Council of Governments to Honor Mason’s Vanpool Program

Posted: June 22, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

George Mason University’s vanpool program is being honored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) as one of the most effective commuter benefit programs in the region.

Mason and its vanpool program will be recognized at an awards ceremony on June 28 at the National Press Club. Mason is one of several employers in the Washington, D.C., region that COG is honoring. The others are Discovery Communications Inc. of Silver Spring, Md., and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, located in Arlington, Va.

According to Michael Knapp, chairman of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, this year’s award recipients offer programs “beyond the status quo and lead by example within the business community. They are great places to work and are committed to supporting transit, ridesharing, telework and bicycling.”

While Mason’s vanpool program is being singled out, COG also complimented the university’s overall “transportation benefits.” Based on information provided COG by the university:

  • At Mason, more than 80 carpools are currently active.

  • Participation in telework opportunities at Mason has grown from 35 percent in 1999 to 85 percent in 2005.

  • Mason’s vanpool program costs approximately $182,000 per year.

  • Mason’s intercampus shuttle service costs approximately $264,000 per year.

Maurice Scherrens, Mason’s senior vice president, says the vanpool program represents an effort by the university to accommodate members of the workforce as well as ensure that Mason itself remains accessible to persons throughout much of the commonwealth wishing to work at the university.

“We are very pleased at how well this program is working,” he says.

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