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Commuting options available to employees

February 21, 2017

blacksburg transit
Blacksburg Transit is one of the many alternative commuting options available to employees.

Each day, more than 500 Virginia Tech employees commute more than 30 minutes to get to work on the Blacksburg campus, the majority of whom come from the Roanoke area.

To help employees commute, Virginia Tech provides a variety of commuting options that can help employees save time and money while reducing their carbon footprint.

Blacksburg Transit (BT)

Employees who live in Blacksburg or Christiansburg and would like to save time and money can take advantage of Blacksburg Transit. Service is free to all employees who present their Hokie Passport upon boarding.

Blacksburg Transit operates 46 buses that serve 13 routes in Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Passengers can also use Blacksburg Transit to make connections to other bus lines, with service to locations that include Radford, Roanoke, and Washington, D.C.

SmartWay bus

The SmartWay commuter bus is a sustainable option for employees who live in the Roanoke Valley and for employees on the Blacksburg campus who need to visit Roanoke from time-to-time.

Bus service goes between downtown Roanoke and the Squires Student Center on campus. The basic daily fare is $4 each way or a monthly pass is available to all university faculty, staff, and students for 25 percent off the normal price.

SmartWay can also be used to connect to the Roanoke Regional Airport and to the Megabus route to Washington, D.C., Monday through Saturday.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute shuttle

Employees who need to travel to/from the university’s main campus in Blacksburg and its Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) campus in Roanoke can do so by riding the VTCRI shuttle free of charge. The shuttle makes three stops in Blacksburg: Goodwin Hall, Life Sciences Building, and the Corporate Research Center.

The shuttle is available on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone with a valid ID from Virginia Tech, Carilion Clinic, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, or Jefferson College of Health Sciences.

Small group commuting options

For employees who prefer riding with a smaller group of coworkers, carpooling and vanpooling commuting options are also available. This allows employees to share a ride and share the cost with other employees.

  • Carpooling: Two or more full-time faculty/staff (eligible for pre-tax deduction) can register for a carpool permit. This package includes one carpool permit, access to reserve carpool parking spaces in advance, five free daily passes per participant (participants may also purchase additional daily passes), and access to an Emergency Ride Home service.  Zimride and RIDE Solutions both have programs that can help pair employees to establish a carpool group.
  • Vanpooling: Vanpooling is also available for full-time, permanent employees. To be eligible, participants must be currently employed at the university and agree to have the monthly vanpool rate payroll deducted from their paycheck.

Bike, Bus, and Walk program

The Bike, Bus, and Walk program is available for employees who live closer to campus and regularly use alternative transportation methods, such as riding the bus, bicycling, and/or walking. Those who register for the program receive incentives, such as discounted daily parking permits and access to Emergency Ride Home Service, which provides members with a ride to their vehicle or local residence in case of emergency.

Written by Mackenzie Nicely, a senior from Lexington, Virginia, majoring in public relations and political science

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