By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleSeptember 16, 2011
Soldiers and civilians learned about the latest transportation options during the Fort Belvoir Commuter Workshop at the Community Center, Tuesday.
The event was designed to be a community fair for attendees to gather information to help them make the best commuting decisions, according to Juanita Green, Directorate of Logistics transportation demand management coordinator.
Belvoir and Fairfax County representatives along with 15 vendors set-up around the community center's ballroom Tuesday sharing information on topics such as car pooling and metro services.
Participants received free items such as SmarTrip Cards, T-shirts and informational pamphlets.
Col. Mae Goldman, Army Chief Information Officers Headquarters G-6, Base Realignment and Closure coordinator, currently works in Crystal City.
Her office is one of many moving to Belvoir as part of the BRAC. She attended the workshop to learn about the installation's latest transportation initiatives to instruct her fellow employees on the best commuting options.
Goldman wants to get "folks in the mindset of commuting to Belvoir."
She said the biggest thing she learned at the workshop was that government subsidies for commuting could be used to cover most, if not all, cost s associated with van-pooling through a third party vendor.
Goldman said she'll pass this information along with everything else she learned from the workshop on to her fellow employees.
During part of the workshop, Fairfax Transportation officials gave presentations on the commuting information available online on sites such as commuterconnections.com and Belvoir's rideshare page where people can go to find information on daily traffic, bus schedules and potential people to commute with.
The transportation officials also answered questions on subjects such as the Virginia Railway Express and future expansion of Route 1.
Kenneth Gross, Army Geospatial Center logistics management specialist, said the event has him reconsidering using the VRE for his commute from Stafford, Va.
"At one point it wasn't timely," said offering he why he stopped using the service. He learned the service could bring him closer to his home and he also learned that he could use government subsidies to help pay for the cost.
Glenn Hiner, transportation planner for Fairfax County, said the workshop raises awareness to alternate forms of transportation to work.
"It spreads the word out about two things: getting cars off the road and helping the environment," Hiner said.
He said the county's goal for these works shops is encourage people to try commuting. He recognizes that some people will like it and others won't, but it's the experimentation that matters most.
"Break that behavioral cycle of just driving to work," he said.
The garrison will soon be conducting a survey to find out how personnel commute to work. People are encouraged to fill out the questionnaire to help the installation better serve transportation needs.