Each month, PRTC shines a light on one of our passengers to learn why
that person chooses to ride public transportation, how long he or she has
been using PRTC’s services and what we can do to improve that person’s
commute. Check out this month’s Rider Spotlight below.
"Even though I have to pay out of pocket, it saves wear and tear on the car, and not sitting in traffic is so worth it to me."
Customer Profile - November 2014
While Steven Lopez was at sea for his job with the U.S. Coast Guard earlier this year, he also was researching his transportation options for a then-pending move to Northern Virginia. Today, he is happy to be part of a vanpool that he found through OmniMatch.
For his 12 years of active duty service, Petty Officer First Class Lopez had been stationed in Florida. When he learned he and his family would be transferred to the Washington, D.C. area, he had many questions, most importantly: where to live and how to commute in the region’s notoriously bad traffic.
Through his online research while at sea, he found OmniMatch and started communicating with TDM Specialist Holly Morello, who quickly emailed a list of vanpools that could fit his needs.
“Holly was great,” Petty Officer Lopez said, adding that in July 2014 he joined a vanpool that goes “exactly where I wanted to go at the exact hours I worked.” The van is leased through VRide and currently has seven occupants who meet at the PRTC Commuter Parking Lot and travel to Arlington/ Ballston.
Knowing that his transportation question had been solved reduced his stress level and “made my decision about where to live at that much easier,” he said, adding that he and his wife selected a home in the Southbridge community, where they will be raising their three children (and another one who is on the way) for the next 4 years.
Because the commuter transportation benefit currently is $130 per month, Petty Officer Lopez pays an additional $60-$75 per month to vanpool, depending on the number of people riding and traffic conditions.
“Even though I have to pay out of pocket, it saves wear and tear on the car, and not sitting in traffic is so worth it to me,” he said.
Interested in having your story spotlighted? There’s no minimum time that you must have been riding with PRTC! As long as you ride with us at least occasionally and are willing to submit a photo, you qualify! If you’d like to be featured in Rider Spotlight, contact Christine Rodrigo at (703) 583-7782 or at crodrigo@OmniRide.com.