Carpooling, vanpooling bring key benefits to participants, employers and communities
Whether your employees care about air quality or just want to save a few bucks, carpooling and vanpooling are good examples of travel reduction habits that benefit employees, employers and the region.
When fewer cars fill our transportation corridors, employees have an easier, faster and safer commute to work. In the region, congestion is mostly experienced during peak hours – between 7 to 9 a.m. and between 4 to 6 p.m. – on major arterials when most people commute to work and school.
"Ridesharing can have the biggest impact on reducing congestion if you carpool or vanpool during peak hours," said Paul Casertano, transportation planning director for Pima Association of Governments. He noted that according the most recent census data, 10 percent of residents in the Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) reported carpooling to work in 2017. The average commute time was 24.5 minutes, which is about one minute longer than Tucson MSA’s commute time in 2000.
Fewer vehicles on the streets result in reduced vehicle emissions and that, in turn, benefits the region’s air quality. For every 1.14 miles not driven, a pound of pollution is prevented.
Air pollution from vehicular travel is linked to a variety of health concerns including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, allergies and neurological effects. Clean air not only contributes to healthy living, it can have an economic impact as well.
"Maintaining compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ground-level ozone air quality standard through reduced miles driven benefits the region economically by avoiding additional costs and industry restrictions associated with noncompliance," said Dustin Fitzpatrick, air quality planning coordinator for Pima Association of Governments.
Less wear and tear on roads from a reduction in vehicle miles driven also can result in less need for both roadway and vehicle maintenance, benefiting community transportation maintenance budgets and the commuter’s pocketbook.
When employees carpool or vanpool, employers also gain parking spaces and less-stressed workers.
Other benefits that carpoolers and vanpoolers may receive include special front-door parking privileges from employers. Not only do carpoolers and vanpoolers share the costs of driving to and from work, they also can enjoy each other’s company and may establish new friendships with co-workers.
Contact a member of the TRP Team to learn more about federal subsidize for vanpools and how to qualify for sharing the ride and the cost of getting to work.
Learn more at SunRideshare.org