US van pooling is going to town

Van pooling continues to gain popularity as more commuters take the plunge. Companies in the United States operating van pool programs increased from 5 percent in 1979 to 13 percent this year, according to a survey by Runzheimer Reports on Transportation.

Robert Kastengren, executive vice-president of Runzheimer's transportation division, attributes the increase to such benefits as:

* Lowering commuting costs for employees.

* Freeing of employees from driving chores - allowing them to work or read.

* Providing an employee perk that nearly pays for itself.

* Reducing traffic and pollution in communities.

Companies without a van pooling program cited such disadvantages as employees being forced to arrive and leave work at set times, more time spent in transit, and added administrative load for fleet manager.

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