Using Transportation Alternatives Can Help Cut Commute Costs

With gas prices continuing to rise in the Bay Area, 511 is reminding travelers about the numerous transportation options available to help cut their commute costs.

Recent surveys and news articles are reporting that Californians are paying almost $5 for a gallon of regular gas. To help alleviate the cost of driving alone, 511 encourages Bay Area commuters to consider the following:

• Join a carpool. Carpool with a co-worker or friend, or find a carpool partner using the 511 RideMatch Service and split driving costs among two or more people. This free service has helped thousands of Bay Area residents to find carpool partners.

• Start or join a vanpool. Share the cost of commuting with several others. Vanpools have 7 – 15 passengers and are ideal for those who commute more than 20 miles one way. The vanpool page at 511.org offers a list of vanpools with available seats. The 511 Team can also help you test ride a vanpool for free or start a new vanpool. For details, call 511 and say “rideshare” and request a rideshare operator who can provide more information or visit 511 Vanpool.

• Ride your bike to work. With spring approaching, consider leaving your car at home and riding your bike to work. 511’s Bicycling pages feature maps and information about bicycle parking, taking bikes on transit, finding a Bike Buddy, bicycle safety, and more.

• Ride the bus, ferry or train. You can qualify for pre-tax deductions and other incentives. Plus, the 511 Transit Trip Planner or the new 511 Transit App can help commuters find the fastest route home.

“511 offers many tools and tips to help commuters find the best travel options, including information on benefits and rewards for using alternatives to driving alone,” said Adrienne J. Tissier, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). “Our 511 Rideshare site also features a Carpool Calculator so you can calculate your annual commute costs as a solo driver as well as the potential savings by adding riders.”

In addition to many travel-related tools and features, 511 services include carpool and vanpool formation assistance, employer consultations for the development of worksite transportation programs, and information to help commuters navigate the nine-county Bay Area. Operators are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., for assistance. For more information, call 511 or visit 511.org.

511 Rideshare maintains an expanding database exceeding 45,000 San Francisco Bay Area commuters. The 511 RideMatch Service helps Bay Area residents find carpools and vanpools, and provides online tools for commuters to earn rewards while tracking their travel patterns and reducing their CO2 emissions.

511 Rideshare provides free assistance to Bay Area companies in planning and developing customized commute programs. Its mission is to reduce traffic congestion, clean the air, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

About 511
511 is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, rideshare and bicycling information. It’s free of charge and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org. 511 is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Transportation.

About 511 Rideshare
511 Rideshare is a free web and phone service funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. For more information, visit the Rideshare page at 511.org.

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