Installation Management Command employees enjoy a free ride to work 110916
PHOTO CAPTION: The 7-passenger vans provided by Enterprise Rent-A-Car give the New Braunfels group plenty of room for their commute. (US Army Photo by Tim Hipps)
Installation Management Command employees enjoy a free ride to work 110916
By Karla A. Seijas
IMCOM Public Affairs
More than a dozen Installation Management Command employees ride to and from work for free in a VIA Van Pool, through the US Army Mass Transit Benefit Program.
"All I can say is this is the best thing since sliced bread – nope it’s better than sliced bread! Love it!" said passenger Debbie Martin, an IMCOM Family and MWR programs employee. "It’s less wear and tear on us, less wear and tear on our wallets, and less wear and tear on the environment."
Kelly Sandifer, who works in IMCOM resource management, saw a VIA vanpool van on Fort Sam Houston and became intrigued. He decided to start a van pool service for IMCOM employees. Through his search for vanpool-interested employees, he met Tammy Copus, who works in IMCOM Family and MWR Programs. Copus assisted Sandifer in getting the program started, and now serves as the alternate point of contact.
Sandifer had good reason to start a vanpool; previously he drove over 62 miles a day (each-way) in his own vehicle between home and work.
"I was able to sell my extra car, and when you add up fuel, oil changes, tires, and insurance, it’s a huge savings; over 0 per month for me," said Sandifer.
It’s not just about money; the approval of van pools is another positive step the command is taking to reduce our impact on the environment. The program has already taken nearly three dozen cars off the road, reducing traffic, congestion, parking issues, and most importantly, pollution and harmful emissions.
Each vanpool group can have 4 to 15 employees. Members of the vanpool can volunteer to serve as a driver if they wish. Once a group is officially enrolled, the van pool coordinator receives a fleet gas card, which is funded through the MTBP, and a 7-, 12- or 15-passenger van, which is provided by Enterprise Rent-a-Car and paid for by the MTBP.
Participants have to commit to riding in the vanpool at least 50% of each month.
"As our Leaders have said, we are in a new Fiscal Reality. The impact is far reaching and has not only affected the DoD but our personal lives as well," said van pool passenger Jeffrey Fitton, an IMCOM training directorate employee, when describing the benefits of the program.
"By taking part in the VIA Van Pool program, I can prevent unnecessary wear and tear on my car and I can save 0 a month by not having to pay for fuel," said Fitton. "Why would anyone not want to save money?"
Sandifer said that there are two main reasons.
"Some folks just don’t want to ‘loss their liberty’ in being able to come and go as they please. Others feel they won’t get the support of their leadership when they have to leave work at a specified time every day", Sandifer said. Other than that this thing is really taking off."
Service to the vehicle and insurance is also provided by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. For most situations, there is no cost to the employee for participating in the program.
Some participants use the commute to catch up on e-mails, sleep or simply chat with fellow riders.
"One of our riders sits in the back of the van most days and works on her laptop," said Copus. "The other riders try to be as quiet as possible when necessary, but all other times there is normally a lot of socializing and laughter."
Copus also described an afternoon commute when two employees needed to participate in a conference call. The fellow passengers respected their need for a quiet atmosphere until the call was over. They even adjusted their usual ride time by five minutes to ensure the two individuals would be on time for their call.
"It’s like getting an extra step increase," said David Abbott, a telecommunications specialist at IMCOM, when asked to describe the van pool.
There are currently three active van pools to the new IMCOM campus on Ft. Sam Houston and there is great potential for more. The current areas being serviced are Boerne, New Braunfels and the Stone Oak. More vanpools will start at the end of September in the areas of Schertz, New Braunfels and Highway 281 North (Evans Road & Bulverde).
If an unforeseen scheduling conflict occurs and a van pool rider has to leave their place of business, the Certified Auto Ride in an Emergency program is offered for a fee of five dollars per year. According to the Care Program, "for an annual fee, you can receive four free cab rides to use during the year…whenever an emergency arises."
