VTrans to Improve Transportation Options through New “Go Vermont” Program

In January, Governor Douglas proposed a new program entitled “Go Vermont” for communicating all transportation options in VT. This new program expands upon and replaces the current “Vermont RideShare” program that has traditionally focused only on carpool and vanpool services. Public transit routes, rail, carpool and vanpool services, bike/ped and park and ride information will all be linked through this program. The website and promotional materials will act as a “one-stop shop” for those looking at reducing their energy costs and footprint. Go to http://www.connectingcommuters.org/ for more information.
In addition to the expanded scope of the Go Vermont program, there will be major improvements to the carpool and vanpool services. The Carpool “matching” process will improve dramatically this Fall as VTrans launches automated carpool matching software that will provide an immediate e-mail response to online registrations and will accommodate those who are looking to find a match for their daily commutes or for a single trip only. Registrants will also receive an Emergency Ride Home Benefit that pays up to $70 for travel expenses in the event of an unforeseeable circumstance, and takes the worry out of ridesharing. This benefit can be used twice per month and up to 6 times per year.
VTrans has named VPSI, Inc. as the third-party vanpool provider that will coordinate these services. This approach will allow VTrans to promote a professional vanpool service and off-set the per-seat costs by way of a monthly subsidy payment. The requirements will be for a group of people to get together (minimum of 8) and devise a commuter trip that works for everyone. The group will have to choose who is going to be the primary driver, back-up driver and the overall vanpool coordinator. A 30-day contract will be offered to the drivers and coordinator and the group would then receive a new van within 30-60 days. Maintenance, insurance, and fare collection will all be managed by VPSI. The Emergency Ride Home Benefit extends to vanpool participants, too.
For more information, please contact the Go Vermont program coordinator at 1- 800-685-RIDE or ross.macdonald@state.vt.us.