$500 Mini Grants for Towns and Schools!

The VTrans Public Transit Section offers grants to municipalities and schools to assist
in building a statewide outreach and advocacy network for the Go! Vermont Program. Selectboards, school groups, and volunteer committees (such as town energy committees) are a logical partner in this effort as they bring local credibility, energy, and innovation to the ongoing effort to expand the reach of the Go Vermont Program. VTrans will provide a $500 grant to participating municipal energy committee or volunteer group including K-12 school engagement. Learn more! 

Smart Commute Home Edition

Our Smart Commute Home Edition program worked with towns to lower residents’ transportation costs. Modeled after our successful workplace-based program, Home Edition followed a simple process to evaluate opportunities and develop tailored recommendations like new park-and-ride lots, improved marketing of carpool and bus resources, better telecommuting opportunities, electric vehicle charging stations, and more.

Smart Commute created a tailored commuting program designed to meet the needs of participating towns. Starting with a short survey of town residents, we established baseline data on commuting habits, developed a sustainable commuting plan, and worked with town officials and volunteers to implement it.

Participating Towns

A Dozen Strategies from Vital Communities’ Smart Commute Home Edition

  1. Promote Go! Vermont, New Hampshire Rideshare & Your Local Transit Company
    A lot of people simply don’t know about these resources. Use social media, town “listserv” or Front Porch Forum, newspapers to get the word out and build enthusiasm. Table at sports games, the dump, town meeting, etc. Don’t forget about the emergency ride home programs available to Upper Valley residents.
  1. Explore feasibility of vanpool and host a community vanpool informational party to form vanpools in your area (this works best at a large workplace)
    Enterprise Rideshare provides vanpools in Vermont and New Hampshire. See their website to sign up and check for vanpools in your area.
    Go! Vermont offers a $700 per month subsidy for vans serving Vermont residents and workers.  For more information, contact Ross MacDonald at the Go! Vermont Program of the Vermont Agency of Transportation at Ross.MacDonald@state.vt.us.
  1. Improve Park-and-Ride
    Possible improvements: improve walk/bike access, waiting helter, lighting and safety, add EV stations. If improvements have been made recently, make sure there is adequate signage and information about transit and carpool options. Publicize any improvements so people know about them!
  1. Promote Way to Go! at district schools (Vermont)
  1. Organize Bike, Walk, and Roll Day at district schools
    Use our toolkit, with the goal of making the event ongoing.
  1. Host Everyday Bicycling workshops
  1. Sign up for a consultation with vBike (Vermont)
  1. Include specifics about multi-modal transportation in town plan update
  1. Familiarize your local planners and developers with the Mobility Checklist
  1. Coordinate with regional efforts to improve volunteer driver programs
    Check with transit company, senior centers, community centers, faith groups.
  1. Install level II electric vehicle charging stations
  1. Apply for a grant!
    E-mail Bethany@VitalCommunities.org to learn about how towns in Vermont qualify for $500 mini grants from VTrans.


Learn More

Winner of the Planning Project of the Year Award from the NH Planners Association in 2008! This checklist helps developers, planners, and town boards understand how to “think beyond the car” and integrate biking, walking, and transit into their plan development. It was created with the help of the Upper Valley’s professional planning community and revised in 2014.

Resources for Towns

White River Junction Downtown Parking Study Final Report (2017)
This study for the Town of Hartford, Vermont, was produced by Vital Communities and RSG to examine parking constraints and options in the town’s burgeoning historic downtown.

A Look at the Municipal Vehicle Registration Fee (2015)
This study examines an optional $5 vehicle registration fee used by over a dozen New Hampshire municipalities to build local transportation improvement funds. Authorized under RSA 261:153 VI, the optional fee allows municipalities to establish local transportation improvement funds for projects as diverse as basic road maintenance, sidewalk construction, and public transit. The study concludes that many towns are seeing significant benefits from the optional fee and more are interested in adopting the optional program.

Mobility Checklist (2014)
Winner of the Planning Project of the Year Award from the NH Planners Association in 2008! This checklist helps developers, planners, and town boards understand how to “think beyond the car” and integrate biking, walking, and transit into their plan development. It was created with the help of the Upper Valley’s professional planning community and revised in 2014.

Managing Transportation Demand in the NH Route 120 Corridor: Policy, Finance, and Governance Options (2012)
This study examines how a commute trip reduction ordinance, parking revenue, and a corridor management authority could improve transportation options in the Route 120 corridor.

A Widening Gap (2007)
This study advocates for increased funding for transit services in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Operational Impact Study of Advance Transit Fixed-Route Bus Network (2005)
The “Operational Impact Study” examines the positive contribution of Advance Transit to maintaining clean air in the Upper Valley.

East Central Vermont Sustainability Consortium
Vital Communities is proud to be part of the East Central Vermont Sustainability Consortium, a three-year effort to plan for the future needs of Orange and Windsor Counties, Vermont.

Success Stories


October 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  • LUV - Education Session
  • Leadership Upper Valley Session
  • Farmer Climate Network Kickoff
  • UVTMA Monthly Meeting
  • Leadership Upper Valley Fall Reception
  • Trees of Dartmouth Guided Valley Quest
  • Farm to School Forum

Vital Communities Program News

Read our blog



Ana Mejia

Climate Projects Coordinator

Transportation, Energy

 802-291-9100 x114

Transportation, Energy

— Ana Mejia, Climate Projects Coordinator

Ana Mejia is the Climate Projects Coordinator at Vital Communities. She is a Southern California native and first arrived to the Upper Valley in 2018. Ana received her Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and her Master’s in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, where she wrote her thesis on solar home affordability and energy efficiency programs for low income families. When she is not actively working towards creating sustainable communities, Ana enjoys swimming, cross-country skiing, birding, and trying out new dessert recipes with her KitchenAid mixer.

Bethany Fleishman

Transportation Program Manager


 802-291-9100 x111


— Bethany Fleishman, Transportation Program Manager

Bethany Fleishman was born at the old Mary Hitchcock hospital in Hanover, N.H., grew up in West Hartford, Vt., and now lives in Hartford Village, where she can see the White River and the trains from her window. She has a biology degree from St. Lawrence University and has worked in public health outreach, as a line cook in San Francisco, a pastry chef in Hanover, and as a member of the Town of Hartford Selectboard. She serves on the board of directors for both Advance Transit and Upper Valley CarShare and is a lifelong bike commuter.