Research Triangle Park, NC (Oct. 10, 2018) – To help improve and potentially expand the vanpool program it provides, GoTriangle has signed a three-year contract to have Enterprise Rideshare operate the service.
“Enterprise’s expertise in fleet management, award-winning customer service and existing relationships with employers throughout the region are the perfect combination needed to grow GoTriangle’s vanpooling program,” says John Tallmadge, who helped oversee the move as GoTriangle’s Regional Services director. “We’re taking a great program and making it even better.”
For vanpoolers, the new program will offer a slew of advantages, including discounts on Enterprise car rentals and the ability to pay and report ridership online. Vanpool drivers will receive 200 monthly personal miles, an increase of 100 personal miles over the old program. As part of the transition, vanpools will get new or low-mileage vehicles, and vehicles will be replaced more frequently.
GoTriangle is offering each vanpool a monthly subsidy, so vanpool costs will still be about 75 percent less than driving alone. GoTriangle vanpool manager Vanessa Battle will continue to coordinate the program and oversee daily operations with Enterprise.
To expand the reach of its transit system, GoTriangle has operated a vanpool program for 25 years. Currently, nearly 50 vanpools are running. In addition to saving commuters money, the program reduces parking congestion, traffic congestion and emissions.
One vanpool between Bahama and Research Triangle Park has been making the 54-mile roundtrip commute five days a week since before 2002. Over 16 years, the vanpool has traveled almost 194,000 miles, carrying on average about five people a day. They have removed about 780,000 miles of commuter trips from Triangle roads.
Beyond financial benefits, the vanpool has fostered camaraderie and friendships among passengers, and if the weather is bad, it feels safer to have others with you during the commute, says Deborah Luecken, one of the vanpool’s backup drivers.
“It has made it more fun!” she says. “It brings you into a group of friends that you normally wouldn't have met. Mornings and afternoons are fun, and it also helps everyone leave work on time.”
Pricing for vanpools, which are provided on a month-to-month basis, varies depending on the type of vehicle, the monthly commute miles and the number of people in a vanpool. The more riders, the lower the cost per person. If a vanpool’s daily commute begins or ends in Durham, Orange or Wake counties, GoTriangle provides a monthly subsidy to reduce the cost.
Each vanpool group sets its own route and times. Most vanpool users meet at a central location in the morning and ride together to work. For more information on starting or joining a vanpool, please see strnc.org or contact Enterprise Rideshare at 1-800-VAN-4-WORK.
Enterprise Rideshare – one of the largest vanpool operations in the nation – manages programs that address both local and national needs by reducing traffic congestion, parking real estate and carbon emissions while providing commuters with a smarter, better way to get to work. These local programs are supported by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car network of neighborhood locations, as well as Enterprise’s expertise in managing vehicle fleets and award-winning customer service.
Businesses that offer vanpool programs as an added benefit for employees gain a competitive edge for recruiting while also attaining another way to improve their corporate sustainability profile. In addition, vanpooling reduces annual transportation expenses by using volunteer drivers – which is much more cost-efficient than hiring paid drivers. For more details, see the Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal article: "The Value of Vanpooling as a Strategic, Cost-effective, and Sustainable Transportation Option."