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August 2016

Try Vanpooling in August for Discounted CarShare Rates & Raffle to Win Weekend Rental

Commute Solutions Month promotes commuting’s “perfect pair”

If METRO STAR vanpool and The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare were participants on ABC’s The Bachelor, they’d be married before the season got beyond episode one.

These two, perfectly paired alternative commuters are being honored during Commute Solutions Month with a rose-winning promotion from The Energy Corridor District and METRO STAR that might make you join the transportation mobility wedding party.

New and existing vanpool commuters can now take advantage of a specially discounted membership and reduced hourly rental rates for The District’s Enterprise CarShare program. It’s an ideal match – vanpool to leave your vehicle, driving worries, fuel and maintenance costs at home, knowing there’s a CarShare ride available at work when you need one.

And because all good wedding celebrations deserve a great party favor, commuters using METRO Star vanpools during August will be entered to win a raffle for a free Enterprise local weekend rental up to a full-size car.

Incentives aplenty

There are plenty of reasons to raise a toast to vanpooling now. METRO STAR estimates some commuters could save up to $200 monthly by using vanpools instead of private vehicles. Several incentives this month are icing on a cake cooked to reduce fuel, maintenance costs and commuting stress.

New vanpool groups that start in August will receive their second month free.

You can even try STAR vanpool free for a week. Vanpoolers can earn a $25 STARward gift card for every new rider they refer. And those who share their story of why vanpool works could win a catered lunch from STAR for their entire group. 

Worried about being stuck at work without a car? Worry no more. The District’s CarShare program eliminates the number one reason people cite for not using vanpools, carpools, transit or other alternative means to get to work. That’s having a car at work when you need one for whatever reason.

With four CarShare installations in The District, vanpooling is even more attractive.

And August makes a great time to try CarShare, with special hourly rates for the month of just $5/hour, all in (including fuel and insurance). Normal CarShare hourly rental rates are $9/hour Monday through Friday and $8/hour on weekends.

Reserving a CarShare ride is easy; it’s all done online. Reserve your ride, then head over to a CarShare vehicle to swipe your membership card on the windshield to open the doors. Everything is included in the low rental rate: fuel, physical damage/liability protection, vehicle maintenance, and 24/7 roadside and member assistance. You can even earn points for using alternative ways to get to work (vanpoolers and carpoolers take note) with organizations like NuRide that can make renting a CarShare vehicle virtually free. Check out CarShare here.

How about financial support to help reduce the individual monthly cost of relaxed riding in a STAR van?

Many Energy Corridor employers provide just such an employee benefit. It’s an incentive designed to encourage alternative commuting so companies can help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Ask your employer today. 

Celebrating Vanpooling Advantages

While some wait in vain for Newsletter Editor Appreciation Month, others observe Commute Solutions each August. This year’s celebration kicked off with a Road Warriors Festival sponsored by the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) downtown at Herman Square. 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner held a press conference to launch a bold, new multimedia Road Warriors for Smarter Commutes campaign by H-GAC’s Commute Solutions. There was live music, food and prizes, plus The District held court with a CarShare booth to demonstrate the advantages commuters can have by finding alternatives to driving solo.

More than 6,300 Houston-area commuters use STAR vanpool to get to and from work daily. One of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to reduce traffic congestion, vanpooling removes millions of miles of wear from Houston’s roadways while eliminating tons of air pollution. Vanpoolers report saving insurance and vehicle maintenance costs, as well as commute times since vanpoolers use HOV lanes.

“The vanpool program, now entering its 20th year, has had a significant impact on mobility and air quality in the eight-county region,” explains David McMaster, director of commuter services at METRO. “STAR is thrilled to work with hundreds of Houston-area employers to help their employees find a better, safer way to commute to work.”

So what are you waiting for? The wedding party for this perfect pairing of alternative commuting and CarShare is just getting started.

“If you like the reduced traffic found in The Energy Corridor during summer, then you can make a difference that lasts when school starts,” explains Kelly Rector, TDM program manager for The District. “Ridesharing is the most cost-effective way to reduce traffic congestion. It’s an alternative to pouring expensive concrete that works.”

Give vanpooling a try, qualify for CarShare membership and rental discounts, and enter to win a weekend local car rental. Lean more about vanpooling here.

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