After a terrible tornado, some Pfizer employees find a more sustainable ride to work with help from GoTriangle

After an EF-3 tornado hit the Pfizer factory in Rocky Mount on July 19, 2023, some of the company’s employees found themselves without transportation to work because the twister had wreaked their cars. But a little more than a month later, these employees had a new way to get to work, through GoTriangle’s partnership with Commute with Enterprise and Pfizer’s desire to help them.

By Aug. 29, the first of three vanpools had begun transporting Pfizer employees from Raleigh, Cary and Rolesville to Rocky Mount and three more vanpools were expected to be on the road by October. It’s a new benefit that Pfizer is providing its employees, and writing on LinkedIn that day, Ali Morrison, a Pfizer vanpooler working at the Rocky Mount Pfizer facility, said she was “super excited” to be rolling out this new program for colleagues.

“Many of our colleagues commute from either the Raleigh or Greenville metro area, so this initiative will support Pfizer’s sustainability initiatives, help ensure colleagues have reliable transportation to and from work, and support wellness and balance by sharing the commute,” she said, adding, “Oh! And they’ll get prime reserved parking spots!” 

As the regional transit authority, GoTriangle contracts for this vanpool service to promote a more sustainable ride for employees who live or work in Wake, Durham and Orange counties. Riding together rather than individually cuts carbon dioxide emissions and reduces traffic congestion while saving employees what they would have spent on fuel, vehicle depreciation and insurance for their private vehicles. GoTriangle subsidizes the cost of vanpooling and some businesses and governmental agencies also further subsidize the cost for employees.

“Any vanpool that begins or ends in those three counties qualifies for the GoTriangle subsidy, says Talitha Malachuk-Walter, a sales executive with Commute with Enterprise. “So if you live in Charlotte, but you work in Durham County, you actually qualify for that subsidy. Or if you live in Durham and work in Charlotte you qualify for that subsidy.”


For GoTriangle, it’s exciting to be able to provide transportation in the Rocky Mount area, which is a place where we haven’t previously served, says Vanessa Battle, GoTriangle’s

Contracted Services Coordinator who manages the service.  “There are a lot of other industries out there that could also use our services.”

GoTriangle’s vanpooling program partnership with Enterprise Rideshare, now called Commute with Enterprise, began in 2018. In fiscal year FY2023, GoTriangle vanpools provided 33,329 trips compared with fiscal year 2022, when they provided 28,669 trips.

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