December 19, 2016              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Audrey DeBarros, Commuting Solutions Executive Director
Cell: 303-330-4939
audrey@commutingsolutions.org

Commuting Solutions Appoints Board of Directors and Board Officers

LOUISVILLE, Colo— On December 13, at the Commuting Solutions annual meeting, members of Commuting Solutions approved the recommended board members for 2017-2018 service term.

Joining the Board of Directors are Gina McAfee of HDR Engineering; Rob Zuccaro of City of Louisville; Shawn Lewis of City of Longmont; Heather Cracraft of the Superior Chamber of Commerce; and Tushar Udeshi of Google. The new board members’ terms will begin January 1, 2017 and end December 31, 2018.

During 2017, the Board of Directors will be led by the following Board Officers: Chairperson David Driscoll of Driscoll Rose LLC; Vice Chairperson Kathleen Bracke of City of Boulder; Past Chairperson Debra Baskett of City of Westminster; Treasurer Ken Hotard of Boulder Area Realtor Association; and Secretary Chris McShane of Colorado Business Bank.

“We are fortunate to have such a diverse and knowledgeable Board of Directors guide our organization as we continue to address regional transportation issues,” says Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros.

The full list of board members and officers is available at commutingsolutions.org/about-us/board-staff/.

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About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit commutingsolutions.org.

8th Legislative Breakfast Defines Transportation Priorities for the 2017 Session

December 16, 2016              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Audrey DeBarros, Executive Director Commuting Solutions
Cell: 303-330-4939
audrey@commutingsolutions.org

8th Legislative Breakfast Defines Transportation Priorities for the 2017 Session
Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Chamber Alliance to host 8th Legislative Breakfast on January 5

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Chamber Alliance (a coalition of the Broomfield, Boulder and Longmont Chambers) will host the 8th Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, January 5 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Omni Interlocken Hotel. The purpose of this year’s event is to convene public and private stakeholders around the Northwest region’s transportation priorities during the 2017 legislative session.

The 8th Legislative Breakfast will provide a collaborative environment for businesses, governments and transportation agencies to discuss the future of the Northwest region, especially as it relates to potential state legislation to prioritize transportation. Businesses have a growing voice in transportation planning, as effective transportation leads to increased economic growth. John Tayer, President and CEO of the Boulder Chamber, explains, “Transportation is becoming a paramount issue for businesses, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. Businesses that are highly accessible become desirable employment hubs and ultimately increase a region’s population, economy and quality of life.”

Economic development is a focal point of this year’s breakfast, but the breakfast also provides a platform for the public and private sectors to convene on the region’s transportation priorities and focus on moving forward. Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros says, “Over 16% of the Denver metro region’s population and employment is concentrated in Boulder County, Broomfield County and City of Westminster, which means the outcomes of transportation over the coming years will determine how our region’s economy, public health and population progress over the coming decades.”

Legislators such as House Majority Leader, KC Becker, Senator John Cooke (Senate Transportation Committee Vice Chair) and Representative Diane Mitsch-Bush (House Transportation & Energy Committee Chair) will discuss the priorities most important to their parties and regions, and the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition and Commuting Solutions will present their 2017 Legislative Policy Agenda. The breakfast will also feature a keynote address from Governor Hickenlooper and presentations by regional businesses leaders and elected officials.

The cost to attend is $75 for members of Commuting Solutions, the Broomfield Chamber, the Boulder Chamber and the Longmont Chamber and $90 for non-members. Registration can be completed through January 4 by visiting http://bit.ly/2eTlEBp.

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About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit commutingsolutions.org.

About the Northwest Chamber Alliance:
The Northwest Chamber Alliance was formed in 2016 as a coalition focused on regional issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life. It is currently comprised of the Boulder, Broomfield and Longmont Chambers, representing approximately 2,400 businesses made up of 100,000 employees. These businesses range from large international corporations to small businesses, startups, nonprofits and public institutions.

 

Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Chamber Alliance to Host 8th Legislative Breakfast

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2016

Contact: Audrey DeBarros, Executive Director Commuting Solutions
Tel: 303-330-4939
audrey@commutingsolutions.org

Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Chamber
Alliance to Host 8th Legislative Breakfast

LOUISVILLE, Colo— Business leaders and elected officials from the Northwest region will gather on Thursday, January 5 for the 8th Legislative Breakfast. The breakfast will be hosted by Commuting Solutions, in partnership with the Northwest Chamber Alliance, and will feature a keynote address from Governor Hickenlooper.

