December 17th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm by Camille Kirk
The following guest post comes from Leslie Mancebo, the Transportation Demand & Marketing Coordinator at UC Davis Transportation & Parking Services:
In my position here at TAPS, I regularly talk to UC Davis commuters about transitioning to a more sustainable commute. One anecdote that I frequently hear from commuters traveling from outside of Davis is that they are interested in changing their commute, but they live in an area that isn’t well served by public transit. While UC Davis is well served by a number of regional transit agencies, the bus and train simply cannot meet the needs of each individual commuter. A lesser-known alternative, with much more flexibility, is the vanpool. Vanpooling is one of the most cost-effective, flexible and convenient commuting alternatives to driving alone to work. People who vanpool to work enjoy many benefits, including the following:
Saves Money – Vanpooling is much less expensive than driving alone to work each day. A vanpooler saves money on gas, parking, personal vehicle maintenance and many vanpool members are able to lower their insurance rates by reducing their daily commute.
Saves Time – Vanpools can use regional HOV lanes, which can cut commute times dramatically. When you let someone else drive you to and from work, you can use the free time to work, sleep, read, or daydream! Plus, TAPS offers dedicated vanpool parking spaces, so you can save time spent searching for parking and walking long distances to your office.
Reduces Commute Stress – Imagine arriving at work refreshed and ready to begin your day, free from commuting stress! Vanpoolers enjoy a leisurely commute, allowing time to relax between work and home. Traffic isn’t so bad when you can put in your iPod and take a nap.
Saves the Environment – The average UC Davis staff commuter generates over 2 tons of CO2 emissions into the environment each year. Each single occupancy vehicle on the road also contributes to traffic congestion that further decreases the regional air quality.
Flexible and Convenient – Vanpools can operate where and when they are needed, regardless of the availability of transit service. Some vans decrease vehicle size during academic breaks so that vanpool riders aren’t paying extra for empty seats on the van. After-work errands can still be accomplished by meeting your vanpool at a conveniently located Park and Ride lot. Additional benefits provided by TAPS allow vanpoolers to drive to campus and park for free on days that the vanpool is not a convenient option and access to the Emergency Ride Home Program ensures that vanpoolers will not be stranded on campus without a car if there is an emergency at home.
Currently, there are vanpools running to UC Davis from Newcastle, Roseville and El Cerrito. In an effort to make vanpool a viable option for more of you, TAPS will host three information sessions in January focused on commuters from the following areas:
San Francisco Bay Area: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Folsom and El Dorado County: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Elk Grove: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
All information sessions will be held in the Garrison Room on the 2nd floor of the Memorial Union from Noon-1:00pm. Please feel free to bring your lunch. For more information please contact Leslie Mancebo at (530) 752-6453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.