COMET Vanpool is now available to all companies and organizations in the Columbia metropolitan area, supported by a monthly subsidy of $500 per vehicle to offset employee costs. - Photo courtesy of Enterprise.

COMET Vanpool is now available to all companies and organizations in the Columbia metropolitan area, supported by a monthly subsidy of $500 per vehicle to offset employee costs.

Photo courtesy of Enterprise.

Commute with Enterprise is partnering with the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (COMET) to provide an even more convenient and efficient vanpooling option in South Carolina.

COMET offers Richland and Lexington Counties a range of mobility options, including bus service and ridesharing. It recently launched The COMET Vanpool, a convenient and flexible alternative for the region’s commuters. The program’s first vehicles hit the road earlier this year, providing transportation to employees at ECM Support Services in Columbia, S.C.

Companies looking to enhance transportation options for their employees can also partner with COMET to offer the program as an employee benefit. COMET Vanpool is now available to all companies and organizations in the Columbia metropolitan area, supported by a monthly subsidy of $500 per vehicle to offset employee costs.

Columbia is located between two heavily used thoroughfares, Interstate 20 and Interstate 26. Data from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows that the average Columbia-area driver spends $951 every year in lost time and wasted fuel due to increasing levels of traffic congestion. The average local commuter now loses 38 hours annually to heavy traffic, contributing to stress and lost productivity.

“A lack of public transit service combined with traffic congestion can be a real barrier to employment, educational, and cultural opportunities,” John Andoh, executive director at COMET, said in a statement. “We’re working hard to come up with innovative solutions, like our vanpool service which is being supported by Commute with Enterprise, to help ensure that communities throughout our region have access to these opportunities and to relieve the stress of commuting for people across the Central Midlands.”

For an average commute of 100 miles per day, ridesharing can save employees up to $10,000 per year by reducing the cost of tolls, gas, vehicle maintenance, and depreciation, Enterprise claims. It can also free up parking, allowing companies to use space more efficiently and avoid parking congestion.

A Sustainable and Cost-Effective Option

Commute with Enterprise – a service of Enterprise Rent-A-Car – provides a sustainable and cost-effective local transportation options. The Enterprise team works with organizational leaders to create commuting solutions that improve recruiting, retention and employee engagement, while driving productivity, lowering infrastructure costs and reducing environmental impact.

Participants can choose a qualifying vanpool vehicle from a selection of makes and models that includes crossovers, SUVs, minivans, and large passenger vans. Vanpoolers also have access to Enterprise’s Guaranteed Ride Home program, which ensures they can leave work at unscheduled times worry-free.

Commute with Enterprise also provides 24-hour roadside assistance, liability insurance, and scheduled maintenance. Vanpoolers may also choose to upgrade their vehicles with such optional high-end features as satellite radio, in-vehicle Wi-Fi service, and power ports for individual seats.

According to 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics data, commuter vanpools are one of the safest modes of public transportation when compared to motor bus, light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail, and demand-response services.

Commute with Enterprise eliminates more than 1.4 billion commuter miles driven each year while taking more than 64,500 individual cars off the road, simultaneously eradicating the need for 64,500 parking spaces.

In addition, more than 1.1 billion pounds of carbon emissions are reduced by Commute with Enterprise customers annually. For an average commute of 100 miles per day, ridesharing can save individuals up to $10,000 per year by reducing the cost of tolls, gas, vehicle maintenance, and depreciation. And vanpooling further reduces annual transportation expenses through the use of volunteer drivers – which is much more cost-efficient than hiring paid drivers.

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