ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Last-mile vanpools have replaced the Installation-run shuttle, which provided a connection from the Aberdeen train station to post. The shuttle started in March 2011 when the Maryland Transit Authority adjusted the morning MARC train schedule traveling north from Washington D.C, to better accommodate APG employees. However, due to funding cuts the service ended April 30.

Approximately, 30 employees regularly ride the MARC train from points south to APG. Two trains arrive at the Aberdeen train station in the morning at 6:06 a.m. and 7:42 a.m.. In the evening, the two departure times are 5:19 p.m. and 6:33 p.m. Two vanpools provide the connection from the train station to APG at 7:42 a.m. and return to the train station at 5:19 p.m.

Vanpools consist of at least five people in a 7-passenger vehicle. The riders share the driving responsibilities as well as the cost of leasing the van which includes the vehicle, insurance and gas. The vehicles vary in size with 7-passenger being the smallest and 15-passenger the largest. The two last-mile vanpools in the Aberdeen Area use 15-passenger vehicles and are currently full, but prospective riders can be placed on a wait list for future vans.

With enough interest, the opportunity exists for last mile vanpools to form for the Edgewood Area as well as meet connections with the local Harford County bus service or MARC trains arriving from Perryville. Harford Transit provides bus service throughout Harford County including the Teal Line which provides a direct link to and from Cecil and Harford counties.

Using mass transit not only provides an environmental benefit by reducing carbon emissions from single-occupancy vehicles, it also provides a monetary benefit. Riders can significantly reduce their monthly commuting expenses by not bearing the entire cost of their commute alone and sharing the expense by using mass transit, vanpools or carpools. Also, active military and federal employees are eligible for the Army Mass Transportation Benefit program (MTBP) which provides up to $245 to commute using trains, buses or vanpools. To apply for the MTBP, contact Debbie Zellman at debra.l.zellman.civ@mail.mil or 410-278-6430. Many contracting firms also offer this tax-incentive in the form of a flexible benefit program; contact your human resource representative for details.

APG in collaboration with the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor has a commuter transportation center to help. The Center is located in the Aberdeen rec center, building 3326 and in the Edgewood rec center, building E4140. The Transportation Coordinator, Syreeta Gross, regularly staffs the Center in the Aberdeen Area from 11-1, Tuesday-Friday and she is in Edgewood on Mondays, and any other time by appointment. Gross is also available to set-up on location to be readily available for employees. Contact the coordinator at 410-278-5491 or at apgrides@harforcountymd.gov.

For the latest information and a chance to win tickets for an Aberdeen Ironbirds baseball game, follow the Center on Facebook at facebook.com/APG-CSSC Commuter Center or Twitter @FindYourRide or www.apgyourrideishere.com

Page last updated Fri June 7th, 2013 at 00:00