TARTA vanpool program offers new way for people to get to work

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TOLEDO (WTVG) - There's a new program in town that's putting a new spin on the traditional carpool, called Share-A-Van.The vanpool program is a joint venture between Commute with Enterprise and TARTA.

The goal is to help fill a void left by a lack of TARTA service on certain days. It's all possible because of a $300,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

The first business taking part in the program is the Renaissance Downtown Toledo Hotel.

The Renaissance is an around-the-clock operation, so when a budget shortfall forced the cancellation of Sunday and holiday TARTA service, it caused challenges for some workers. It meant people had to rely on friends, family, or ride share programs.

The vanpool is a time and cost saving alternative. It will cost workers at the hotel about $20 per month.

Here's how vanpool works. Employees who live in the same area and work a similar shift are paired up. At the Renaissance Hotel, 12 first-shift workers are part of it. Two of the employees are designated as the drivers. While it's not door to door service, it's close. The workers meet at several planned sites.

The vanpool program will officially be on the road this weekend. The goal is to expand it to a number of other businesses in the region.