TBARTA says their school carpool program saves parents commuting time and money
Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority is looking to expand their school car-pooling program to more schools in other counties. TBARTAâs program currently has 1,200 parents registered.
The School Pool program allows parents to form carpools so commuters share the responsibility of driving students to school. Amy Ellis, Director of Communications for TBARTA says the program matches parents and their kids with other families for carpooling by using their computerized ridesharing software.
âWe currently have students and parents registered in Hillsborough and Pinellas County. Itâs a total of 37 schools in the two counties and weâve got about 1,200 different families that participate.â
According to Ellis the program was established in Hillsborough and Pinellas County schools through working with school principals and parent-teacher organizations.
âItâs something that we do in-house. Thereâs really not a cost associated with it. Itâs just a really great way to help parents reduce their driving that they have to do and itâs no cost to them and itâs really little no cost to us.â
Ellis say the program has been beneficial to schools in terms of campus congestion and improved air quality from reduced pollution. TBARTA has also applied for grant funding for online registration and accommodations for students who walk or bike to school.
âWeâre really pleased. It started in 2003 and just in the last year, probably due to gas prices, weâve seen an 20% increase in the number of parents that are signing up. Itâs two counties now and weâd like it eventually to be in our complete TBARTA region which is seven counties from Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco to Pinellas and Hillsborough and down to Sarasota, Manatee. The great thing is, the schools see it as a win-win. Itâs an opportunity to help theyâre parents but itâs also beneficial to the school in terms of that congestion time.â
Ellis says at Clearwater Fundamental School more than 200 families enjoy the many benefits of school carpooling through this free program. Parents and parent-teacher organizations who are interested in starting a School Pool Program can contact TBARTA for more information.comments powered by Disqus