HR Strange But True!
September 18, 2008

People in Flint, Michigan, are thinking outside of the box to make a commuter run less expensive--let the passengers do the driving!

The Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) has a run from Genesee County to the General Motors Technical Center in Warren , outside of Detroit , each morning, and its return trip was empty, as was the trip back to Warren to pick up workers at the end of the day. So the commuting employees approached MTA about their willingness to take on the responsibility of driving a bus to work and then back, saving an entire round trip, according to an article in the Flint Journal .

MTA General Manager Robert Foy said his organization welcomed this solution, although there were issues of insurance, union contracts, and liability to resolve. However, Foy says "It's very possible ? we're investigating possible ways to try to do this."

One rider, Greg Hernacki, told the Flint Journal that the GM employees pushed this idea because they wanted to save money and conserve energy, and he reported that there is a waiting list of passengers wanting to ride this route, including those who currently carpool (and report that costs them $120 per month). He said he can foresee adding more buses to the run as workers become aware of its existence, and the need for this service grows.

Currently, the MTA monthly bus pass for this route costs $60, which could save employees hundreds of dollars in gas. And Foy reports that MTA would also save half the cost of the daily runs.

Employees who have already volunteered to drive all have experience in driving large vehicles, said Foy, but the problem lies in having "civilians" drive government-owned buses in Michigan . However, he promised in the article to help the employees with their commute "even if [MTA] must use a union driver to get them there."

Source: Flint Journal

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