NVRC Currents

NVRC Currents

Jan 03

What Are Your New Year's Resolutions? - Allison Doerfler

Posted on January 3, 2020 at 12:19 PM by Bob Lazaro

MAY WE MAKE A SUGGESTION?

Some of the most common resolutions include:

  • Save money/spend less
  • Do more for the environment
  • Read more books, news, articles
  • Connect more with family and friends
  • Reduce Stress

What if I told you all of these could be accomplished simply by ditching your car and choosing mass transit?

We all know this region is known for its traffic, why not help the problem and help yourself by choosing a mass transit option for your commute to and from work?

New Years Resolution FlyerSave Money/Spend Less

Did you know that the Federal Government offers a subsidy to all federal employees? The Federal Mass Transit Subsidy is available to all federal employees, offering up to $270/month toward the purchase of tickets for local and regional bus, rail systems, and even vanpools.

AAA has estimated the monthly cost of maintaining and operating an automobile is $309. Just think of the money and value you can save by using some variation of mass transit. To learn more about the Federal Mass Transit Subsidy go to: www.doi.gov.

Do More for the Environment

While there is a lot of debate about what is happening with the environment, we can all agree fewer cars on the road emitting exhaust is a good thing. Be a part of the solution and help combat pollution by using mass transit. Options include the Virginia Rail Express (VRE), metro, vanpooling, car-pooling, and buses. There are lots of options, and we have the answers. We can point you in the right direction, and even help you get started in your effort to do more for the environment by committing to mass transit

Read More Books and News

Have you read any of the Classics? Have you always wanted to be better up to date with the news? Have you ever wanted to be a part of a book club? Now you can with all the extra time you will have during your commute to and from work.

While the average commute in the area ranges from 30-40 minutes, let someone else drive while you catch up on some of the newest best-sellers. By not driving and using that time to read you can easily meet your New Year’s resolution goals of reading more.

Connect More with Family and Friends

Don’t we all wish we could spend more time catching up with family and friends? Wish we had that 10 extra minutes in the day to call, send a text, or an email to some-one. Just think about all the catching up you can do while someone else drives: Send that text to your sister in Phoenix; email your friend who just had a baby; or catch up on your social media. Reconnect during your commute, by using mass transit.

Pledge to Make Mass Transit Your New Year’s Resolution

Do your part to help alleviate the region’s traffic problem, all while meeting your own resolution goals. We at NVRC are committed to educating and assisting military members and their families, civilians, and contractors commuting to and from the bases. Learn more and commit to mass transit, a resolution you can commit to all year. For information and questions contact us and let us help you with your goal!
.............

Allison Doerfler
Military Transportation Coordinator
(703) 642-4641
allison.doerfler@novaregion.org


Jan 03

Doing Your Part to Protect the Environment - Allison Doerfler

Posted on January 3, 2020 at 9:38 AM by Bob Lazaro

Cars in traffic

As 2019 ends and 2020 begins, we are faced with the continued challenge of defining what we can do as individuals to help with the environment.  We see companies and corporations trying to do their part, such as switching to include paper straws, charging for bags, paying customers for using reusable bags, and offering rebates for using green products.  But the question remains, what can we as individuals do to make a change that will truly make a difference in the environment?  While many of us are aware that never flying again, being a vegan, walking everywhere, composting, and relying solely on solar power are impactful ways that people can participate in to aid in positive environmental practices, those can be life-altering and may not fit into your current life situation.  While all commendable and positive goals, maybe starting smaller will be easier.  One tried and true action an individual can take to make an environmental-friendly choice changes is taking some sort of mass transit every day as you commute to and from work.  

The EPA has determined the typical passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.  This number, of course, varies based on the vehicle’s fuel, fuel economy, and number of miles it travels.  Now for me, the next question was what does that mean?  Is that a lot? Is that normal? I researched it and discovered this website: https://www.terrapass.com/.  You can enter your individual routine and determine how that compares to others and how many trees a year you would need to plant in order to offset that amount of carbon dioxide.  The site claims the average person in the US emits 63,934 lbs. of Co2e per year.  My yearly Co2e emission calculates to roughly 25,396 lbs. per year.  It estimates I would need to plant 295 urban trees a year to offset my footprint.  While that doesn’t paint the complete picture, it gives an idea of how much we emit yearly and its effects on the environment.  

On the other hand, each bus you see on the roads can carry anywhere between 40-80 people.  Just imagine how much less carbon dioxide is emitted because those people are not driving to work in their single-occupancy-vehicles (SOVs).  Buses are not even the only answer, you can create a carpool or a vanpool, use the metro, or ride the train, all reducing the number of SOVs on the road.  The District/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) is home to slugging, the innovation of those waiting at bus lots trying to get to work earlier.  There are a variety of options available, do some research to see which works best for you.

The cities and counties of NoVA, DC, and MD are working together to get you all out of your cars and into some sort of mass transit.  In fact, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and local governments across metropolitan Washington established the regional Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction goal of 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.  As of 2015, 40% of Northern Virginia’s GHG emissions were attributable to transportation and mobile sources.  Commit to some variation of mass transit this year and help the greater DMV area reach its goal.  Lets each do our part to save our environment and minimize our carbon footprints.

For resources, visit our transportation demand page at:

https://www.novaregion.org/1204/Transportation-Demand-Management


Dec 12

ADVANCE Partnership a Model of Collaboration

Posted on December 12, 2019 at 9:02 AM by Bob Lazaro

George Mason University/Northern Virginia Community College ADVANCE Partnership a Model of Collaboration

While much attention has been paid in the region regarding the attraction of Amazon’s HQ2 to the region, the fact is that collaboration among our local governments, schools and universities has been ongoing for quite some time. One great example of that regional collaboration is the ADVANCE Partnership between George Mason University and the Northern Virginia Community College.

Picture of Anne Holton, David Tarter and Mel SchiavelliAt a recent meeting hosted by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, NVRC Chairman and Falls Church Mayor David Tarter, GMU Interim President Anne Holton, NVCC Interim President Mel Schiavelli and Superintendents of our local school districts, Presidents Holton and Schiavelli updated the Superintendents of the success of the ADVANCE Partnership to date and exploring additional efforts to further collaborate on a deeper basis to grow the number of students participating.

What is the ADVANCE Partnership?

Simply put it is a forward-thinking partnership that will help NVCC graduates transfer seamlessly to earn bachelor’s degrees in high demand fields. Dedicated success coaches at both institutions, ease of admission and financial aid, and alignment of curricula to ensure students don’t lose credits when they transfer are just a few of the many benefits of the Partnership. By eliminating the roadblocks that have hampered students in the past, ADVANCE offers a clear, smooth and guided path to help student achieve their four-year degree in the field of their choice.

Success to date includes 692 students enrolled in the program as of the Fall 2019. It is estimated that students can save greater than $15,000 on the cost of a bachelor’s degree. Further there are more than 100-degree pathways and there are no wasted credits.

GMU and NVCC have reinvented the transfer model.

  1. Every student has a dedicated ADVANCE success coach who knows the transfer ins and outs, and provides support each step of the way.
  2. There is a streamlined enrollment process.
  3. No more losing credits when the student graduates from NVCC and starts at Mason. Policies are aligned and everyone is on the same page.
  4. Students get great benefits, including access to Mason student life, athletic events and campus facilities.
  5. Select programs will be available online and in the classroom.

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is committed to work with all of its public and private partners to ensure the region is preparing a workforce for the future here in Northern Virginia. Details on the ADVANCE Partnership can be found at: https://www.nvcc.edu/advance/