Survey Reveals Virginia Tech and RIDE Solutions Partnership Changes Behavior

A recent survey conducted by the New River Valley Planning District Commission confirms that a partnership between Virginia Tech and RIDE Solutions has had significant success promoting alternative transportation opportunities to its employees throughout the region.

“The recent study shows that Virginia Tech commuters from around the region are embracing and engaging in workplace programs designed to enhance the availability of alternative transportation opportunities,” says to RIDE Solutions NRV Coordinator Christy Straight.

According to the survey results , more than half of Tech’s participating employees had never tried other alternative transportation options before carpooling to campus.  Commuters took advantage of Virginia Tech’s Commuter Alternatives Program (CAP), which offers preferred parking for carpoolers and reduced-price parking passes and is supported by incentives like RIDE Solutions’ Guaranteed Ride Home service and its carpool matching program.  These incentives have successfully persuaded employees from around the region to change the way they get to work.  The study reveals that saving money on the parking permit was their number one reason for carpooling and saving money on gas was number two.

The first step to trying a new commute method can be a high hurdle to overcome.  CAP’s success is attributed to removing these hurdles. Carpooling is an option for many rural commuters, while the Smartway and Blacksburg Transit offer additional options to walking or cycling.  In addition, by partnering with RIDE Solutions to provide commuters carpool matches on a regional bases, Virginia Tech is able to support drivers with destinations in and around Blacksburg and Christiansburg by taking advantage of RIDE Solutions corridor matching capability to form carpools among employees of multiple organizations.

“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 parking congestion, increased carbon emissions, and the squeeze on our wallets, is a regional issue with some regional solutions,” said Debby Freed, Alternative Transportation Manager at Virginia Tech.

The Alternative Transportation Program in Virginia Tech’s 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/