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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

RIP Van Pool

I don't like driving in Atlanta. There are far too many insane drivers here who drive 90 MPH (no lie!), weave in and out, and tailgate at that speed. There's the opposite side of the spectrum, too. Like this morning, the guy I came up on who was doing maybe 45 MPH on the freeway. Gah!

The first year after I moved here, I would drive to work with a death grip on the steering wheel. I hated it and I was ready to move back to Minnesota. And then I found the van pool.

To say I loved my van pool would be understating it. I would sleep on my way in to work in the morning and sometimes I slept on the way home, too. Other times, I'd text friends, do quick emails, play games, read, or any number of other things.

It wasn't perfect. There was one guy who was always late going home in the afternoons and I was already staying a little late. It also wasn't the greatest if I had errands I needed to run after work. A lot of times, I would end up backtracking or trying to drive to work myself to make the stops on my way home. Even this, though, was workable once I discovered my credit union had mobile deposit.

And then the unthinkable happened. My van pool died. There is a villain!

The company that leased the van to us (yes, we paid to lease the van and for gas) was bought by Enterprise Rental Cars. They insisted that everyone was going to get a new van, one that would lease for a hell of a lot more money than what we were currently paying. Our van pool leader managed to hold them off for a few months, but at the end of November, we had no options--we had to take the new van or drop out.

Sadly, there was no choice except drop out because the monthly fee nearly doubled! Yes, that's right--Enterprise jacked up the rates so high, the monthly fee would have been almost double the previous month's fee. I do not have fond feelings toward Enterprise.

So I've been driving to and from work on my own since my van pool died. I hate it. I miss sleeping, I miss not having to be the one behind the wheel, and I miss our guaranteed parking spot very close to the entrance. I'm really hoping that some other company will come in and start a van pool business that leases vans at a reasonable rate. Or that the state subsidizes the van so that it's affordable. Something so I can ride and not drive.

RIP van pool. You had your annoying things, but overall, you were awesome.