This year’s breakfast will focus on the future of transportation in the Northwest region and the transportation priorities for the 2017 legislative session, as will impacts of effective transportation on the region’s economic growth. Louisville Mayor Bob Muckle and Lori Frasier, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Performance Management at Key Equipment Finance, will join the breakfast as guest speakers, and Amelia Earhart of 9NEWS will be this year’s guest emcee.

The breakfast will be held at the Omni Interlocken Hotel on Thursday, January 5 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $75 for members of Commuting Solutions, the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce and the Longmont Chamber of Commerce and $90 for non-members. Registration can be completed through January 4 by visiting http://bit.ly/2eTlEBp.

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About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit commutingsolutions.org.

About the Northwest Chamber Alliance:
The Northwest Chamber Alliance was formed in 2016 as a coalition focused on regional issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life. It is currently comprised of the Boulder, Broomfield and Longmont Chambers, representing approximately 2,400 businesses made up of 100,000 employees. These businesses range from large international corporations to small businesses, startups, nonprofits and public institutions.

Federal Railroad Administration grants RTD and DTP extension of waiver, allowing continued operation of University of Colorado A Line and B Line

90 day waiver extension follows FRA, RTD, DTP meeting to review plans

DENVER (Nov. 2, 2016) – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has granted the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and its contract builder and operator Denver Transit Partners (DTP) an extension of their waiver, allowing for continued operation of University of Colorado A Line and B Line.

Under the waiver extension, FRA noted that DTP must implement the items contained in the plan that was presented to FRA staff last Friday, Oct. 28 in Washington, DC. In addition, RTD and DTP will hold twice weekly progress meetings with the FRA Region 6 staff and will schedule monthly face-to-face progress meetings with the FRA in Washington, DC.

“We greatly appreciate the FRA granting the waiver extension, which is the direct result of the excellent working relationship between FRA, RTD and DTP,” said RTD General Manager and CEO Dave Genova. “The University of Colorado A Line and the B Line trains have and will continue to operate safely while the remaining crossing issues are being addressed. We also appreciate that our passengers have continued to embrace our commuter rail service, as we are already exceeding our ridership projections for the end of the first year of operation for both lines.”

The University of Colorado A Line has average weekday ridership of 18,800 passengers, exceeding first-year-end projections of 18,600 passengers; the B Line has 1,480 daily passengers, well ahead of the first-year-end projection of 800 passengers.

Since opening in April, the University of Colorado A Line has operated with flaggers at each of the crossings to monitor and control traffic in case the gates stay down too long. The B Line, which opened in July, had a flagger in place at the one crossing on that line. The flaggers will remain in place until all actions are completed to correct crossing gate down time and other issues.

About RTD
RTD’s mission is to provide safe, clean, reliable, courteous, accessible and cost-effective bus and rail services in the eight-county district, and fulfills 100 million passenger trips annually. The public transit agency is creating a larger, better and more accessible system through innovation, public-private partnerships and transit-oriented communities. For more information visit, rtd-denver.com.

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Preserving the US 36 Bikeway for Today and the Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2016

Contact: Audrey DeBarros, Executive Director Commuting Solutions
Cell: 303-330-4939
audrey@commutingsolutions.org
commutingsolutions.org   

Preserving the US 36 Bikeway for Today and the Future
Two new projects maintain and improve the US 36 Bikeway

LOUISVILLE, Colo.— As part of an ongoing effort to improve and maintain the newly opened US 36 Bikeway, Commuting Solutions and US 36 local governments have teamed up to launch two programs focused on enhancing the US 36 Bikeway experience. The Unified Maintenance Agreement and the Northwest Corridor Wayfinding Design and Implementation Plan both take effect this month and are significant milestones for the US 36 Bikeway and the corridor’s ongoing efforts to support cycling as a viable travel option.

The six communities where the US 36 Bikeway connects (Boulder, Boulder County, Louisville, Superior, Broomfield and Westminster) and Commuting Solutions have a Unified Maintenance Agreement, a contract stating that the US 36 Bikeway will receive ongoing maintenance year-round. The agreement includes clearing debris, concrete repairs and snow removal, the latter being a key issue for those cycling along the bikeway during the winter months. Louisville Mayor Bob Muckle explains, “Ensuring cyclists are able to commute by bike between communities is a high priority for us. We are committed to providing a consistent level of service for cyclists, just as the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) maintains roads for vehicles.”

