Vanpool Basics

Vanpools are a great option for commuter groups traveling 20 or more miles one-way to work. Like carpooling, you can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars each year in reduced fuel costs and reduced wear and tear on your personal vehicle.

Vanpools can be customized to meet the needs of groups as small as 5 or 6 to groups as large as 12.

Vanpool riders typically meet at a centralized pick-up point, such as a park-and-ride lot, but some vanpool groups offer door-to-door service.

How to Get Started

Commuter Services can assist you in forming a vanpool or help existing vanpools recruit new riders. If you do not own a van, several van leasing services are available within the region. They provide a vehicle as well as insurance and maintenance services for a reasonable monthly cost that can be shared by the group. Vanpoolers in some areas may qualify for monetary assistance (see Rural Vanpool Program info above).

A successful vanpool group must:

  • Designate a primary driver and a back-up driver.
  • Decide how the monthly expenses will be shared. For example, will the driver ride for free in exchange for driving the vehicle and making sure it is property maintained?
  • Have at least 5 or 6 individuals participating in order to make it cost-effective.
  • Determine whether the group will meet at a centralized location or provide door-to-door service.

Commuter Services’ staff can help you with all of these tasks. We can also work with your employer to attract new riders if the need arises.

Sharing the commute also does more than just reduce transportation expenses. It allows you to use your travel time productively, make friends, and be earth-friendly — all at the same time! As a bonus, many employers offer VIP parking for vanpools — just ask!

If you’d like more information about vanpooling or would like to join an existing vanpool, e-mail Jeff Horton and ask for more details.

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