HOUSTON, TX – With 80 percent of Houston-Galveston area commuters driving alone, the region ranks as one of the worst in the nation for congested roadways, according to Census and INRIX reports. To combat the region’s increasing volume of single occupancy vehicles, the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) is celebrating Commute Solutions Month in August by challenging commuters to consider an alternative way to commute to work.
“The Houston-Galveston region is experiencing tremendous growth, and with that growth comes more cars, more traffic, and more pollution if we don’t spread the demand for mobility across the entire transportation system,” Commute Solutions representative Isaac Perez said. “While we are proud of our growth, we also need to be mindful that adding people means adding traffic to already-congested roadways if they’re choosing to drive alone for their commute. That’s why we are encouraging commuters to try alternatives, such as vanpooling, to get to work.”
As part of the month’s festivities, one of H-GAC’s transit partners, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO), is inviting people to participate in its #racetoride challenge, encouraging use of its STAR Vanpool program. Commuters can win prizes like Kindles, GoPros, Fitbits, and movie tickets.
METRO will have monthly prize drawings for riders through December and a gift for all first-time riders, so there’s never been a better time for neighbors and co-workers to commute together. The company that grows vanpool ridership the most also wins a grand prize.
“By joining a vanpool, commuters can save money on costly car maintenance expenses and, instead of spending time behind the wheel, passengers can prepare for the work day or relax,” METRO STAR Commuter Services Manager Dezra Nauls said. “It’s easy for professionals to enroll, and in many cases, employers receive a tax benefit by covering a portion of the cost.”
To join a Vanpool, visit starvanpool.com and follow #racetoride @mymetrostar.
For more ways to take part in Commute Solutions Month, visit findasmarterwaytowork.org and follow #SmarterCommute @HGACmpo.