NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Now’s a great time to rethink your commute and consider vanpooling. Not only is it good for the environment, it could also save you money.

TRAFFIX, a service provided by Hampton Roads Transit that promotes and implements commuting options in our area, just announced it is increasing the monthly stipend for its Vanpool Program.

A vanpool is a group of 7-15 commuters who lease a van to share a ride to work.

The subsidy for new and existing vanpools who lease through Enterprise Rideshare is increasing to a flat rate of $500, so if this is something you’ve thought about doing, now is a great time to start.

The way it works is the total cost to lease the van (insurance, maintenance, fuel and tolls) is divided among the total number of riders in that van. TRAFFIX will now kick in the first $500 every month, as long as funds are available. Funding is provided through the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization.

“This adjustment reflects our commitment to ensuring that vanpooling remains an accessible and viable transportation option for everyone,” said Amy Jordan, Executive Director of TRAFFIX.

According to a news release from TRAFFIX, increasing the stipend will “provide greater financial relief while helping commuters make a more sustainable and positive impact on the environment.”

TRAFFIX also has a Rewards Program, where you can earn points every time you share a ride, use transit, telework, walk, or bike. You can later redeem the points at local businesses.

Click here for more information about the TRAFFIX vanpool program. Vanpools must be registered with TRAFFIX to receive the stipend.