Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Monticello, NY – In response to an increased number of current job openings – and the anticipation of a tremendous array of new opportunities emerging – the Sullivan County Legislature has unanimously approved the creation of a vanpool program to provide workforce transportation.
Legislators this month authorized $30,000 be committed to providing up to five vans and a lease subsidy to County residents seeking to vanpool with 7-15 other commuters to local jobs. Typically a van pool is comprised of resident commuters who work with or near each other and have the same schedule. Each pool of commuters will determine the route for each van.
“We continue to explore ways to improve public transportation – which this is – throughout Sullivan County,” County Manager Josh Potosek explained. “This contract with Enterprise Rideshare will give citizens new opportunities for sharing their commutes at far less expense than what they could accomplish on their own.”
“Ridesharing has come into its own both upstate and downstate, and Sullivan County is proud to offer such an alternative as well,” Legislature Chair Luis Alvarez stated. “We want to ensure everyone can get to their jobs, because it’s good for the County, our workforce, our cost of living and our environment.”
Enterprise (of rental car fame) will make the leased vans available to the County beginning October 1. After a yearlong test of the program, the County will choose whether to continue it for up to four more years.
The County will provide a $500-per-month-per-van pre-tax subsidy, while drivers or their employers will pay the difference. Drivers will house the vans and will be able to use them for ancillary travel. Each van will be able to carry between 7 and 15 passengers.
“There are plenty of jobs coming to Sullivan County, but not everyone has the means to make their way to these jobs,” Public Works Committee Chair and District 7 Legislator Joe Perrello explained. “If we can help these folks reach new and better employment, then we’ll have also helped improve the quality of life for them, their families, and our communities.”