New transport initiative for commuters Vanpooling could soon be an option for Wanganui residents working in Palmerston North with just a few more passengers needed to begin a ride sharing trial. The initiative would see commuters save money on fuel and associated costs through the use of commercial vans and Horizons Regional Council is seeking interest from another 4-5 people to get it off the ground.
Horizons transport planner Wayne Wallace describes vanpooling as "an awesome opportunity for Wanganui commuters".
"Vanpooling differs from carpooling as vanpools are supplied with high quality commercial vans, and have dedicated drivers who are exempt from travel costs," he says.
Although it's a relatively new concept in New Zealand, vanpooling has already proven popular in the USA and based on a rate of 30c per km for a 1500-2000cc vehicle, joining a vanpool made up of six paying passengers could save regular Wanganui - Palmerston North commuters around $500 per month. "All it takes is a driver or two with a clean driving record and committed passengers and you're away," Mr Wallace says. Vans will be provided by commercial operator JUCY Share, with participants booking and paying for monthly travel in advance via a secure payment system on a vanpool website. Fares cover the monthly lease of the vehicle which includes vanpool operating systems, insurance and regular maintenance as well as fuel costs. These fuel costs are calculated at the start of each month and if costs fluctuate, users will either pay more or less for their travel the following month.
Anyone interested in finding out more about vanpooling or how to get involved is encouraged to contact Horizons' transport team on toll free number 0508 800 800 or register their interest via the vanpooling section of Horizons' website.
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