Commuter Services provides alternative travel

Commuter Services of North Florida is holding its Commuter Choices Week in the state’s capital.

CSNF connects people who are looking for a carpool or a vanpool to others who are searching for alternative means of transportation.

CCW aims to show alternative ways to travel that will lead to a positive change in our environment.

“Commuter Choices Week is about getting people to try something else, whether it is carpooling, riding in a van or biking,” said Pat Maurer, commuter services manager.

The week is being held across Tallahassee from Sept. 25-29. More than ever, Maurer wants to put an emphasis on how much change can occur if people change their daily routine by just a little bit.

“What we want commuters to understand is that they do not have to carpool everyday,” Maurer said. “Three times a week would reflect a lot of change in their pockets.”

According to USA Today, the nation’s gas prices are on a steady three-week decline. The yo-yoing gas prices are making some local residents reluctant to change their habits.

“The gas that I use is only $2.13,” said 18-year-old Tallahassee native, Drexwell Rolle. “It is not $2.98 anymore so I can afford to drive my own car. Plus I don’t have time to wait on others.”

Maurer said that saving even a little money is good, and others echo her sentiments. Florida A&M University students who have been carpooling since the first day on campus enjoy it.

“I don’t mind carpooling,” said Willie Bass, 20, a physical education senior.

“It saves me money no matter how cheap gas may be. That is extra money in my pocket. But it has to be with someone I know so I can have something to relate to on the ride.”

CCW registration started the beginning of the week at Florida State University. While registering, participants are able to fill out a carpool matching service so they can get to know others.

“I recommend meeting up with your carpool group early and getting some coffee or talking on the phone before hand. That way you can get to know your riding buddies,” Maurer said.

In addition to free carpool matching, participants who carpool at least three days a week qualify for the Guaranteed Ride Home program.

The Department of Transpiration sponsors the program that provides vouchers for free Yellow Cab rides home. These vouchers are to be given in case an emergency arises and a person is not able to participate in the carpool in the evening.

“The vouchers are to be used as a last resort,” said Floyd Webb, general manager for Yellow Cab.

“If an emergency arises, then the participants of commuter services would contacts us and let us know that they have a voucher and we would pick them up.”

Commuter Services wants all of Tallahassee to try something new this week. Maurer and her staff are asking everyone, from students and business patrons to those who just want to save on parking, to get involved.

“We are expecting 600-700 participants this year,” Maurer said.

“And we just want everyone to remember that they are not signing up for life but to just give it a try. You may like it and want to continue finding alternative means of transportation.”

CSNF is a free service available to commuters within the eight-county region of Leon, Jefferson, Gadsden, Wakulla, Franklin, Liberty, Jackson and Calhoun counties.