FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) is working to help Lowcountry businesses manage rising gas prices and limited parking in the area by providing the Lowcountry Go Vanpool Service.

“As more people move into Charleston,” BCDCOG’s vanpool coordinator Courtney Cherry said, “it’s getting heavier on the traffic side. So, we’re trying to find alternative transportation.”

The Lowcountry Go Vanpool is a specialized service for businesses to get their employees to and from work.

“The Lowcountry Vanpool is ideal for five to fifteen people who live in a similar area and are commuting to work,” Cherry said.

Taco Boy on Folly Beach is already utilizing the new transportation service as part of their foreign exchange program.

“Students wanted to come learn our culture,” Taco Boy manager Darion Glanton said. “So, we figured out a way for them to come work and make money while they’re studying, and just getting immerse in the country. We provide housing, we provide transportation and a beautiful environment for them to flourish.”

Glanton says the vanpool service has worked well so far.

“We get employees to work on time,” he said. “We know they’re going to be here and ready to rock. So, we get them to and from work. No problem.”

But they have run into one minor issue.

“It’s hard to find a place to park the van sometimes,” Glanton said, “but we’ll figure it out.”

With gas prices continuing to climb, BCDCOG expects more businesses to take advantage of this service.

“Gas prices are getting higher,” Cherry said, “but BCDCOG covers the costs of the maintenance, insurance and the gas for the van. It’s just a current low monthly cost of $30 per person.”

BCDCOG says several local businesses have contacted them and expressed some interest in utilizing the vanpool service.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Lowcountry Go Vanpool service can contact BCDCOG’s vanpool coordinator, Courtney Cherry, via phone (843-529-6286) or email (Courtneyc@bcdcog.com).