Commuter Programs Overview
Traffic congestion, travel time delays, travel choices, travel options information, air quality, and an increasing population and workforce needing to use Virginia’s transportation system are matters addressed by DRPT’s Commuter Programs and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs and services.
Building and widening roads is not enough to meet Virginia's transportation needs of today and the future. Commuter/TDM programs must be part of the solution in order to improve mobility and help Virginia's economy grow. The workforce of today and tomorrow want transportation choices and only the places that provide these choices are going to be competitive and successful in attracting businesses and a skilled workforce.
Commuter/TDM programs provide transportation choices, make Virginia’s transportation more efficient, and help improve air quality. This is accomplished by moving more people in fewer vehicles, reducing vehicle miles traveled, reducing vehicle trips, and moving peak period trips to off-peak times. The focus is moving more people, not necessarily more vehicles. Examples of how this is achieved are programs and services that:
- Promote transit, vanpools, carpools, telework, and biking
- Provide free ridematching and trip planning
- Increase the use of vanpools, carpools, transit, telework, and biking
- Work with employers to establish worksite programs for telework, carpool and vanpool formation, transit and vanpool employee benefits, biking to work, and alternative work schedules
- Help commuters realize the true cost of driving alone and the benefits of transit, vanpooling, carpooling, telework, and biking
DRPT provides grant funding to qualifying organizations to operate Commuter/TDM programs. In Virginia there are 18 Commuter/TDM programs serving the public and employers. These programs are operated by local governments, transit agencies, planning/regional commissions, and Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) that provide Commuter/TDM programs and services. See Commuter Programs Grants for more information on the types of Commuter/TDM programs and services funded by DRPT.
Also, see the Service Locator for a Commuter/TDM program near you, and visit the Telework!VA website for employer and employee information and online training for establishing and implementing telework programs at your worksite.
Commuter Programs and Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
This program provides a one-stop online resource for businesses to start or expand a formal telework program. By allowing employees to perform some or all of their duties from home, companies can help reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and create a flexible and competitive workplace. Many businesses experience bottom line benefits from a telework program. This doesn’t mean employees work from home every day. One day a week or two days a month can be a big benefit to businesses and employees.
The Telework!VA website lays out a clear path to start or expand programs, provides case studies and testimonials, sample documents and policies, and many other tools to help businesses get started. Resources and training modules for managers and teleworkers are also provided to help develop and implement a successful, customized telework program.
DRPT has created the Vanpool!VA program to increase the number of vanpools and the use of vanpooling in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Vanpool!VA program was developed with input from Transportation Demand Management (TDM), transit agencies and vanpool companies.
The goals of the Vanpool!VA are to increase the number of people we move through Virginia’s roadways and to provide vanpooling as a commute option throughout Virginia. To achieve these goals, the Vanpool!VA program is dedicated to increasing the number of vanpools operating in Virginia and increasing the overall ridership of vanpools throughout Virginia. Expanding vanpooling will help address highway congestion by moving more people through Virginia’s congested corridors, improve air quality, and provide mobility options for commuters.
Another goal of Vanpool!VA is to collect vanpool data for the purpose submitting the data in the National Transit Database (NTD) for the purpose of receiving more FTA 5307 transit funding. Another purpose is for DRPT to report on the number of vanpools, ridership and areas of operation. In the large urban areas, Northern Virginia/Fredericksburg, Hampton Roads and Richmond, it is intended that the vanpools operators would report vanpool data directly to those agencies. For the small urban areas, DRPT may collect the data and transfer the data to the transit agencies in those areas. DRPT will work with those transit agencies to determine the best way to handle data collection and reporting.
Bike to Work!VA
This initiative promotes bicycling as an option for commuting to work. Bicycling is beneficial for employees and employers; commuters who cycle to work require fewer sick days and enjoy overall better health. Bicycling employees are often more productive, less stressed and do not require daily parking, which reduces the amount employers invest in parking facilities. In addition, biking instead of driving reduces pollution and improves air quality.
Many cities, town, and counties across the state hold Bike to Work events in May, including Northern Virginia, Harrisonburg, Loudoun County, Portsmouth, Roanoke, and Staunton. Visit BiketoWorkVA.org for more information on bicycling to work, statewide initiatives celebrating Bike to Work Week, and for a calendar of upcoming bicycling events.