Smith's Opt-Out Program pays eligible employees to travel to and from work without driving a single-occupant vehicle (SOV), an initiative to help ease the parking demand on campus. The Opt-Out Program is a voluntary program to encourage faculty and staff to find alternate ways to commute, such as car-pooling, ridesharing, bicycling, walking and public transit.
Terms of the Program
The college offers a two-tiered payment system. Under the terms of the program, employees receive an Opt-Out payment of $150 per year for choosing to leave their car at home and live within a one-mile radius from the center of campus. For those living outside of the one-mile radius, a payment of $400 will be given. Participants will also be provided with free passes that will allow 18 days of campus parking each year for those days when a car is needed.
How to Participate
Register your vehicle in person at the Campus Police Parking Office. You will be issued up to 18 free parking passes and an opt-out decal which you must affix to your car window.
Smith also participates in the MassRIDES Emergency Ride Home Program. Situations that are considered "emergencies" by the ERH program include:
- unexpected personal illness/emergency
- unexpected family illness/emergency
- carpool/vanpool driver has emergency
- unexpected mandatory overtime
To register for the ERH program or obtain more information go to the MassRIDES website, www.commute.com.
Smith will check the streets around the campus and the campus proper to determine if there are Opt-Out Program cars parked in violation of the terms of the opt-out agreement. For a first violation, you will receive a written warning from the Campus Police office. On a second violation, your Opt-Out Program membership will be deactivated. You must then purchase a Smith parking decal at normal price and will be unable to participate in the Opt-Out Program for one full academic year. (This means that your membership will be terminated for the remainder of the academic year, plus one full academic year). Program members are responsible for removing their Opt-Out decal and reimbursing Smith through payroll deduction for the remainder of the year according to the established reimbursement schedule. The reimbursement schedule is as follows:
Carpool members are eligible to participate in the Opt-Out Program. The carpool group should decide how it will distribute the money to members within the group. The owner of the vehicle to be driven to Smith is not eligible for the Opt-Out Program; however, each employee riding with him or her would be eligible for $400 and would not have to buy a decal. For example, if three employees wished to participate, one would buy a carpool decal for $10 and the other two would get $400 each as members of the Opt-Out Program—with a net savings of $940, which can be divided among the three carpooling employees. Carpooling will save fuel, wear and tear, and be part of Smith's sustainability initiative.
MassRIDES, a service of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), also offers a NuRide program to find people going your way and at the same time earn reward points each time you take a “green trip” (like transit, bicycling, walking or carpooling). Then, redeem those points for rewards like local and national restaurant coupons, retailer discounts and tickets to shows and attractions. To sign up, go to www.commute.com/NuRide. Carpoolers, opt-outers, bicyclists and PVTA riders can also take advantage of MassRIDES Emergency Ride Home (ERH) Program. For more information contact MassRIDES by calling 888-426-6688 (888-4COMMUTE) or visit their website.