UTSA employees can save on gas by vanpooling

By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs

(July 16, 2008)--UTSA employees are organizing two vanpools that will be provided and maintained by the City of San Antonio's VIA Metropolitan Transit system. At least six people share the ride to work, while splitting the cost of van rental and fuel -- and the more who participate, the cheaper it is. The benefits of vanpooling are that it eliminates driving and greatly reduces gasoline and parking costs, traffic hassles and vehicle emissions -- and lets vanpoolers arrive at work or home more rested and relaxed.

VIA will help organize the group and provide the van, and the group will provide the driver and share the cost of gas. Vans are available in 7, 12 and 15 passenger models. One member of the group drives and maintains the van in return for riding free. Participants will pay the scheduled cost each month, whether they ride every day or not.

Additional benefits are that up to $115 per month can be a pre-tax deduction and participants may save on car insurance because of less use of their cars. If an emergency arises and a vanpooler needs to go home early or work late, there is a Guaranteed Ride Home option for an annual fee of $5 per person.

One proposed UTSA vanpool would start in Bandera with stops at Pipe Creek and Boerne (Interstate 10 and Highway 46 at the park-and-ride lot) with the final destination at the UTSA 1604 Campus. The van would stay overnight at the park-and-ride, and several people would have keys and serve as back-up drivers. Participants would meet at the park-and-ride to board the van. For more information on this vanpool, contact Nancy Miller at (210) 458-6773.

A second proposed vanpool would go from Schertz on Interstate 35 to the UTSA 1604 Campus. For more information on this vanpool, contact Brenda Stevens at (210) 458-6200.

Read more about pricing and other details on the VIA Vanpool Service Web site.

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