FAQs on GreenRide and green commuting
||ESH&Q's David Baird and Matt Quinn carpool to Fermilab. Currently, three parking spaces close to the entrance of Wilson Hall are available for carpoolers. Photo: Katie Kosirog
You may have noticed the recent signs on the west side of Wilson Hall that say, "Car Pool Parking."
You may also have heard of GreenRide Connect through Fermilab Today or the Sustainability website. These actions are part of Fermilab's new initiatives to assist employees in greening their commute and decreasing the lab's overall carbon footprint. The ESH&Q Section has received questions regarding this topic, and the answers to some of these are given below. If you have any additional questions after reading through these FAQs, please email Katie Kosirog.
Q: What is GreenRide Connect?
A: It is a database that enables you to track your commute. You can also find potential car pool partners and track your reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and cost savings in gasoline if you use alternative commuting methods. Also, if you prefer to bike to work with others, you can find bike groups.
Q: How do I sign up for GreenRide Connect, and how long will it take to register?
A: Go to the GreenRide website and click on the link to register. It will take less than 10 minutes to sign up.
Q: Why should I sign up for GreenRide Connect, especially if I don't want to carpool?
A: You do not have to carpool if you sign up for GreenRide. You can just track your commute to become more aware of the amount of greenhouse gas you emit during your commute as well as the expense of the commute.
Q: Are there any other reasons to sign up for GreenRide?
A: You might want to sign up because you never know if you are going to have car trouble and will need to find a ride to work one day.
Q: Is there preferred parking at locations other than Wilson Hall?
A: Currently, there are three spaces at Wilson Hall (west parking lot, next to parking for medical appointments) and one at Industrial Center Building.
Q: Why isn't there preferred parking for hybrid or electric cars?
A: Hybrid cars are more numerous than even just a few years ago. There aren't enough premium parking spots to accommodate the number of hybrid cars at Fermilab.
Q: How do I register my car for the parking spaces?
A: You don't have to register to use the preferred parking spots.
Q: Can I still use a spot if I drop off my car pool partner at a different building?
A: The spots are available to anyone that carpools, even if you drop off a spouse or coworker at another building.
Q: Do I need to sign up on GreenRide to use the spots?
Q: How are the parking spots monitored?
A: The spots are available on a first come, first served basis and are not monitored by security. The spots are available on the honor system.
Q: Why the push to carpool?
A: In today's society, there is a push to be more responsible about our actions that affect our future. Part of practicing sustainability is thinking about your carbon footprint from everyday activities like commuting. Fermilab's Site Sustainability Plan (KCA certificate required) describes goals to reduce the lab's carbon footprint.
Q: Are there any other commuting options?
A: The local suburban transit authority, Pace, offers a service to join a van pool in which the van is owned by PACE. Find out more information on Pace's van pool website. Some Fermilab employees even take a Metra train and bike or carpool the rest of the commute to the lab.
Q: What if I want to share a ride to places other than work?
A: Try a different rideshare resource not customized to Fermilab, such as Pace RideShare or Carpool World.
Q: What if I don't have a car? Can I still carpool?
A: While the typical car pool involves people with their own vehicles taking turns driving, you may be able to set up an arrangement in which someone else does all the driving while you pitch in for gas and other expenses.
Q: Can I plug in my electric vehicle while I'm at work at the lab?
A: No. Federal regulations currently prohibit this for employees unless it is part of specially funded and approved studies on energy usage.
Q: What if I bike or walk to work?
A: There is an option within GreenRide to find bike groups and document the days you bike or walk to work to show greenhouse gas and cost savings. Also, Fermilab has a well-established biking community and website that anyone can register to use.
Q: How is my privacy protected if I put my address in GreenRide?
A: Only your first name and first initial of your last name is displayed for others to view. The map shows a general area of where you live to others.