New Carpool Opportunities – Week Ending 11/2

RIDE Solutions has registered the following new rideshare.  To see if you are a potential match, register online and we will send you a match letter with contact information for all potential carpool partners.  You can also view of map of all current carpool origins in the Carpool section of the RIDE Solutions website.

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Blacksburg Transit’s New Commuter Service — Christiansburg to Blacksburg

Launched on January 3, Blacksburg Transit (BT) now has a commuter service between Christiansburg and Blacksburg. Each morning, Monday through Friday, the bus picks commuters up at several locations in Christiansburg and drops off in Blacksburg. Each evening, the route reverses to get you home. The service times match up to usual office hours.

The service will begin in downtown Christiansburg making pickups in the downtown area between 7 a.m. and 7:15 a.m.  A second set of pickups will take place in the North Franklin/Cambria area between 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.  At 7:45 a.m. drop offs will begin in the Blacksburg area.

Enjoy your commute. Using public transit is an excellent way to save money. Riding the bus gives you a chance to catch up on your reading, play a game on your laptop, or enjoy your iPod instead of dealing with the hassles of your daily commute.

Get peace of mind with the Guaranteed Ride Home program. If you participate in BT’s Commuter Service, signing up for the RIDE Solutions Guaranteed Ride Home benefit is free, and provides you with up to four FREE emergency rides per year if you need to get home before or after the regularly scheduled evening bus! If you are a VT Student, Staff or Faculty member don’t forget to also register for the Bike, Bus and Walk program, where you get 15 daily hang-tags per semester for only $15!

Get green. On the green side, a study by the American Public Transportation Authority suggests that using transit can be one of the most effective ways an commuter can reduce his or her carbon footprint:

“A solo commuter switching his or her commute to existing public transportation a single day can reduce their CO2 emissions by 20 pounds or more than 4,800 pounds in a year, about ten percent of a two-car family household’s carbon footprint of 22 metric tonnes per year.”

Todd Davis & Monica Hale,
Public Transportation’s Contribution to U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Get on board. You do have to register with BT to use the service. To learn more about the commuter service or to become a commuter rider, please call 540.961.1185. You’ll be connected to a BT representative who can tell you more and get you registered.

Virginia Tech and RIDE Solutions Partner on Transportation Benefits for Commuters

(Yes, it’s a press release, but it’s exciting!)

Virginia Tech and RIDE Solutions have entered a partnership to provide expanded transportation benefits to Virginia Tech employees.

RIDE Solutions is underwriting Virginia Tech’s Commuter Assistance Program which encourages faculty, staff, and students to use alternative transportation to commute to and from the Blacksburg campus. Over 20,000 students and 7,052 faculty and staff commute to the Blacksburg campus. All are eligible for the Commuter Assistance Program.

“Our partnership with RIDE Solutions strengthens our existing Commuter Alternatives Program by increasing benefits to commuters, and highlights the fact that the daily commute, which contributes to traffic and parking congestion, increased carbon emissions, not to mention the squeeze on our own pocketbooks, is a regional issue, with some regional solutions,” said Debby Freed, Alternative Transportation Manager at Virginia Tech.

Commuters who participate in the carpool program will now receive an expanded Guaranteed Ride Home benefit through RIDE Solutions. Carpoolers will be able to get a ride home at any time of day in an emergency situation on days they share the ride. They can also opt into RIDE Solutions’ regional carpool matching database to start a new carpool or add to an existing one.

Virginia Tech is the New River Valley’s largest employer and draws employees from West Virginia, the New River Valley, and the Roanoke Valley. Their leadership in promoting the benefits of commute options available in the region contributes to cost-savings for their staff, improved air quality, and reduced energy consumption. The benefit to Virginia Tech is reduced parking demand, expanded employee benefits, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Christy Straight, the RIDE Solutions NRV Coordinator, points out a benefit of this partnership for the entire region: “When Virginia Tech carpoolers opt into the RIDE Solutions regional carpooling database, not only does the university benefit, but so do other employees who are coming to work for employers in the Blacksburg area and looking for more environmentally and economically sustainable ways to commute.”

The Alternative Transportation Program in Virginia Tech’s Office of Transportation and Campus Services promotes and encourages the use of alternative modes of transportation (e.g. bicycling, walking, vanpooling, carpooling, riding transit) to get to, from, and around campus instead of a single occupancy vehicle. More information about the Alternative Transportation Program can be found at http://www.facilities.vt.edu/tcs/alternative/

RIDE Solutions is a carpool matching and alternative transportation service funded in part by local governments and a grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit. It’s a service of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission and the New River Valley Planning District Commission. Find more information at www.ridesolutions.org