From Harford County government:
Rising Gas Prices = Harford Commuter Assistance Rideshare has Alternatives
With gas prices continuing to rise, commuters are looking for alternatives to driving solo. The cost at the pump isn’t the only factor that determines how many commuters use rideshare options. The economy and employment rates also affect changing commuting methods.
However, as gas prices climb, more and more commuters are looking for rideshare options if predictions of gas prices reaching $4 or $5 per gallon come true.
“Harford County residents have a number of options available to them”, says Alan Doran, Rideshare Coordinator for the County. “While all the options may not fit everyone’s desires, there are many option to be considered”, Doran stated. Walking, cycling, car and van pooling, and various forms of local mass transit are available to residents. Doran’s program also participates in the Commuter Connections initiative – a FREE ride matching service that can match interested persons with similar work schedules and commutes to others interested in car and vanpools. Harford County also maintains a current listing of van pools currently in operation with that information being sent by request to citizens throughout the county on a regular basis.
Commuting costs can be cut by up to 20% by commuting to work one day each week. Car and van pools have become increasingly popular as drivers grapple with the uncertain economy and spiraling gas prices. There are also a number of major road projects underway that will be affecting traffic for some time, namely construction along the Short Lane or Maryland Gate to APG. The Rideshare Program also has a website where this information is updated regularly as information is provided from the SHA/MTA.
The following tips from AAA Mid-Atlantic and Commuter Connections are provided to help drivers save money at the pump:
– Consider Alternative Ways of Commuting – Make carpooling a part of your routine once a week.
– Drive Sensibly – Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas and lowers gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and by 5 percent around town.
– Observe The Speed Limit – Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Also, observing the speed limit keeps motorists and their passengers safer.
– Remove Excess Weight – Avoid keeping unnecessary items in a vehicle. An additional 100 pounds could reduce a vehicle’s MPG by up to two percent.
– Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned – Having an engine tuned can improve its gas mileage by an average of four percent. Fixing other serious maintenance problems can improve gas mileage by as much as 40 percent.
– Plan And Combine Trips – Making several short trips can use twice as much fuel as longer multipurpose trips. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and it can reduce the distance traveled.
– Choose A More Efficient Vehicle – Selecting which vehicle to purchase is the most important fuel economy decision a person will make.
A family’s economic well-being can be directly affected by rising gas prices. Doran urges everyone to consider joining Commuter Connections, and participate in the Guaranteed Ride Home Program, which ensures in the event of an emergency a commuter will be guaranteed a ride home.
For more information about commuting, contact Harford Commuter Assistance Rideshare at 800-924-8646, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/commuter, or email the Rideshare Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commuter Appreciation Days for Harford’s MARC Train Riders
Those who travel by MARC train to get to work are in for a treat as Harford Commuter Assistance, elected officials and special guests will be on hand from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Edgewood MARC Train Station Wednesday, May 2 and Aberdeen MARC Train Station Tuesday, May 8 with giveaways and light refreshments as well as commuting information as part of May’s designation as Clean Commute Month.
These are commuters who, day after day, board the MARC train heading south to Baltimore and other destinations, including Washington, D.C. to get to work. Nearly 600 Harford County commuters make this choice every day.
The Penn Line is the most traveled of all three MARC Lines boasting an average daily ridership of approximately 20,000 commuters. The train operates primarily between Baltimore’s Penn Station and Union Station in Washington, D. C. with local stops in Aberdeen and Edgewood, as well as nearby Perryville and Middle River. Scheduled stops on the route include the Baltimore/Penn Station, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, Odenton, Bowie State University and New Carrollton.
Those who commute to work by train will be “thanked” with complimentary coffee, snack, and free gift, courtesy of Clarence’s Taste of New Orleans Restaurant and Harford Commuter Assistance Rideshare. Information will also be available regarding ridesharing programs, including the Guaranteed Ride Home Program.
During the morning commute time, Harford County representatives and others will take time to express their appreciation to commuters for using mass transit to mitigate traffic congestion, improve air quality, and save money on gas.
The month of May is nationally designated Clean Commute Month because it is the beginning of the ground level ozone season. On days with poor air quality indexes motorists are encouraged not to drive to work because pollution produced by cars causes ground level ozone, or smog. Smog can cause burning eyes, difficulty breathing or even trigger asthma attacks.
Single occupancy vehicles produce 20% of the dangerous ozone-emission pollution in the Baltimore area. Using mass transit such as the MARC train and buses helps improve air quality.
For more information about Harford Commuter Assistance Rideshare and alternative forms of commuting, contact Alan Doran, Rideshare Coordinator, at 800-924-8646 (TOGO) or visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/commuter.