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VanpoolMore Rochesterians carpool to work than you might think. According to the U.S. Census, 8 percent of workers in the region carpooled in 2013. That’s about 42,000 people. That’s more than take the bus to work.

That’s probably why Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority is studying the idea of a “vanpool.” RGRTA would contract with an operator who has a fleet of SUVs or vans. A designated passenger would have possession of the van and pick up people on the way to work. There are typically 5 to 12 people in a vanpool.

In Dallas, passengers split the charge of $335 a month. The service picks up insurance and vehicle costs. There are also tax incentives for commuters.

The census shows long commutes are not an issue for Rochester carpoolers; it doesn’t take them much longer to get to work. But Rochester’s carpoolers are poor, as two-thirds earn less than $35,000. Only 8 percent of carpoolers don’t have a vehicle available, suggesting a family member may need the car or they want to save on gas and car maintenance. Many carpoolers work in education, health care, social services and the service industry, according to the census.

The census didn’t ask if carpoolers how much they have to pay for parking at work. That’s an issue for workers at downtown garages and the University of Rochester.

RGRTA wants to know what you think of the vanpooling concept in this survey.

In a statement CEO Bill Carpenter said, “Transit agencies in the U.S. are finding that vanpool services can complement existing bus routes and expand transit services by offering a substitute method of travel to common destinations. The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of a vanpool program capable of linking commuters from similar origins to similar destinations throughout the Rochester area.”


Links of the Day:


– Assemblyman David Gantt’s bill would allow self-driving cars.

– This is what the new state senate boss is saying when he’s not saying anything.

What’s really ailing America’s cities?

– A Rochester charter school is under scrutiny for being too white and too middle class.

Buffalo only gives its schools $70 million. (Meanwhile, Rochester, a smaller city, is required by law to give its schools $119 million.)

– Rochester is slated to get a “pedal tour” this summer. It’s a bike party bus thing.

– Syracuse is getting a dinner-movie theater. (I wonder if this would work at Midtown.)

4 Responses to Vanpool, Anyone?

  1. May 13, 2015 at 5:33 pm rochester_veteran responds:

    I’ve taken the bus, off and on, over the span of 40 years, during the time I’ve live in Rochester. The “reality check” of it is that due to the “spoke and wheel” design of the RTS bus system, you have to go Downtown to get anywhere else. As a result, a car drive to work that would be normally 20 minutes each way, took 60 minutes each way by bus. Also, RGRTA has repeatedly blown off the people who live on the Westside Buffalo Rd corridor. Back in 2006, they cancelled the route #95 route that serviced, Leroy, Bergen, Churchville, North Chili and Westside Dr for many years. They didn’t even bother to ask us regular riders for input. We did put up a stink and it made the news, but RGRTA cancelled the #95 route and we all had to scramble to find alternative transportation. RGRTA did extend the route #8 Chili Center run to North Chili for one morning and one afternoon run in 2011-2013, but if you had to be to work at 8am for the morning run, you would be late everyday. Van Pools could work, but it would have to be people living in the same neighborhood commuting to the same employer.

  2. May 14, 2015 at 8:49 am Some Guy responds:

    90% of bus runs could be replaced with these vans. Government itself is becoming obsolete, look at corrupt officials bend over backwards for the taxi cartels in the war against people who simply want mobility without the expense of a car, and want to use Lyft or Uber.

    Taxpayers are extorted, yes extorted, to pay for things such as government-subsidized “mass” transit that a free market could never justify (and this absolutely includes the government policies that created all this sprawl in the first place).

    RTS is even closer to becoming a pyramid scheme for the litany of well-paid executives as it hemorrhages the people who actually do the work, even if the “paying customers” are getting a 500% subsidy from those not exempt from paying fuel taxes.

    Ride shares have been common in the rest of the world for DECADES, it’s way passed time this corrupt, self-serving, corporatist government of extortion and con artists got the heck out of the way of people who simply want to live freely and provide very necessary services towards others who are willing to pay without placing any burden whatsoever on another. There is no such thing as community when “community” is simply code for coercion by the proxy of government.

    Government today and its banker-favored monetary policy appear to exist to basically create incentives for the unsustainable and irrational that do not serve the true purpose of the general welfare clause and concept, and that coercive aspect is so corrosive to common sense and common decency, and underpins all the problems the people of this nation face as they stare into a future which is antithetical to just about everything America used to be and should be, but is no longer for those aforementioned reasons.

    • May 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm rochester_veteran responds:

      Some Guy, RGRTA is one of over 800 NYS “Authorities”, that were created as an “end round” to the NYS Constitution, back door borrowing, so to say. When have the people of Rochester had much of a say, via vote, in the going-ons of RGRTA? We haven’t! They’ve been arbitrarily taxing us without representation since they became an “authority”.

  3. May 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    the charter school that is to white. Changing this school will only make the divide between the races wider and deeper. maybe that is the plan?

    Self driving cars. the goal here is self driving tractor trailer trucks. Most people will not buy or trust a self driving car, but Corporations will invest in self driving trucks so they can save money by not having drivers. remember the trucks are designed and built to be driven 24/7 .. Now wouldn’t that be special to see a huge semi barreling down the thruway with no one behind the wheel!

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