Vanpool services coming to Central Virginia area next year

Central Virginia Planning District Commission receives $72K grant for program

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Every day, about 60% of Central Virginians are driving more than 20 miles to Lynchburg and other areas for work. 

“They’re coming down (Route) 460, they’re coming (Route) 29, they’re coming up (Route) 501,” Kelly Hitchcock, planning and development director, said. 

That’s according to Central Virginia Planning District Commission.

To make the commute a little easier and more cost-efficient for you, officials say a new vanpool program could be the answer.

“Sometimes that ability to text and work on the roadway to maximize that 30- or 40-minute commute,” Hitchcock said.

A two-year-long $72,000 grant from the commonwealth’s rail and transportation department made this possible.

“So what the program allows (us) to do is it allows (us) to subsidize those empty seats for a certain amount of time, not indefinitely,” Hitchcock said.

CVPDC will not be buying the seven-seat passenger vans; instead, it will use private companies or a car rental service like Enterprise.

Business leaders in the Lynchburg area say it’s a win-win for employees and business owners.

“Our existing manufactures, more recently, have been asking for additional resources to support the public transportation network that we have in the region,” Megan Lucas, CEO of Lynchburg Business Alliance, said.

CVPDC said it’s currently in the implementation phase and vanpooling will start in the beginning of next year.

“Pools are just really another tool in our tool shed to be able to respond the commuting needs of our residents,” Hitchcock said.

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