Pilot program could “integrate an easier commute into the fabric of a residential community”
In what may be the nation’s only partnership between a master-planned community and a government transit agency, METRO STAR Vanpool and the new Cane Island neighborhood in Katy are launching a pilot vanpool program that is being touted as an amenity for residents and future homebuyers.
METRO STAR has partnered with Rise Communities, LLC, developer for the master-planned Cane Island community, to develop a vanpool program for their current and future residents, many of which will likely be employees in The Energy Corridor. Plans call for 2,000 homes in Cane Island, located near IH-10 and the new Cane Island Parkway interchange being built west of Katy’s Pin Oak interchange.
The STAR Vanpool program joins Cane Island’s other planned amenities such as a dog ambassador, guest suite and a Bellagio-like garden conservatory.
STAR has never partnered with a master-planned community. Vanpools are typically organized by destination rather than origin, making this pilot project unique.
“We are very fortunate that our community is located close to The Energy Corridor District,” says Dan Naef, president of Rise Communities, LLC. “With our exclusive Cane Island-to-Energy Corridor luxury, black vans, we are proud of the fact that we are making this commute easier and cheaper, and better for the environment.”
Cane Island will contribute financially to the program, and the community’s logo will be featured on the vans.
“Our partnership with Cane Island is exciting,” explains David McMaster, director, Commuter Services, METRO. “It is the first time in our program's 20-year history working with a community to integrate vanpool as one of its residential amenities. This pilot would be unique in the nation.
“We see it as a way to integrate an easier commute into the fabric of a residential community,” McMaster says. “Many of these residents will be headed to jobs in The Energy Corridor.”
STAR Vanpool is promoted by The Energy Corridor District as a commute alternative that reduces traffic congestion, explains Kelly Rector, transportation coordinator for The District.
“Cane Island’s partnership with STAR Vanpool is a great example of how public and private entities can work together to deliver innovative transportation solutions,” Rector says.