A vanpool is a group of six to 15 people who commute together in a van on a regular basis. The coordinator usually drives and maintains the van while riders pay a monthly fare. In most vanpools, the driver/coordinator rides for free.
Vanpooling works best for commuters who:
- Commute at least 20 miles each way
- Work a similar schedule
- Work consistent, regular hours
Arrange to meet with your potential commuting partners over coffee or lunch to determine whether you’re suited to ride together. Use this time to work out the details of commuting together. The more you discuss in advance, the fewer problems you’ll have later on. Some ground to cover might include:
- Who drives, and when?
- How often you’ll ride together. Daily? Once a week?
- Meeting locations (a park-and-ride lot, child care center, at home?)
- Setting a time limit for waiting to prevent being late for work
- How to get home in an emergency
- (Check on the Emergency Ride Home Program through your Transportation Management Association.)
- Preferences such as smoking, music, seating
- Side trips, if any
- Driver’s duties, such as filling the gas tank beforehand
- A specific trial period for the carpool
- Any other concerns
Passengers can save hundreds of dollars each year over the cost of driving to work alone. Some employers (including the State of California) even provide subsidies to employees who drive or ride in vanpools. Check with your Employee Transportation Coordinator, or local Transportation Management Association for more information.
For more information, please contact:
Transportation Demand Management Clerk