RIDES February Vanpool Promotion Makes Keeping New Year's Resolutions Easy

RIDES for Bay Area Commuters' staff will be on hand in Hacienda on February 21 to help launch Vanpool Week, February 26 to March 2. The theme this year is "Let The Good Times Roll," since the commuting celebration coincides with the fabulous New Orleans Mardi Gras.

RIDES' vanpool consultants will be at the Hacienda Visitors Center from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to tell everything there is to know about vanpools and how to join the more than 800 drivers who currently operate vanpools in the Bay Area. Participants are free to drop in at any time during that period. Food will be served as well.

Help will be available for creating match lists of other interested potential vanpoolers, along with specific how-to's on forming a vanpool. There will be information on financial incentives currently offered for formation of vanpools as well as programs offered in neighboring counties designed to spur vanpool creation.

Vanpool Week also offers prizes. Just for signing up to try an alternate commute, park employees can win items such as a DVD player or gift certificates for oil changes, fuel purchase certificates and carpool and vanpool payment assistance.

To add to the event, there will also be a fun-for-all high-occupancy (HOV) Diamond Lane Time Test Race. This event, which will compare commute times of car- and vanpool riders to those of single-occupant vehicles, will draw public and media attention to the potential time savings and financial benefits of pooling.

Let the Good Times Roll is an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of pooling, to help increase vanpooling/buspooling in the community, make options more visible and encourage individuals to try these commute alternatives. RIDES has already helped more than 267,000 people find better ways to get around the region.

The vanpool event is only a small part of the services that RIDES offers. Since 1977, RIDES has helped form more than 2,100 vanpools. Currently, RIDES assists 850 vanpool drivers at 260 employer sites.

For additional information on the Hacienda Vanpool Promotion event on February 21, call the Hacienda Owners Association at (925) 734-6500. The Visitors Center is at 4473 Willow Road, Suite 105 (enter on the east side of the building.)

For more information on Vanpool Week, contact Martin Dooley or Jackie Peay at RIDES at 800-755-POOL or visit www.rides.org .

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