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.
Mr. Normand operates five vanpools in the I-95 corridor, and is a member of Vanpool Alliance..
Customer Profile - December 2014
Andrew Normand is a civilian contractor who installs electronic security systems at facilities around the globe. But locally, he also is a vanpool operator who helps residents in the I-95 corridor commute to and from their jobs.
Mr. Normand became a vanpool operator after a meeting one day with someone who excused herself because she had to leave to catch her ride home. Not long afterward, the woman asked Mr. Normand if he would be interested in taking over operation of the vanpool because the current operator was looking to sell. Today, the Lorton resident operates five vanpools in the I-95 corridor under the business name Dandy Enterprises. His vanpools leave from Dale City, Dumfries and Fredericksburg and serve destinations including Alexandria, Silver Spring, Washington, D.C., Fort Myer and Fort McNair.
Since November 2013, Dandy Enterprises has participated in the Vanpool Alliance program, which is jointly operated by PRTC, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the George Washington Regional Commission in partnership with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. As a member of Vanpool Alliance, Mr. Normand is responsible for compiling and submitting data about his vanpools and receives a monthly stipend as compensation.
Reviewing that data was an “eye opener” that provided insight into ridership patterns, Mr. Normand said, adding that he never realized how many of the people in his vanpools don’t work on Fridays.
Earlier this year Mr. Normand received advance notification that Vanpool Alliance would be requesting maintenance data, and he asked at that time how the information would need to be broken down. Unfortunately, because it was the first year of the program and the exact parameters were unknown at the time, PRTC, which administers the Vanpool Alliance program, couldn’t answer his question. When the formal request for maintenance data came through, Mr. Normand said he had to spend extra time going through old records to submit the data in the format requested. While he had adequate time to complete the work, he wishes he would have known the format earlier and says now that he knows the format required, he will be better prepared for next year’s data request.
Mr. Normand also would like to see updates made to the Commuter Connections database that vanpool operators can use to find potential riders because the current list has outdated information, he said.
So you see, Mr. Normand doesn’t just want to help people commute, he wants to make the whole system better.
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.