Every month, Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) chooses a vanpool giveaway recipient through our Vanpool Connect program. In a drawing, ATP selects a single rider participating in the program to receive a giveaway as a thank you for using sustainable transportation. To make the vanpool commute experience even better, recipients can select either an Amazon Kindle, noise-cancelling headphones or a memory foam back pillow to accompany them on their ride.
Vanpool Connect encourages people to start vanpooling by providing them with a $50/month subsidy for their first six months of pooling. The program also finds ride matches for users who sign up through JoinAVanpool.com, typically finding other riders close to where they live that travel in the same direction as their destination.
Since 2014, ATP has partnered with Enterprise Rideshare on this endeavor and have received positive feedback and gratitude from program participants thus far. For the month of July, we randomly selected Tyler to be the recipient of the vanpool giveaway.
Why Vanpools? Flexibility, of Course
In the beginning, Tyler said he was against the idea of riding in a vanpool since for most of his career he has driven himself to work, assuming it just wasn't for him. However, with the ease of set up and his fellow van riders, he enjoys the flexibility of his vanpool.
Tyler says, “The vanpool experience has been pleasant! I don’t vanpool every day, but it's a positive change for the environment in reducing emissions, it’s economically efficient and provides better synergy in my work place. The positives outweigh the negatives.” Keep reading to learn a bit more about Tyler’s vanpool experience.
Q: How long have you been in the vanpool?
A: A couple of months
Q: How many people are in your vanpool?
A: About four to five people are in the van at a time.
Side note: Vanpools accommodate as few as four and up to 15 passengers. As part of the vanpool program, vans must have a vehicle with at least seven seats and be 50% occupied to qualify for federal transit subsidies. The number of riders in the van fluctuates based on schedules, telework and other factors.
Q: Why did you join a vanpool?
A: I joined because there are not adequate parking conditions at my place of work.
Side note: ATP worked with Tyler’s company to implement a vanpool program to help with the scarcity of parking at their location. The program has created three vanpool routes that accommodate 25 employees in only three parking spots.
Q: How was the process of signing up for your vanpool?
A: Signing up was fairly simple. We owe that to a gentleman who took it upon himself to take the lead in the endeavor. He made it simple for everyone and encouraged us to participate.
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining a vanpool?
A: Just go for it, I believe it brings co-workers closer together.
Side note: For those looking to start vanpooling, please note that ride matches can be made at the company or building level.
Benefits of Vanpooling
Vanpooling holds several benefits for those looking for a shorter commute or looking to save some extra $$$ during their commute.
Based on the average commute of 50 miles round trip per day, driving alone will cost nearly $800 per month and almost $10,000 per year.
Just like Tyler, you can take advantage of Vanpool Connect by vanpooling with your co-workers. One of the great things about vanpool transportation is that you can combine your $50/month subsidy from Vanpool Connect with the $255/month transit benefit from your employer on your commute. In addition, Vanpool Alliance is a regional program in the area that offers vans a $200 subsidy if they agree to provide basic reporting and meet a few requirements.
Interested in learning more? Contact ATP today to learn how vanpooling can improve your commute or sign up directly at JoinAVanpool.com.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners