NEWARK, N.J., Dec. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Enterprise Rideshare, the second largest vanpool operation in the country, is partnering with NJ TRANSIT and launching a statewide vanpooling initiative to bring even more transportation options to commuters.
NJ TRANSIT, the state's public transportation agency, and Enterprise will be offering local vanpools that enable five or more people with similar commuting routes to share a vehicle and save time and money on their daily travel. The vanpools – open to anyone working within the state of New Jersey – feature new models of crossovers, SUVs and minivans, and offer riders the option of adding such premium features as Wi-Fi or satellite radio.
The Enterprise Rideshare program is part of the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car network. Eight Transit Management Associations (TMAs) will collaborate with NJ TRANSIT and Enterprise Rideshare to match interested riders with existing vanpools and assess the need for creating additional ones. Riders are expected to come from New Jersey as well neighboring states and the Washington, D.C. area.
New Jersey, like many states, offers subsidies to promote the use of vanpooling as a long-term and sustainable transportation option. For instance, NJ TRANSIT not only is offering commuters a vanpool subsidy of $175 per month, but vanpools that use the high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane on the New Jersey Turnpike receive an additional $150.
Enterprise estimates that, based on an average commute of 50 miles per day, vanpools can save an individual rider up to $10,000 per year, when considering tolls, gas and vehicle maintenance costs and depreciation.
"Vanpooling is a key part of our total transportation solution," said Ryan Johnson, assistant vice president for Enterprise Rideshare. "It represents one of the most pragmatic and cost-effective transportation alternatives available today. The benefits of vanpooling are immediate and quickly measurable, because the program decreases the number of vehicles on the road, the number of parking spaces needed and the daily cost of commuting, including fuel and tolls."
Enterprise Rideshare operates throughout United States and shares best practices for vanpooling in all 50 states. In California, for example, the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) recently sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission supporting efforts to facilitate peer-to-peer ridesharing operations while also acknowledging the need to make a critical and legal distinction between "peer-to-peer taxi services" and "ridesharing."
Meanwhile, at the recent Shared-Use Mobility Summit, sponsored by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkley, Johnson commented on the growing number of communities and organizations focused on sharing rides and cars – and the importance of encouraging collaboration and innovation "without threatening existing services." Johnson likewise stressed that terms such as "ridesharing" and "car sharing" should be clearly defined so that they are not inadvertently confused by the media, technology experts, consumer advocates or public-policy decision-makers.
To learn more about Enterprise Rideshare, or to sign up for a vanpool, visit www.enterpriserideshare.com.
About Enterprise Rideshare
A service of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Rideshare was founded in 1994 and has become a national leader in providing customized vanpool programs and commuter services for individuals and companies across the country. Enterprise Rideshare manages vanpool programs that address both local and national needs by reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, while providing commuters with a smarter, better way to get to work. Zimride, the largest ride-matching program in the United States, also supports Enterprise Rideshare. For more information about Enterprise Rideshare or to get a vanpool started in your area, visit www.enterpriserideshare.com or call 800 VAN-4-WORK.
SOURCE Enterprise Rideshare