CIRTA vanpool program expands to Columbus

Employee-recruitment challenges led to service

With an unemployment rate that’s even lower than the low 3.7% state average, Columbus, Indiana, businesses are looking for innovative ways to attract employees.

The Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) believes vanpools offer one solution, and they’re partnering with CIRTA to see if they can put more vanpools on the road to bring workers to Columbus, where the unemployment rate as of Nov. 2017 was 2.6%.

“We know some people aren’t working because they lack reliable transportation,” said CAMPO Director Laura Thayer. “So we’re partnering with CIRTA to help remove that barrier. We initially approached CIRTA about transportation issues to a particular industrial park, but we soon learned they could help us throughout the community.”

Through its Commuter Connect program, CIRTA will work through employers to provide information and presentations about how vanpools work and sign up individuals to participate. A vanpool consists of 5 to 15 people who agree to travel to work together in a van provided for a fee by Commuter Connect. Learn more at

For vanpools, CIRTA will organize riders, a primary driver and a backup driver, as well as secure a meeting/parking spot, and arrange for Emergency Ride Home services for participants. CIRTA will work with employers and employment agencies to promote vanpool and carpool options. It also will provide vanpool and carpool matching that Columbus residents and employees in the city can access from

In exchange for these services, Columbus will pay CIRTA for the Commuter Connect services. The cost of the program will be paid for by Columbus, employers and other sponsors, and riders.

“CIRTA is pleased to be able to assist the Columbus community with our Commuter Connect rideshare service,” said Andrew McGee, CIRTA assistant director and Commuter Connect program director. “Regional transit is a must, and what’s good for Columbus is good for Central Indiana.”

Media Contact: Jen Thomas, JTPR, 317.441.2487,

CIRTA helping Columbus get employees to work release FINAL 5.1.18