By EMILY R. WEST
The TMA Group announced Thursday its commitment to purchase 20 VanStar commuter vans within Williamson County during the next year.
Board member Glen McGehee told the news to a room full at Williamson, Inc.’s second Transportation Summit during the WillCoMoves week.
“The TMA Group along with our funders share the vision for transportation by investing time and money into the development of resources for transit and commute programs to benefit our region,” Southstar, LLC developer McGehee said.
“Today we are specifically challenging ourselves as a community for Williamson County to lead the region by taking our county’s transportation to the next level. “
McGehee said the TMA committed $600,000 in grant funding toward the purchase of VanStar commuter vans for use locally.
“We want Williamson County companies big and small to work with us and to fill these vehicles with commuters this year,” he said. “The new vehicles – for the first time in a long time – will range from new mini-vans to larger commute vans, providing flexibility in the vanpool fleet and our ability to purchase with dealers, such as Nissan and others.
He created vivid imagery of two acres worth of cars on asphalt. He explained it would take that much land to park 200 cars.
“Now in contrast, take the 200 people driving those cars, place them in the 20 VanStar commuter vans which now fit into existing parking lots and structures,” McGehee said.
If the community filled 20 Vanstar vanpools, McGehee said it would reduce miles traveled by 1.7 million. The vans would also reduce gasoline purchases by close to 90,000 gallons and minimize pollutants by 1.5 million pounds.
“We would save each participant an average of $2,000 in real commute cost, transferring over $400,000 of wealth annually to those 200 participants just by choosing to Share the Ride with VanStar Commute,” he said. “The power of change exist within your own staff and teams.”