If a vanpool rider enrolled in the Care program needs to get home early for unforeseen circumstances or can’t wait for the normal commute time because of an illness, a sick child or family member, the normal ride left early or unexpected overtime, they’re eligible for a free taxi ride, and the waiting time is less than 20 minutes.
IMCOM employees can sign up to participate in the VIA van pool by accessing the signup sheet in the shared drive or by contacting Kelly Sandifer or Tammy Copus.
Other Fort Sam employees can contact the Army Mass Transportation Benefit Program at ASAFM-MTBP@conus.army.mil to learn how to start a van pool in their organization.
If an employee chooses to ride public transportation to work by means of the San Antonio VIA bus system they are also eligible to receive benefits through the MTBP, which covers the cost of a monthly bus pass.
The MTBP originated 21 April 2000, via Executive Order 13150, "Federal Workforce Transportation." The executive order requires Federal agencies to provide employee incentives to use public transportation in their commute to and from work.
All Army employees (military and civilian) are eligible to use the MTBP mass transportation fare subsidy when using public transportation or van or car pools for their work commute. The MTBP goal is to reduce the air pollution and traffic congestion while expanding commuting alternatives.
Auto Repair – Finding the Right Guide
Article by Alfred Ardis
If you are a handy person, then you will want to do a lot of things all by yourself. Auto repair is one area in which the mechanically inclined can get great satisfaction from taking care of the problem without having to go to a licensed mechanic. While not every handy person can work on a car, those that can often have problems finding the information that they need in a usable format. There are lots of reference materials available should you decide that this is the way you want to go in order to have a well-maintained vehicle.
For starters if you are looking for an auto repair guide that you can hold in your hand then you might want to check out your local parts store. They have a wide variety of books on the subject that can help you diagnose the problem and service your car with ease. Many of these books have schematics and troubleshooting guides that will allow you to find the problem you are experiencing and fix it quickly. These guides assume that you have a certain amount of knowledge of cars, engines, and tools, so they are not for the novice mechanic.
Another great resource is a friend who knows a lot about cars. Team up with a buddy who does auto repair either regularly or for a living and you can learn a lot. Not only will you get to glean from his hard earned information you can also get help on some of the bigger projects that you might be facing. Remember, safety first, if you can’t lift it alone you need to have someone there with you anyway so why not get a mechanic friend to help out. You never know, while he’s helping you, you might be teaching him a thing or two.
A final great resource is, of course, the Internet. Here you can find step-by-step guides on how to repair almost anything. The only down fall is to adequately find what you are looking for you have to know what the problem is first. If you know what you need to work on then you can find anything from how to guides to walk you through the process to actual video that will show you exactly what you need to do and how it should look when it’s all said and done. There are many great guides, if you know where to look.As always no matter if you are experienced or not if you feel you can’t adequately perform the job, then don’t. If you do the auto repair wrong you’ll be faced with having to take it to someone to fix both the original problem and any subsequent problems your botched service might have caused. Don’t be ashamed to hire a professional if you truly need assistance.
The Consumer Justice Foundation Alerts the Public to a Bloomberg News Report …
… and (2) to provide news updates and resources that continue to update consumers regarding developments taken by corporations that include pharmaceutical drug companies, auto manufacturers and insurance companies so that consumers who have been …
Auto Resources question by SaveDarfur.org: Why games like Grand theft auto run really slow on my PC?
My PC is intell Celeron M desktop, but when I installed te Grand theft Auto San Andreas the game was playing really slow motion.. Is there anyway I ca upgrade anything or do anything about it.. Please I need help on that provide me with tools, resources, ideas, and links that can fix that problem…
Auto Resources best answer:
Answer by DaProfessor
You either don’t have enough memory or your video card/connection is slow. Do you have an accelerated graphics card? If not you need one.