Pamela Casey

Making a dream job work with a dreamier commute

What do you do when your dream job is 91 miles away from your home? If you're like Pamela Casey, you sign up with CommuteSmart to have your cake and eat it too.

Pamela loves living in Shelby County, but when she was offered the perfect professional position in Montgomery, she faced a dilemma. Not wanting to leave her family, friends and church, but also not wanting to spend an outrageous amount on gas, she knew she needed to find another option.

Through a church volleyball teammate, she found out about CommuteSmart's vanpool program. She tried it once and was hooked. She knew she had found a solution.

With CommuteSmart, Pamela found a flexible solution that meets her needs. She vanpools three days a week and carpools the other two. She rides the van as a day rider, paying about $7.50 for each day that she rides. If she drove alone in her car, she'd pay about $20 for gasoline just to and from work that day.

While Ms.Casey rides every other day, her van also has "permanent" riders who ride in the van every day. She enjoys the family atmosphere of her van and finds that the commute just doesn't seem as long with her new friends on board. She also uses her van time to catch up on sleep or even to work if she's up against a deadline. She says that riding in the van instead of driving alone gives her back more than two hours of her day.

Without carpooling and vanpooling, Pamela would put more than 1,000 miles per week on her new car, causing the vehicle to depreciate faster, require a monthly oil change and significantly add to wear and tear. She would also be spending about $500 a month just on gasoline.

Before she started vanpooling, her long daily commute exhausted her. While Pamela figures she might get home a few minutes earlier in the evening if she drove alone, all the benefits she's found with vanpooling far outweigh the small extra time investment. Thanks to vanpooling with CommuteSmart, she saves money and her sanity while enjoying the community and job she loves.

If you'd like to save money by carpooling or vanpooling, you can register with CommuteSmart's free online ridematch database and get started today.