The second project beginning this month is the Northwest Corridor Wayfinding Design and Implementation Plan. The project is the first step in planning and designing wayfinding signs for the US 36 Bikeway and US 36 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations. Once complete, mile markers will be placed along the US 36 Bikeway and wayfinding signs will be installed within communities to direct commuters to the US 36 BRT stations. Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros says, “Small improvements such as the addition of wayfinding signs create transportation options that are easy to access and are a key component in making cycling and transit feel safe for all travelers.”

The 18-mile US 36 Bikeway stretches from Westminster to Boulder and was a fundamental piece of the multi-modal US 36 Express Lanes Project. Current daily ridership along the US 36 Bikeway is 267 in Boulder, 344 in Broomfield and 132 in Westminster. Projects that maintain and improve the US 36 Bikeway will be an integral component of growing ridership in the corridor over the coming years and decades.

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About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit commutingsolutions.org.

CDOT’S Express Lanes That Offer HOV Will Soon Allow Motorcycles to Travel Without a Pass

Motorcyclists No Longer Need a Pass for Free Travel on I-25 and US 36 Express Lanes

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) announced that starting Saturday, Oct. 15, motorcyclists will no longer need an ExpressToll account and pass to use CDOT’s HOV Express Lanes for free. Motorcyclists will still need to have an ExpressToll account and pass to avoid higher license plate toll charges when using the Express Lanes where HOV is not currently offered, such as the I-70 Mountain Express Lane, or on the Northwest Parkway and E-470.

“Motorcyclists have been tireless advocates for this change, and I’m pleased that we were able to work together with CDOT and HPTE to make it easier for them to ride for free in the CDOT HOV Express Lanes,” Sen. Nancy Todd said.

Until these changes are in effect on Oct. 15, motorcyclists will still need an ExpressToll account and pass to use the I-25 and US 36 Express Lanes free of charge.

“Motorcyclists will be able to ride for free on CDOT’s HOV Express Lanes,” said HPTE Director David Spector. “CDOT and HPTE responded to feedback from the motorcycle community and eliminated the sticker passes for motorcyclists, which makes their use of the lanes easier,” said HPTE Director David Spector.

This new way to ride for motorcycles, in addition to upcoming changes that will make the Switchable HOV Transponder free for those who only use the lanes for carpooling, can help ease the transition from HOV 2 to 3, which begins Jan. 1, 2017.  HOV 3+ means that a driver would need at least two passengers, along with a Switchable HOV transponder to use the Express Lanes on I-25 and US 36 free of charge.

Express Lanes, which are being built throughout the state, help relieve congestion without the need for a lot of infrastructure (new or widened highways) and provide funding to offset transportation costs. HOV 3 ensures that Express Lanes remain free-flowing now and into the future, so that those who choose to ride the bus, pay a toll or carpool always have a reliable and faster trip. In addition, getting more people into carpools with HOV 3 reduces overall congestion and vehicle emissions – a good thing for a state with a growing population.

About Express Lanes: Express Lanes increase roadway capacity and help to manage congestion on the highways. The use of toll pricing during peak travel times reduces delays, manages congestion and maintains reliable travel times. Express Lanes are currently open on I-25 between downtown Denver and 120th Avenue, US 36 between Denver and Boulder, and on I-70 between Idaho Springs and Empire. For more information, visit www.codot.gov/programs/expresslanes.

For more information about CDOT, visit www.coloradodot.info. For toll questions, or to manage or close your ExpressToll account, please call the ExpressToll Service Center at 303-537-3470.

About the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE): The HPTE operates as a government-owned, independent business within CDOT. It searches out innovative ways to finance projects to help Colorado fulfill its commitment to increase travel choices through options that include Express Lanes, transit, biking, walking and carpooling. For more information, visit www.coloradohpte.com.

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Association for Commuter Transportation Honors 40 Under 40 National Leaders

40-under-40

BOSTON (October 12, 2016) – The Association for Commuter Transportation today released its 2016 list of 40 under 40 leaders in the transportation demand management industry, recognizing a diverse group of individuals who range from digital start-ups and big name companies, who make transit options more accessible, to city and regional transportation officials most effectively increasing the use of commuter benefits and rideshare across the country.

“This group represents a cross section of our industry and how TDM is integrated throughout the public and private sectors. These forty individuals are shining stars for the TDM profession and we look forward to them leading TDM for many years to come,” said ACT President Rob Henry.

