FAQs: Reserved parking for HEVs, carpools and vanpools

Q: What is a high-efficiency vehicle (HEV) and how do I know if I can park in the spaces Argonne has reserved for HEVs, carpools and vanpools?

A: According to the DOE/EPA website, an HEV is a vehicle that achieves a combined city and highway average miles per gallon (MPG) rating of at least 32. Log in to GreenRide Connect to calculate your vehicle’s MPG rating. Alternative fuel vehicles are also considered HEVs and may include standard hybrid vehicles, gas-electric hybrids and vehicles that run on electricity, hydrogen, propane, compressed natural gas, methanol and ethanol. Any fuel-efficient vehicles that meet the above-listed specifications are authorized to park in Argonne’s reserved HEV, carpool and vanpool parking spaces.

Q: Can I park my motorcycle in an HEV, carpool and vanpool reserved parking space?

A: If the motorcycle meets the fuel-efficient vehicle criteria listed above, yes.

Q: Does commuting to work with a spouse or relative count as carpooling?

A: Yes, as long as there are at least two individuals in the vehicle commuting to and from work, this qualifies as a carpool.

Q: Is it okay to park a non-fuel-efficient vehicle (like a Hummer) in an Argonne reserved HEV, carpool and vanpool parking spot as long as I’ve used the vehicle to carpool to work that day?

A: Yes, you’re carpooling and that’s encouraged.

Q: Parking is already sparse, so why are the reserved parking spots going up now?

A: Presidential Executive Order 13514 requires Argonne to reduce employee travel and commuting emissions by 13% by 2020. Multiple initiatives have been implemented to encourage and assist employees to carpool, vanpool and commute sustainably to work. Close-to-the door reserved parking spaces reward employees who participate in sustainable commuting. Additionally, car- and vanpooling result in extra open parking spots for others.

Q: How do I find employees to car- or vanpool with?

A: In the event that you do not know four or more people with a similar commute, the GreenRide Connect online ride sharing service offered through Argonne’s Sustainability Program will connect you with commuters in your area.

Q: I know someone who parks in the reserved spaces but doesn’t carpool, vanpool or have an HEV. How is the program managed to account for these types of people?

A: Unfortunately, the effort to register and maintain a voluntary database of HEV vehicles and car- and van-pooling vehicles is something for which the Sustainability Program Office is not currently staffed. The designated spaces are an attempt to reward employees who have made an effort to commute sustainably. The “honor system” is the current approach to this benefit. This approach may be reconsidered if problems arise.

FAQs about vanpooling are available here.

Questions about vanpooling and reserved HEV, carpool and vanpool parking can be emailed to [email protected]