Use of slugging, vanpools sharply down amid pandemic

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) — The need for social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic and the rise in teleworking has two popular Northern Virginia commuter options on the skids.

The use of both vanpools and slugging, where riders and drivers mix and match with strangers, are both on the decline in an area with notoriously bad traffic, the Free Lance-Star reported.

Ashley Daer has worked with ABC Vans in Stafford County for 17 years and told the newspaper some smaller vanpools have already shut down. Most of ABC’s 72 vans have “been sitting nonstop” since March, she said.

“I’ve never been so unsure of the future,” she said.

As for slugging, the creator of a website that lists meet-up spots said interest in his site isn’t “anywhere what it used to be.” Dave LeBlanc said he is sending out a survey to determine if people plan to return to the practice.

“Everyone’s driving now,” Dan Stanton, a longtime commuter to the Pentagon from Stafford, told the newspaper. “The infrastructure can’t handle it if everyone drives alone.”

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