Google TDM program manager Lucy Tice, a graduate of the ACT Leadership Academy, and member of ACT’s Board earned a place on the list for her efforts at Google to help people start and commit to bike commuting and other options. Google’s first Bike to Work Month challenge featured over 870 participants and over 15,000 bike trips logged. She has also increased carpooling by 48 percent.

“ACT has been an important part of my professional development and career, and I look forward to continued participation in ACT and greatly appreciate this honor,” said Tice, who also served on the marketing committee to promote collaboration at the 2016 ACT International Conference.

Ryan Croft, co-founder and COO at Washington, D.C.-based TransitScreen, which creates real-time displays of transit options, was honored for the empowering technology TransitScreen has installed at workplaces and universities across the globe. The U.S. State Department recently named Croft to its working group on smart cities. “ACT and it’s members are at the cutting edge of improving city life for residents and large employers. It’s an honor to join so many innovative transportation professionals on this list trying to make cities better places to live and work,” Croft said.

ACT announced the awards on the closing day of their inaugural Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Forum in Boston, which brought together over 140 transportation professionals.

“The energy and passion these honorees show everyday for improving our cities is at the heart of our collaborative efforts,” said ACT Executive Director David Straus. “The work these individuals have done to inspire changes in their communities and beyond is having an incredible impact to make our cities more livable, more economically competitive, and more prepared for sustainable growth into the future.”

Facts on the 40 Under 40 Honorees:

  • Average length of service at current organization: 5 years
    • 15% have 10+ years at current organization
    • 35% have 6+ years at current organization
  • Average length of service to TDM industry: 7 years
    • 25% have 10+ years or more in TDM
    • 50% have 7+ years in the TDM industry
    • 83% have 5+ years in the TDM industry

Longest serving their organization: 14 years, Erin Burke, Associate Marketing Manager, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Burke manages the region’s commuter benefit program, RideECO, helping more than 500+ employers, and their 15,000+ employees, enroll in commuter benefits. She is the in-house expert at Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission on everything transit benefit-related, and staff rely on her to keep up with related news and legislation. Aside from prior regional recognition as part of Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association’s inaugural top TDM professional awards, Burke has also volunteered on her borough’s policy committee, providing input on the town’s comprehensive plan.

Longest serving TDM industry: 20 years, John Andoh, Program Manager, Bus Contracts, Capital Metro (Austin, Texas)
Andoh has been instrumental in his career in the implementation of vanpool and other transportation demand management programs from California to Texas. He has received more than six national and regional awards in the last 11 years for transit improvement, outstanding public transit operation, financial excellence, and transportation innovation.

Youngest honoree: Tony Perez, Sustainability Program Strategist, Salt River Project
On top of running 28 vanpools, SRP’s bikeshare and public transit programs, Perez has supported and developed rideshare programs that have earned three Clean Air Campaign Awards for Salt River Project and earned SRP a bronze designation for being a bicycle-friendly business. Perez is also president of the Valley of the Sun Chapter for ACT and serves as the Valley of the Sun Chapter representative to the ACT National Board. In his core job, Tony supports SRP’s vanpool program with 28 operating vanpools, corporate bikeshare, and public transit program.

About ACT:
The Association for Commuter Transportation, (ACT), is an international trade association and leading advocate for commuter transportation and TDM. Commuting by bus, train, rideshare, bike, walking, or telework improves our world by contributing to energy independence, better air quality, sustainability, urban mobility, and reduced congestion. Through advocacy, education, and networking efforts, ACT strives to improve the lives of commuters, the livability of communities, and the economic competitiveness of businesses.

Keeping Regional Businesses and Governments in the Transportation Know

October 4, 2016

Keeping Regional Businesses and Governments in the Transportation Know
Commuting Solutions to host bi-monthly membership meeting on Tuesday, October 11

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—Commuting Solutions Membership Meetings provide a collaborative environment for regional businesses, governments and agencies to discuss and plan the future of the US 36 corridor.  Each meeting is dedicated to informing members on the latest transportation and economic development plans, and focuses on gaining their insight into key issues. These meetings assist in shaping Commuting Solutions’ advocacy efforts and help keep the Northwest region an attractive place to live and work.

Commuting Solutions is thrilled to announce that Superior Mayor Clint Folsom will speak at the upcoming meeting on behalf of the US 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition. If you’re interested in attending this meeting, contact info@commutingsolutions.org.

