Meridian ‘goes green’ by offering vanpools

ARLINGTON — With gas prices more than $4 a gallon, it’s more expensive than ever to drive to work, but employers like Meridian Yachts in Arlington are aiming to ease the burden on both the environment and their employees’ wallets.

ARLINGTON — With gas prices more than $4 a gallon, it’s more expensive than ever to drive to work, but employers like Meridian Yachts in Arlington are aiming to ease the burden on both the environment and their employees’ wallets.

Meridian has recently started using three vans, each of which can accommodate 15 passengers, to conduct “vanpools” through Skagit Transit.

Audrey Eustice, human resources generalist for Meridian in Arlington, estimated that the average employee who participates in the vanpool saves approximately $300 per month.

“We have employees who live as far away as Burlington, Darrington and Mount Vernon,” Eustice said. “The fare for the van is about $40 a month, but they’d be spending about $300 a month just on fuel, and that’s before you even factor in insurance and maintenance costs to drive themselves to work.”

Stephen Dusold, plant general manager for Meridian in Arlington, believes the service allows them to retain employees who might not be able to afford their commutes otherwise, while Eustice noted that the vanpools give them 45 open parking spaces.

“The three vans have dedicated spaces in front of the building,” Eustice said. “You only need to ride three days a week, and if you have an emergency or a doctor’s appointment, you’re guaranteed a ride by van or cab. It doesn’t cost us anything.”

The vanpool fares cover the costs of the vans’ fuel, maintenance and insurance, and the vans can use freeway HOV lanes.

Community Transit has 340 vanpool groups whose commutes either begin or end in Snohomish County. According to Dawn Kirsch, vanpool supervisor for Community Transit, those vanpools take approximately 2,250 single-occupant vehicles off the road.

Those interested in finding potential vanpool partners and groups needing additional partners can log onto www.rideshareonline.com.

More in Life

Marysville Food Bank volunteers unload donated items from the Tulalip Tribes. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville, Arlington receive food donations from restaurants

The Tulalip Tribes closing their gaming facilities due to the coronavirus has… Continue reading

Arlington Times Logo
Briefly

Red Curtain cancels play MARYSVILLE – Red Curtain has canceled its May… Continue reading

Katelyn Leary, Jimena Yanez and Grace Kyser.
Marysville Strawberry Festival court named

MARYSVILLE – Katelyn Leary, Jimena Yanez and Grace Kyser were named senior… Continue reading

Both Students of the Month from MG want to be doctors
Both Students of the Month from MG want to be doctors

Marysville Getchell seniors Divine Grace Bayya and Colton Lindstrand are the March… Continue reading

Hoops for Hope a fun fundraiser for special needs students
Hoops for Hope a fun fundraiser for special needs students

MARYSVILLE – We are still working on the story for the Hoops… Continue reading

Selena Tedford and her design for one of the banners. (Courtesy Photo)
AHS students make metal banners for city light poles

ARLINGTON - Students in Arlington High School’s Advanced Manufacturing class are teaming… Continue reading

Maleia Kicking Woman receives a blanket from tribal members Tuesday. (Courtesy Photo)
4 Native American students in Marysville receive awards

MARYSVILLE – Four students won Indigenous Education awards at the quarterly breakfast… Continue reading

8 local students win Arlington Rotary Club awards
8 local students win Arlington Rotary Club awards

ARLINGTON - Eight middle and high school students from the Arlington, Lakewood… Continue reading

Cecily (Karli Reinbold) falls for the dashing Algernon (Kennan Miller) in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” (Courtesy Photo)
It’s important to be Earnest in Wilde’s Victorian satire

MARYSVILLE – Oscar Wilde’s ”The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy… Continue reading

Bennett, Severn of M-P February Students of the Month
Bennett, Severn of M-P February Students of the Month

MARYSVILLE – Alexis Bennett and T.J. Severn of Marysville-Pilchuck High School are… Continue reading

Krista Longspaugh
Briefly

MARYSVILLE - Marysville Fire District’s first career woman firefighter will retire Friday… Continue reading

Folks check out the Miracle House for homeless families. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)
Help for homeless families available in Marysville

MARYSVILLE – About 508 students in the Marysville School District were homeless… Continue reading