Leading the way in “green” commuting

UNT Health Science Center is blazing a trail in eco-friendly transportation. It’s the first Dallas-Fort Worth area university to use vanpooling for employees’ commutes.

The vanpool hit the road in late May. Five UNTHSC staff members who live in and near Denton and north Fort Worth ride to and from work in a van provided by The T. The T also pays for gasoline and van maintenance.

No other area university has a T vanpool, although 191 vanpools are operating in Tarrant County, said Fred Turner, Business Development Executive Fred Turner for V-Ride. “We’re in the planning stages for UT Arlington and UNT Denton.” V-Ride administers the vanpool program for The T.

Each rider pays a fee determined by the number of miles they ride. The driver, Senior Media Coordinator Narciso Tovar, rides for free, and alternate drivers ride for half price. UNTHSC provides a free, reserved parking space for the van.

Career Services Assistant Director Jimmy Renfro, who lives 40 miles north of campus in Denton, is an alternate driver and saves $200 monthly in gas, auto insurance and parking fees.

“It’s a great tool we’re using to fulfill the university’s mission of creating solutions for a healthier community,” said Sustainability Coordinator Sandy Bauman, who helps connect UNTHSC faculty, staff and students who want to vanpool.

The minimum number in each vanpool is five. “We need one or two more people to start a vanpool from the North Richland Hills/HEB area and also from southwest Fort Worth/Benbrook/Highway 377/Granbury/Burleson,” Bauman said.

Interested in vanpooling? Contact Sandy Bauman, sandy.bauman@unthsc.edu or 817-735-2451.

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