Virginia Tech commuter program takes about 1,600 cars off campus - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Virginia Tech commuter program takes about 1,600 cars off campus

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Finding parking on the campus of Virginia Tech can sometimes be hard. 

The university has recently been recognized for its commuter program. The director says it takes approximately 1,600 vehicles off the campus by enabling students, staff and faculty to bike, walk, carpool and bus into campus. 

Virginia Tech is among 23 employers nationwide to receive a "race to excellence" Gold award in 2013 from the best workplaces for commuters program. The program encourages sustainable transportation and recognizes organizations who have taken exemplary steps to offer transportation options such as vanpool in transit benefits for their employees.

This is the 4th year Virginia Tech has been recognized. 

"If you don't carpool it's pretty hard to find a spot but there's almost always a carpool spot open" said Lindsay Sabey, a masters student who carpools to campus with Anna Hardy.

The campus has special spots just for carpoolers.

"It's cheaper, it's easier, save money on gas and it's a little bit quicker. You don't have to worry about finding a parking space and being late to class" said Sabey.

"I do like the lifestyle of biking everywhere so that's part of it also the exercise is great" said Kathryn Zeringue who bikes to her job on campus.

Virginia Tech says with all of their alternative transportation programs combined like carpooling, biking, walking or riding the bus eases campus congestion and takes about 1,600 cars off the streets.

"It's a huge help. As many people as we can get out of single occupancy vehicles is a huge help so all the programs are moving toward getting people to ride a bike, walk, ride the bus and don't bring a car" said Richard McCoy, the director of parking and transportation. "If we can keep the demand for parking steady or lower it and we don't have to build new parking spaces or new garages as the demand would increase. Getting people out of their cars may save us a good bit of money and building new parking."

It's saving students money and time too.

"I don't have the hassle of going in every lot in the parking garage to find a spot" said Hardy.

Virginia Tech expects an increase in the number of people who take alternative transportation to campus. There's also a major price break for people who take alternative transportation. A permit to park a car for 2 semesters is $235. A permit for a bike is $30.