Commuter Connect logoBloomington-to-Indy commuters are potentially saving over $1,000 a month by vanpooling with vehicles provided by Commuter Connect. While gas, maintenance, and insurance for individual vehicles may exceed a monthly $1,300, vanpoolers are spending only $110 per month to ride with fellow commuters.

The Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA) provides this service to match commuters according to their schedules. Currently, over 33 commuters are taking advantage of the Commuter Connect vans, in addition to many more people using the service to find similar commuters for carpooling. Three vans with the Commuter Connect logo travel between Bloomington and Indianapolis every day, reducing air pollution and traffic congestion.

“While all three Bloomington vanpools are full, we are collecting the names of interested commuters immediately for waiting lists for each van and to begin organizing the fourth vanpool from Bloomington to Indianapolis. Anyone interested in getting into a vanpool should contact Commuter Connect at cs@cirta.us. We can also help folks find carpool matches if their schedules, home locations and/or work locations aren’t compatible with the folks in a vanpool,” said said Lori Kaplan, business development and vanpool manager for Commuter Connect.

A snapshot of one Commuter Connect-provided van includes David Hughes, an employee of Eli Lilly and Company. Hughes brings his experience in California vanpool commuting to volunteer as the driver of this third vanpool. Eli Lilly and Company has even offered preferential parking for the commuter van. Nine commuters will meet in Indianapolis, with the rest joining the van in Martinsville.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, approximately 3,300 Bloomington residents work in Marion County. As more commuters meet to form their own carpools or use Commuter Connect vans for larger groups, this service’s impact will grow substantially.

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