Wide range of alternative commuting options available for Virginia Tech employees
January 8, 2019
Free trips on Blacksburg Transit, monthly savings on Smart Way bus passes, and reduced fees for carpooling passes are just some of the alternative commuting benefits all Virginia Tech employees can take advantage of with their Hokie Passports.
Each day, more than 500 Virginia Tech employees commute more than 30 minutes to get to work on the Blacksburg campus the majority commute from the Roanoke area.
Virginia Tech offers a variety of alternative transportation options that can help employees that commute save time, money, and reduce their carbon footprint.
Employees who live in Blacksburg or Christiansburg can take advantage of Blacksburg Transit (BT). The service is free to all employees who present their Hokie Passport upon boarding.
BT operates 50 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.
Smart Way and Smart Way Express
The Smart Way bus is a commuter service that provides transportation between Squires Student Center and the Roanoke Valley for $4 each way.
This shuttle can be used to connect to the Roanoke Amtrak platform as well as the Roanoke Regional Airport Monday through Saturday. Smart Way offers a special transfer option to allow travelers returning to the airport on a Sunday to use the Roanoke/Blacksburg Airport Shuttle for $4. Monthly passes are available to Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students for 25 percent off the normal price.
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute shuttle
Employees that travel to and from the university’s main campus in Blacksburg and the 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 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: The Virginia Tech Employee Vanpool Program is available for full-time, permanent employees for commuting purposes. Vanpool benefits include shared costs, reserved parking, inexpensive fueling at Fleet Services, access to an Emergency Ride Home service, and included van maintenance.
Bike, Bus, and Walk Program:
The Bike, Bus, and Walk program is available to Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students who use alternative transportation methods as their primary means of commuting to campus, including riding Blacksburg Transit or the Smart Way bus, bicycling, and/or walking. Bike, Bus, and Walk semester permits are $30 and year permits are $60.
Employees are also encouraged to take advantage of bike share for getting to and from campus. There are currently 75 bikes in circulation in the Roam NRV network, with 12 stations located across Blacksburg and Christiansburg.
Pick up a bike in Christiansburg in the morning, drop it off on campus at one of the eight stations at Virginia Tech during the day, and bike home to Christiansburg in the evening.