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  Commuting Options: Vanpooling

Vanpooling

VanpoolingA vanpool is a group of 6 to 15 people who commute together but do not necessarily work or attend school in the same location.  Vanpools typically travel more than 15 miles one way and only have one scheduled trip into work or school and back home per day. This option is good for people who work the same shift or attend school the same hours every day.

Vanpool vehicles are provided to the group.  The monthly vanpool service contract includes the use of the vehicle, maintenance, insurance, and access to a replacement vehicle in case of breakdown.  The vehicles used for vanpooling seat 6 to 15 passengers.  

View the Vanpooling 360 Video by Clicking Here! (WMV, 25.1 MB)

Savings and Benefits:

  • Eligible for Emergency Ride Home
  • Works well for longer commute
  • Maintain a steady schedule
  • Shares the cost of commute
  • May help save money on auto insurance premiums
  • Qualifies for the HOV lanes

Frequently Asked Questions About Vanpooling

What is a vanpool?
A vanpool is a group of 6 to 15 people who commute to and from work together but do not necessarily work in the same location.

What is a vanpool like?
Each vanpool group decides together on things such as seating arrangements and type of music. The vans used for vanpooling are specially customized for the riders' comfort and seat 6 to 15 passengers.

Who drives the van?  
The vanpool drivers are all volunteers. At least two volunteers from each group serve as drivers, and one signs the lease for the van.  All drivers are provided with training and a review of the safety systems before they start driving.  Each vanpool group decides seating arrangements, pick up points, route, schedule and how to share costs.    Anyone who is interested in becoming a driver of a van, must first submit an application and have a satisfactory review of their driving history (see “What are the requirements to become a volunteer driver?” below).  In the case of volunteer who will serve as the lease holder, they also must have a credit check run if they are responsible for the monthly payment of the vanpool’s monthly invoice. 

What are the requirements to become a volunteer driver?

  • Must be at least 25 years of age.
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license from the state in which they live.
  • Driver must have a minimum of five (5) years uninterrupted license driving experience.
  • Must have: no more than one at‐fault accidents, no outstanding warrants for unresolved driving issues, and no more than one moving violation within the past year and no more than two in the past three years.
  • No DWI/DUI or related convictions in the last 5 years.
  • Must never have been convicted of a felony.
  • Must not have any health‐related driving restrictions.

Driver privileges are automatically denied if any of the following incidents are known to have occurred within the past five (5) years or are reported on the latest motor vehicle driving history record.

  • Excessive speed (i.e. more than 20 mph over limited)
  • Operating to endanger or reckless driving (or similar)
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license and
  • School bus stopping flag violation (or similar)

Driver privileges are automatically denied if any of the following incidents are known to have occurred regardless of when, or are reported on the latest motor vehicle history record.

  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or property damage and
  • Vehicular homicide

Will the vanpool pick me up at my house?
Vanpool groups generally have a set number of pick-up stops where riders gather to get on the van. The pick-up and drop-off locations are in conveniently located areas where the riders can meet to board the van and may even be within walking distance of your home. You will be provided the pick-up and drop-off information before you commit to join a van.

What does it cost to ride in a vanpool?
Vanpool costs vary based on the length of the commute, the number of people riding on the van, whether the group pays for parking as well as many other factors.  In general most of our vanpool participants pay an average of $90 to $110 per rider per month.  Remember this is an average.  Once you complete the Commuter Profile, and we can help determine whether there is a vanpool option available to you, we can put you in touch directly with that vanpool driver who can give you many more details about their group, including cost.
 
What is included in the cost?
The cost includes the monthly vanpool service contract (use of the vehicle, maintenance, insurance, and access to a replacement vehicle in case of breakdown), and an estimate for parking, tolls and gas.  Some groups will pay these costs in one combined total and others pay the fixed vehicle costs and the variable costs (parking, tolls & gas) separately.

Can I pay the fare electronically?
Some regional employers offer payroll deduction for vanpool costs, while others offer other pre-tax programs.  Electronic payments, including credit, debit and electronic funds transfer are also available.

What if I don't ride the van everyday - can I just pay for part of the month?
Since the costs are figured out on a per-seat basis, the cost for the month is the same whether you ride every day or not.

Want to know more about vanpool safety?
Each year, the CommuteInfo program hosts a safety training for all of the volunteer vanpool drivers.  The video trailer below includes just a few highlights from an actual training.  The total training lasted one hour.  If you prefer you can order a free copy of the entire one hour training by emailing us today.

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