February 19, 2016 by Katie Brock
North Country HealthCare is the first employer to sign up for the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority’s (NAIPTA) new commuter vanpool program, taking delivery of two vehicles this week.
While an employee-initiated vanpool of pharmacists traveling between Flagstaff and the Winslow Indian Health Center has been going for a few months, this partnership with North Country marks the first time that a local employer has taken advantage of the cost-saving benefits of commuter vanpools to transport employees.
NAIPTA launched the Mountain Line vanpool program last year with the goal of providing an alternative to the single-passenger vehicle for groups of workers traveling to and from similar places within Coconino County and the surrounding area. Commuter vanpools are much like carpools only they include more people and no one is using their personal vehicle. The group shares the cost of a monthly lease for use of the van and the fuel. By dividing commuting costs among the group, annual savings versus using one’s own car are substantial, and it takes vehicles off the road, lessening traffic and emissions.
North Country will use its two vanpool vehicles for the dental care employees who travel to facilities in Ash Fork and Winslow. North Country recently expanded its dental services in these two communities, putting a strain on their existing fleet vehicles.
“The biggest advantages to having the vanpools are time and peace of mind for the team,” said North Country Dental Manager Krista Bush. “They won’t have to worry if they have a car reserved for their next trip or spend the valuable time that it takes to rent a vehicle. Additionally, the vanpool program also takes care of the maintenance of the vehicles, allowing us to pay one price and everything is included.”
“As the transit agency that serves all of northern Arizona, NAIPTA is committed to providing quality transportation solutions for the hundreds of employees that commute throughout this vast region,” said NAIPTA CEO & General Manager Jeff Meilbeck. “We congratulate North Country for offering creative transportation options to its employees and look forward to expanding this program to additional organizations in northern Arizona.”
For more information about the Mountain Line vanpool program, visit mountainlinevanpool.com or contact Kate Morley at 928.679.8903.
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