Sun Prairie Star: MadREP pilot project encourages Madison area van pooling

economic development media sun prairie logoSun Prairie Star

To help both existing employees and would-be employees who are facing transportation challenges getting to work, the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) is partnering with Commute with Enterprise to provide an innovative and sustainable shared mobility option: workplace van pooling.

“MadREP’s pilot will provide a $500 grant per van per month for up to three van pools to help underwrite the cost to our partners,” said MadREP President and CEO Jason M. Fields.

“Each vanpool program is customized to the specific needs of its five or more van poolers,” Fields added. “The remaining cost will be covered by company, the vanpool riders, or a combination of the two as determined by each company.”

“With record low unemployment and in an effort to keep their shifts full, many employers are looking into providing benefits they may not have considered before,” said MadREP vice president of talent & education Gene Dalhoff. “Our pilot project is meant to provide an incentive to companies to explore the feasibility of using employee van pools to help with employee retention and attraction.”

“Dane County’s rapid growth requires innovative solutions to address public transportation needs outside of Madison and I applaud MadREP’s pilot workplace van pooling program to open up more options for employers to connect their employees to work in a way that is better for the environment,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

“Making these connections will help Dane County stay on track with our climate action plan to reduce emissions and ensure that Dane County continues to be a great place to live and work,” Parisi added.

Companies can choose a qualifying van pool vehicle from Enterprise’s selection that includes crossovers, SUVs, minivans, and large passenger vans. Van poolers may choose to upgrade their vehicles with optional high-end features such as satellite radio, in-vehicle Wi-Fi service and power ports for individual seats.

Commute with Enterprise also provides 24-hour roadside assistance, liability insurance and scheduled maintenance. And as part of Enterprise’s Complete Clean Pledge, Commute with Enterprise provides best practices for cleaning and Complete Clean Starter Kits for new Commutes.

“This pilot project, although limited in size, is meant to serve as a proof of concept to help demonstrate the benefits to companies of such a program,” said Fields. “Our goal will be to secure additional funds to grow the program exponentially over the next 12-24 months.”

Companies and commuters in the Madison Region interested in joining the program can visit commutewithenterprise.com/commute/en/partners/madrep.html.

MadREP is the economic development agency for the eight-county Madison Region, founded by business and community leaders to create a dynamic environment where people and businesses prosper. MadREP and its partners aim to proactively and strategically position the region to take advantage of economic and business development opportunities; learn more at madisonregion.org.

Article originally published on hgnnews.com.

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