Gas prices too high? One organization wants to help Morgan County residents carpool




  • In Business
  • 2022-03-18 23:26:34Z
  • By The Reporter-Times

MARTINSVILLE - As gas prices throughout the area surge, Morgan County residents are looking for ways to save a bit of money at the pump.

On Friday, AAA reported the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Indiana was $4.189 while the average price in Morgan County was $4.172.

A regional organization known as Commuter Connect, which is part of the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA), can help those who live and/or work in Morgan County by connecting workers to transportation options like carpools and vanpools in central Indiana.

During a luncheon hosted by the Greater Martinsville Chamber of Commerce Friday, Commuter Connect Outreach Representative Amanda Hart discussed the organization's options to get local folks to work.

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CIRTA's region includes Morgan, Johnson, Hendricks, Boone, Shelby, Hamilton, Madison, Hancock and Marion counties.

The organization's services are free to employers and employees.

According to Hart, the average central Indiana commuter spends about 50 minutes driving alone in their car to get to work, and traveling more than 40 miles in their car.

"We have a goal of cleaner air," Hart said. "It is going green (and) taking away some of those emissions that people are outputting when their driving so much, but also the reduction of traffic."

CIRTA offers resources to assist with carpooling, vanpooling, public transportation and biking.

According to Hart, the offerings through CIRTA has been a positive asset for regional employers.

"These employers have been able to use this as a recruiting tool to help (employees) reduce cost," Hart said. "First of all, it reduces the demand for parking."

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Attendance and punctuality also improves because of the program, Hart noted.

The program has also been beneficial for employees, Hart said, because workers can get tasks done while serving as a passenger instead of a driver.

"Less pollution for those employees as well," Hart added. "Giving them time to read or relax or just disconnect from the craziness of their day and their life. And the biggest thing for people right now, being able to save that money on gas, being able to save on their insurance on their car and their vehicle maintenance."

Commuter Connect Outreach Representative Amanda Hart discusses opportunities her organization provides to Hoosiers in central Indiana.
Commuter Connect Outreach Representative Amanda Hart discusses opportunities her organization provides to Hoosiers in central Indiana.  

According to Hart, the Commuter Connect program acts similar to an online dating website, matching folks with others who live and work in their neighborhood.

The program also offers a free emergency ride home service for employees who participate in a carpool or vanpool.

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"If (employees) sign in to our database, and have their information in there, we are able to offer them up to five free emergency run homes, per year," Hart said.

All a participating employer needs to do is allow CIRTA to come into the workplace once a year to connect with employees and assign a contact person between the office and CIRTA.

More information on CIRTA and the Commuter Connect program can be found online at https://bit.ly/3InSEiQ.

The next Martinsville Chamber of Commerce luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 20, in the Lucille Sadler Room of the Morgan County Administration Building, 180 S. Main St., Martinsville.

Contact Reporter-Times editor Lance Gideon at lgideon@reporter-times.com or 765-342-1543. Follow him on Twitter: @LanceOGideon.

This article originally appeared on The Reporter Times: As Martinsville gas prices surge, CIRTA gives locals options

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