Drive Less, Save More: The New Freres Sustainable Vanpool Program for Employees

At Freres Engineered Wood, we’ve always believed in working closely with our employees to overcome challenges and improve their daily lives. We understand that commuting, especially from places like Salem and Albany, can be a daunting task. This is particularly true for those without reliable transportation or those just starting their careers, where the costs of a car, insurance, and fuel can be overwhelming. With fuel prices soaring in recent years, we knew it was time to step up and find a solution that minimizes the impact and supports our team.

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Commute Enterprise to launch an upcoming vanpool program, accessible to all our employees. This initiative, supported by financial grant funding from Cherriots Transportation, reflects our commitment to innovation and employee welfare.

For the first three months of this program, Freres Engineered Wood will cover the employees’ costs (minus what the grant funding already covers) for employees participating in the vanpool. Following this, for the following three months, we will continue to support by covering 50% of the costs. Then, after six months, we’ll review the program’s participation and effectiveness to decide on future contributions. We want our employees to feel thrilled about this opportunity and the substantial savings it offers. Imagine no wear and tear on your vehicle, zero fuel costs, and the luxury of being driven in a newer vehicle. Even without Freres contributions, this program would save employees approximately $6,000 per year (per Commute Enterprises’ statistics; based upon vehicle maintenance, insurance, depreciation, and fuel costs).\

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Here’s how it works:

Groups of five to 15 coworkers living in proximity can form a vanpool. You’ll choose a driver, decide on the type of vehicle (a recent-model van or SUV), and agree on pickup locations. This arrangement is not just about convenience; it includes comprehensive insurance, full maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and significant individual savings – all while positively impacting the environment.

Participants in this program will have any of their future vanpool costs conveniently deducted through our payroll system. This setup allows for funding of up to $300 of vanpool expenses with pre-tax income each month, effectively increasing take-home pay without it reflecting as additional income on W-2 forms. It’s a win-win, with benefits realized only when employees contribute to the vanpool program costs.

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Beyond monetary savings, this program will positively impact our employees’ lives, reduce our environmental footprint, and uphold our commitment to sustainability. We will begin presentations to our staff in February, and will kickstart this exciting journey as soon as enough employees sign up. Are you ready to join us in revolutionizing your commute?


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