Get to work at little cost

  • Published
  • By Laisa Leao
  • 412th Test Wing

Edward Air Force Base’s workforce has been saving thousands of dollars annually, while preventing millions of pounds of carbon dioxide to pollute the air since 2017 – thanks to the Department of Transportation’s Mass Transportation Benefit Program (MTBP) program.

The program is part of an incentive package to eligible military and civilian personnel assigned to Edwards. While Edwards’ location provides optimal conditions for flight test, it requires an average round-trip commute of two hours daily for employees living off-base. The Vanpool program addresses the cost involved with such a long commute, as well as the negative impacts on the environment.

There are about 300 employees currently enrolled in the program, and each of them has joined one of the 37 vanpools available, serving Rosamond, Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Bakersfield, and Victorville, just to name few of the many locations covered in the program.

Vanpool participants meet at a designated place within the city that they live, such as a Park and Ride lot, to commute together to Edwards and back. Depending on the location, the out-of-pocket cost may be minimal. The incentive does not cover empty seats, so the riders will bear the cost if applicable. Contractors do not qualify for the program, but they can still participate as long as they pay the full monthly cost. Minors are not allowed to ride.

The intent of the program is to ride full time. Participants must ride in the van at least 50 percent of the month, days will vary per month. Leave, temporary duty travel, teleworking, just to name a few payroll codes, count as non-riding days. 

Vanpools with available seats are listed on The Tower, Edwards’ weekly newsletter. The Tower is available via web browser, Android app, and Apple app.

The point of contact for the program at Edwards is Mark Klee,