Park and Ride in Virginia
Park & Ride lots allow you to use various transportation options, other than driving alone in your vehicle. The first step in exploring your commuting options is deciding what mode(s) of travel works for you.
If you need help deciding which mode to choose, an easy first step is to turn to your local commuter resource agency.
Ridesharing can help commuters save money and time, while helping to save the environment.
Commuter resource agencies across Virginia provide information about ridesharing opportunities in specific communities.
Carpooling with friends or coworkers is a great way to save money and use HOV lanes.
Vanpooling is another way to save money and reduce congestion. Some use the down time on the ride to catch up on sleep or work.
Locate a P&R lot to see where your car or vanpool can meet.
Guaranteed ride home services are the best way to be sure you always have a ride, should you need a ride before or after your car or vanpool travels. Most commuter resource agencies offer a free (or low cost) Guaranteed Ride Home or Emergency Ride Home service. This service provides commuters who regularly use transportation alternatives with a reliable ride home in an emergency. To use this service, you must register with your local commuter resource agency.
Slugging from a Park & Ride lot is how many people get to school or work for free.
Biking and walking to a Park & Ride lot or to your destination can save you money and improve your fitness, all while helping to improve the environment.
Transit is typically less expensive than taking your own car and in some cases, faster.
Commuter bus services can use HOV lanes and often get you to your destination faster. During the ride, you can nap, read or check your emails to get a head start on the day.
Light rail is a great, stress-free, option for longer commutes.
There are several programs that make using all of these transportation options easier.
- Free ridematching services can help set you up with a group of riders in carpools or vanpools.
- Find a ride/get matched up to get started by contacting your local commuter resource agency. Staff can provide you with ridesharing options and support. Their information includes local transit schedules and an up-to-date inventory of both private and public commuter bus services, as well as free in-house ride-matching services.
- There are also a number of third-party ride-matching services, including www.NuRide.com and www.Zimride.com. Your local paper or city’s web portal (e.g., www.richmondgov.com) may offer ride-matching services, too.
- Many of these ride-matching services are self-directed, online systems. The commuter simply registers for usage and enters his or her information, such as trip criteria and preferences, including how to be contacted, and the agency will contact you with information.
Get rewards by using some of these transportation options. There are many employers who offer programs to help their employees make smart decisions about their commute. For example, some employers offer a pre-tax federal transit benefit subsidy that can help pay for vanpooling, commuter and local bus, and commuter train.
There is also a relatively new employer-based program called NuRide that lets employees earn rewards when they share a ride by registering with NuRide. Once you are registered you can begin to earn points toward gift cards from some of the area’s most popular retailers. For more information visit www.NuRide.com
In addition to tax free benefits and incentive discount rewards, some employers offer other employee benefits, such as preferential parking. Talk to your employer about what support programs and incentives they currently offer to employees who rideshare.
The right price
"At my lot, it’s free parking … I like saving $35 or more dollars a month."
Want to learn more about your commuter options? Check out your area commuter resource agency.