I-66 Outside the Beltway.
If you and your company qualify, Commute66 has launched a new initiative that can offer you $100 per month for switching commute modes – Sustain & Save. Your company only needs to be within a 3-mile radius of the I-66 corridor, and you only need to switch from driving along I-66 inside the beltway and parking at your worksite to a sustainable commute method at least 8 days per month. Find out more details here.
Return With Confidence
Whether you’re returning to your original vanpool or in need of one to fit your schedule, do so by doing all you can to safely go about your workday.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners
Editor's Note: This blog was updated on April 15, 2022 with new information written by Tai Mooney.