Vital Communities has been awarded a $50,000, two-year grant from the High Meadows Fund to expand its transportation work with towns in Vermont through its new Smart Commute Home Edition program.

Vital Communities requests proposals from Vermont communities in our service area to participate in the second round of our Smart Commute Home Edition. This is an exciting opportunity for four communities to partner with Vital Communities and promote biking, walking, transit, carpooling, telecommuting, and high-efficiency vehicles in their communities. Smart Commute can help save residents money, reduce the environmental impact of driving, and improve the health and wellness of residents. The full request for proposals may be downloaded here.

We will host an information session for interested communities Wednesday, October 8th, from 7:00-8:00 pm on the second floor of the Upper Valley Food Co-op, 195 North Main Street, White River Junction, Vermont 05001 (map).

This work is based on our traditional and older “Smart Commute” program, which has helped 36 Upper Valley workplaces decrease their drive-alone rate from 84% to 76%, saving approximately 300,000 gallons of fuel and an estimated $1.3 million in fuel costs. We transferred our model of consulting workplaces (the “end point” of a commute) to communities (the “start point” of a commute) with four pilot communities in summer 2014. Our first four communities were Bradford, Hartford, Norwich, and Windsor, Vermont. These communities are now pursuing a wide range of activities, from promoting existing bus services to examining the feasibility of a car-share program.