COVID-19 Spurs ACT Members into Action - Offering Assistance and Sharing Resources


Posted: 03/26/2020
Category: General News


With the rapid spread of coronavirus, across America workplaces have been shutdown or asked to cut back on in-person services to prevent further community spread. Many of these advisories have come at short notice, leaving organizations to hastily prepare for more long-term and widespread teleworking amongst employees. Without existing technology or telework policies in place, the transition to more full-time telework for more staff can be difficult. This isn’t the only challenge COVID-19 poses to the commute and workday—vanpoolers and providers have also needed to take steps in responding. We wanted to take the time to acknowledge some of our members efforts to assist commuters and employers in addressing the impacts of COVID-19.

As the business community in central and southwest Virginia work to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many employers who have never considered telework are looking for ways to quickly implement remote working options.  As the region’s Commuter Assistance Program, RIDE Solutions is working to help employers understand their opportunities and implement programs to keep their employees, customers, and families safe. “Continuity of operations is critical in times like these,” says RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes.  “But more important is the health and well-being of our employees and our community.  Fortunately, businesses wanting to be responsible leaders in the region don’t have to tackle this problem alone.  RIDE Solutions, in addition to our capacity to support carpooling, bike commuting, and transit, can also help businesses ramp up telework programs.”

RIDE Solutions is providing businesses in the region with recommendations and resources for businesses developing or ramping up teleworking. You can review these resources at http://www.ridesolutions.org/telework.

Valley Vanpool, a partnership between Cascades West Rideshare, Cherriots Trip Choice, Point2point at Lane Transit District, and SMART (South Metro Regional Transit), sent all participants in their vanpool program a message advising them of best practices for staying safe and preventing the spread of the coronavirus. “We are providing assistance for our vanpools in two ways,” said Tracy Ellis, Rideshare Program Specialist at Point2point at Lane Transit District. “Vanpools can “park” their van and will owe no further lease payments during the vanpool’s hiatus or, if the vanpool continues operating, but has lost riders due to mandated telework policies, we can provide an ad hoc seat subsidy to get the vanpool through the duration.” Valley Vanpool partners will continue providing a monthly subsidy during hiatus and Commute with Enterprise (Valley Transit’s vehicle provider) will “forgive” any other payments owed while the van is parked. You can learn more about Valley Vanpool here.

Commute with Enterprise contacted all vanpool coordinators with recommendations for intensive cleaning of vehicles and is offering assistance as needed if any vehicles need to be parked due to mandated telework or business closure.

How has your organization or program helped to ease the strain of sudden social distancing? We want to hear about it and promote what you’re doing to help others! If you’d like to share, please contact Amanda Brangwynne at abrangwynne@actweb.org.



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