June 2, 2023

Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

This week’s “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week” is a spotlight on GWRideConnect, a free ride-sharing service that assists commuters who are seeking daily transportation for the Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and King George counties to employment locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Richmond, Dahlgren and other employment sites here in the Fredericksburg area.  What is great about GWRideConnect is that it can assist with taking part in one of the most underrated ways to help the environment on a regular basis — carpooling to work.

Why consider carpooling?  First and foremost, it reduces the amount of CO2 emissions generated by more vehicles being used.  Secondly, it reduces your own personal transportation costs.  Two great facets of sustainability!  GWRideConnect’s database contains hundreds of carpools from Caroline county, Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, Caroline and the City of Fredericksburg; if you’re interested in forming a car pool, the service will assist you with finding riders that work in your location.  You can also form a van pool through GWRideConnect.  The service also provides users with information about available commuter lots, as well as the Guaranteed Ride Home service in case something unexpected should happen.  Check out their website for more information: http://www.gwrideconnect.org.

For those who have friends and relatives commuting to the DC area, slugging is always an option that reduces the emissions footprint and saves time and money.  Check it out at:  http://www.slug-lines.com/.  Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as “Instant Carpooling” or “Casual Carpooling”. It’s unique because people commuting into the city stop to pick up other passengers even though they are total strangers!  However, slugging is a very organized system with its own set of rules, proper etiquette, and specific pickup and drop off.

While GWRideConnect serves a valuable purpose, the topic of carpooling makes me wonder if UMW should consider forming its own transportation service for faculty and staff that may be interested in commuting to and from work together.  Surely there are many people who take similar routes to work and would be interested in splitting transportation costs, reducing carbon emissions, and also maybe freeing up some parking on campus!  Perhaps a bulletin board could be posted at main office buildings where folks can post information about ridesharing or carpooling.  Maybe UMW needs to provide a small incentive to make this happen.  Preferred parking anyone???  If anyone should have any other ideas as to how to get this idea off the ground, leave a comment to this article or reach out to the Staff Advisory Council (http://sac.umwblogs.org).

If you have any suggestions for things we can all do differently each day to create more sustainable environments, please feel free to leave a comment or email me the idea to be featured in a future Tip of the Week.  The PCS Action Group members for the “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week” are Kevin Caffrey, Elizabeth Sanders, Robert Louzek, and Dre Anthes.

Last Week’s Tip: Spring Cleaning.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.