There is a successful vanpool running from Richmond to Charlottesville which not only saves energy, but is also saving members of the vanpool money and wear and tear on their personal vehicles. The cost for each member of the vanpool is a fraction of what it costs to commute alone.
The Richmond/Charlottesville vanpool was established in the summer of 2005 through RideShare and the efforts of Bill Shobe. The vanpool runs between Richmond and Charlottesville, Monday-Friday.
The vanpool members meet the van at the Park & Ride lot near the I-64 and Parham Road interchange at 6:45AM and pick up at a stop in Goochland (Exit 173, Rockville/Manakin) at 7:00AM. The van arrives in Charlottesville at 8:00AM and then leaves at 5:00PM. The current members work at various locations around the University including the medical school, Central Grounds and Ivy Road.
The van has many amenities including A/C, cloth bucket seats, reading lights, CD player, and plug-ins for laptops. The vanpool also has several part time riders who pay by the trip. This may be an option if you want to ride fewer than three times a week.
Vanpools are an option that should be seriously considered for those commuting from the Richmond area. This particular vanpool is currently full, but if you are interested in learning more about joining or starting a vanpool, including costs and projected savings, safety record/precautions, driver qualifications, vehicle quality and maintenance, insurance, etc., please contact VPSI, Inc.
(Members of the Richmond/Charlottesville Van Pool)
Photo by Dan Addison