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Earth Action Heroes: Carpoolers

Most mornings, City of Bloomington Public Works employee Ricardo de Jesus, above right, leaves his home in the north metro to pick up his carpool partner and coworker, Eric Schoon, above left, at a nearby Park and Ride. They have made the 50-mile trek to work together three to four times a week for the past 12 years.

“I drive because I have a more fuel-efficient car, and Eric pays me weekly to fill up the gas tank,” de Jesus said. “We have similar interests in sports, (Motocross is a shared favorite) and because we work in the same department, we can collaborate on work projects during our commute. The time just goes by faster when you have someone to talk to.”

He offers up some advice for people considering carpooling, “Be flexible and leave yourself plenty of time to allow for unexpected traffic delays, especially with all the road construction. Then relax and try to be patient. We all want to get to work safely.”

Schoon and de Jesus also benefit from a parking spot located close to the employee entrance reserved for carpoolers. It’s an easy way for employers to encourage and reward carpooling at their worksites. Commuter Services helps companies set up carpool parking, providing the signs and managing the program. For more information, visit 494corridor.org.