Most of the blogs I have written have been directed to the general population of the West Piedmont Region and have focused on carpooling and transit, though the COVID-19 pandemic has (at least temporarily) shifted focus a bit more toward socially-distant modes of travel such as telecommuting, walking, and bicycling. Downtown apartment and condominium living arrangements represent one segment the RIDE Solutions program has not really focused on to any great extent, and if you are a landlord, property owner, or housing manager in Danville’s River District, this blog is geared toward you and I ask you to please read on.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 – 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), the most recent population estimate of the census tract which comprises Danville’s River District is 1,913, which is an increase from 1,687, based on the 2006 – 2010 ACS. A census tract is a sub-jurisdictional geographic unit that typically comprises between 1,200 and 8,000 individuals, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There are an estimated 1,094 housing units in this census tract, of which 685, or 62.6 percent, comprise housing settings of three units or more; the vast majority of these likely consist of rental (or condominium) housing. The ratio of housing units to population in this census tract yields approximately 1.75 persons per housing unit. With this information, we can assume that approximately 1,200 residents may reside in apartment dwellings.
The 2019 ACS also reveals that, of those renter-occupied housing units, 42.2 percent do not have a vehicle available. This means that an estimate of more than 40 percent of renter-occupied households in Census Tract 5 – comprising Danville’s River District – rely on transit, bicycling, walking, or others for rides. When renter and owner-occupied households are examined together, the share of auto-less households is still relatively high, at about 37 percent.
Many residents of the River District have likely chosen to reside there because of the close proximity to restaurants, downtown shopping, and, in many cases, proximity to workplaces. It is likely, then, that many residents walk, bike, or use transit as means to travel to these destinations; it is also likely that some telework. RIDE Solutions can be a solution for the residents in Danville’s River District by enabling them to earn points toward rewards just for taking the trips they’re taking already. RIDE Solutions provides a variety of transportation-related services to the communities we serve, namely:
- We provide a FREE PC- or mobile-based app that enables carpoolers to automatically match with other carpoolers going in a similar direction for both work or non-work trips.
- We provide information about public transit services in the region.
- For those who wish to bike or walk for work or non-work trips, we will provide information regarding the best route to get from “here to there.”
- We are a great repository for telework (work from home) resources to make workers’ and employers’ experiences more seamless and comfortable.
- BEST OF ALL, whenever a RIDE Solutions member logs an alternative trip (carpool/vanpool, transit, walking, bicycling, or telework) into the RIDE Solutions app, they will earn points toward rewards, and they get 1,000 points just for signing up! Rewards consist of discounts on shopping, food/restaurants, or entertainment; members can also use their points to enter raffle drawings which can net them great prizes such as generous gift cards. To learn about the kinds of rewards offered, please see my recent post on this topic here: https://ridesolutions.org/2021/01/06/ride-solutions-examples-of-great-discounts-for-your-green-commute/.
We encourage you to learn more about us by visiting www.ridesolutions.org. There is absolutely NO COST for anyone to become a RIDE Solutions member, and the only cost would be an informal agreement by which, in the case of a carpool arrangement, a rider agrees to chip in some money for gas.
If you think this program could help the residents you serve, then I would welcome an opportunity to correspond with you via email, phone, or Zoom (or similar platform) to answer any questions you may have and to help you promote the program to your residents, if possible. If you are a resident of the River District, you may sign up to become a RIDE Solutions member for free by visiting www.ridesolutions.org and start logging your trips! I can be reached via email at Jbonanno@wppdc.org or by phone at (276) 638-3987 to answer any questions you may have. Thank you!
West Piedmont Planning District RIDE Solutions Regional Coordinator
West Piedmont Planning District Commission Regional Planner