By Jim Shaheen
Would you like to start your New Year off by saving money, helping the environment, and reducing traffic and parking congestion? You can also decrease your stress levels and make local roads safer to travel.
You can do all of this and more by diving in to the Pool. The Fort Detrick Van Pool Commuter program that is. The Fort Detrick Van Pool program was started just over one year ago and the participation has increased significantly in that time from one van to fifteen vans and five riders to 105 happy riders.
Vanpools now operate Monday thru Friday from the following locations: Waynesboro, Pa., Greencastle, Pa., Chambersburg, Pa., Boonsboro, Md., Emmitsburg, Md., Hagerstown, Md. and Martinsburg, West Va.
Commuters save money because the program is partially funded by a Federal government initiative; they also save on gas and maintenance on their own vehicles. The environment benefits by a reduction of the carbon footprint and emissions with as many as 90 fewer vehicles on the road, this contributes to the Army's Net Zero initiative.
Taking more vehicles off the road reduces traffic, increases available parking, and makes the roads safer. Riders can also reduce their stress levels by sharing the driving responsibilities as opposed to driving on their own every day.
Paul Hance, an employee with the Fort Detrick US Army Garrison Directorate of Logistics rides in a Van Pool from Chambersburg, Pa. and says:
"I think the program is great for people who live farther out of town. It opens up opportunities for employment for everyone." Hance said he estimates his savings to be over $200 a month.
Another Fort Detrick employee stated that the vanpool program is an excellent benefit, they do have to give up some personal commuter freedom to share a ride but they personally save around $230 in gas costs alone per month.
The rider calculated based on commuting distances that they will save the cost of a new car every five to six years. So what is holding you back from this win-win opportunity? Joining the program is easy and fast.
The Van Pool program manager is John Orelski at the USAG Directorate of Logistics, and can be reached at (301) 619-2113, or john.r.orelskius.army.mil.