Commuting Can be Eco-Friendly

On a recent layover, as I was sitting in the transportation van with the rest of my crew, I looked out the window at the mass of tail lights and exhaust fumes, shook my head, and muttered “rush hour.”

For those of you who travel to and from the airport on a frequent basis, I’m sure that’s an all too familiar scenario.  While there may be no getting around the traffic, if you are traveling in the New England or San Francisco Bay area, there are ways to commute to the airport without polluting the environment.

Now, thanks to PlanetTran, there’s a way to get to and from the airport in a socially responsible, environmentally friendly way ““ even when there is no viable public transportation option.

What is PlanetTran?  It’s the first public auto service to exclusively utilize environmentally friendly hybrid cars (currently, the Toyota Prius) for its livery fleet.  Primarily serving airports in the greater Boston and Bay Area, they can be schedule for car service nearly anywhere.  You make a reservation by creating a profile in the online reservation system, enter your to and from locations, and schedule your pick up time and location.  Alternatively, you can call PlanetTran at 1-877-ECO-TAXI.

The Prius can seat four passengers with light luggage, three passengers with more extensive luggage, and two passengers with luggage that includes golf clubs, skis, or large bags that require folding down the back seat.

PlanetTran quotes you a flat charge for your car service, and bills waiting time at $60/hour in increments of 10 minutes, with a 10-minute grace period.  They keep on top of arriving flights (and delays), and wait time is not charged for commercial airline delays, or for the time it takes you to get from plane to car.  They’ll wait for you as long as it takes, so you won’t have to worry about the time it takes to get your check bags, clear customs, or anything like that.

Looking at some sample prices, PlanetTran is pretty comparable to taxis, and cheaper than most limo and other car services.  They accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express, but not cash (security reasons).  A receipt is emailed to you, continuing the quest for “green” technology, with a paperless operation.

Using PlanetTran looks like an efficient, reliable, and environmentally savvy way to get to the airport, proving that you can be both cost conscious and green.

Note:  I read that PlanetTran offers wifi in its vehicles, but have been unable to confirm this information.  Anyone have any first hand experience to report back?

Photo credit:  wikipedia

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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