The meeting agenda includes:

US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition Update – Mayor Clint Folsom, Town of Superior
An update on the political and public policy coalition building efforts underway for the Northwest region.

RoadX: Intelligent Mobility Xcelerator – Peter Kozinski, CDOT RoadX Program Director
RoadX is Colorado’s bold commitment to our customers to be a national leader in using innovative technology to improve our transportation system.

RTD’s Strategic Budget and Financial Plan – Heather Copp, RTD Chief Financial Officer
This segment will provide an update on RTD’s strategic budget and financial plan and the impacts to the Northwest region.

Transit Oriented Development Planning: Longmont 1st and Main Street Station – David Starnes, Longmont Redevelopment & Revitalization Manager
Longmont is investing in their community through the addition of a new transit facility. The City is currently exploring land use and transportation plans to maximize local investments. 

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Friends of the US 36 Bikeway Hosts a Series of Fall Rides for US 36 Communities

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—Friends of the US 36 Bikeway, a new cycling program launched by Commuting Solutions, will host a series of rides for US 36 communities this fall. Rides will take place in each US 36 community and will focus on introducing cyclists of all abilities and ages to the new 18-mile US 36 Bikeway, which opened in full on March 1 of this year.

With these rides, Friends of the US 36 Bikeway hopes to further their mission of inspiring a cycling culture in the US 36 corridor and increasing the number of cyclists who use the new bike path. Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros says, “The upcoming rides are one simple step we are taking to raise awareness about the US 36 Bikeway and to encourage US 36 residents to be champions for cycling.”

The upcoming rides will be led by volunteers who are engrained in their communities and are passionate about sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for cycling with others. Businesses and even governments have come forward to help lead rides for their communities. Broomfield City Council Member Stan Jezierski says, “The US 36 Bikeway provides an easy and safe way to bike from Broomfield to all US 36 communities, and Broomfield City Council Member Sharon Tessier and I are thrilled to be able to lead our residents on a ride along this amazing bicycling highway.”

Rides are currently scheduled to take place in:

  • Broomfield on Saturday, September 3 at 9 a.m.
  • Louisville/Superior on Saturday, September 10 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Louisville/Lafayette on Monday, September 12 at 6 p.m.
  • Boulder on Saturday, September 17 at 9 a.m.

*A date for the Westminster ride will be announced in September

Route details and information on the Friends of the US 36 Bikeway program can be found at commutingsolutions.org.

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A Vantastic Way to Reduce Traffic Congestion

August 24, 2016

A Vantastic Way to Reduce Traffic Congestion
Thanks to US 36 Express Lanes Project funding, Commuting Solutions adds eight new vanpools to US 36

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—A two-year social marketing campaign developed by Commuting Solutions and funded by the US 36 Express Lanes Project resulted in the formation of eight new US 36 vanpools and incentivized 48 solo drivers to start or join a vanpool. To date, the US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program’s 48 participating vanpoolers have reduced 6,717 trips and 161,212 vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

Aside from transit, vanpooling is one of the most efficient uses of roadways and provides significant cost benefits for their riders. Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros explains, “The cost to drive alone is generally 57 cents per mile, meaning a 30-mile round-trip commute costs $376 per month, per driver compared to an average cost of $75-$150 per month, per vanpooler.” DeBarros goes on to add, “Moving multiple commuters in one vehicle maximizes HOV travel lane usage and ultimately reduces traffic congestion for all who travel in our region.”

Vanpooling is also an exceptional fit for employees who work outside of regular business hours. From January through June 2016, Commuting Solutions ran an offshoot of the US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program to target those unable to commute on transit due to their work schedules and longer trip distances. During this time, employees of select Commuting Solutions’ members received a $150 per person incentive to start or join a vanpool. Through the program, the University of Colorado Boulder added two new vanpools, bringing their vanpool count to 10.

“Because I come to CU before buses are running, and commuting 30 miles by myself is expensive, vanpooling is a great option. The monthly vanpooling fee covers all of my costs, from maintenance, to gas, to emergency roadside assistance. With the subsidies from CU and the City of Boulder, each person in the vanpool pays just $50 per month to participate.  And with the additional Commuting Solutions’ incentive, our initial vanpool costs were significantly lessened,” explains Miriam B., a CU-Boulder staff member.

The US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program runs through December 2016 and offers a $75 incentive for US 36 commuters who are willing to convert from driving alone to vanpooling. To find out if you qualify for this incentive, and others, visit: commutingsolutions.org.

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About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit commutingsolutions.org.