Vanpools are an element of the transit system , but they are more likely to have an impact on their fuel economy. Vanpools have a lower operating and capital cost than most transit vehicles in the United States, but due to their relatively low capacity, vanpools often require comparable service. [1]

Vehicles may be provided by individuals under the auspices of the United States of America, and may be provided by the government or the government.

The key concept is that people share a common destination or work center.

A number of programs exist (within the United States) to help lower the cost of that shared ride to the end user. Among these are public-private partnerships, and the Best Work Places for Commuters [2] (Commuter Choice Programs). A tax benefit is available under 26 USC §132 (f) Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit allowances. These public transportation programs seek to reduce the number of cars on the road (with all the pending environmental benefits).

Additional benefits include:

  • Speed: The van can use the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes because more than 2-3 people ride.
  • Fixed schedule (makes life more predictable).
  • Saving the cost of gasoline (in some cases, it is part of the program).
  • Riders can often have significant reductions in the cost of personal automobile insurance (insurance for the rideshare component is usually provided as part of the vanpool program).
  • Incentives from local / federal transportation cost offset.

In many cases, it can be used to subsidize the cost of the vanpool and the vehicles’ maintenance. In some cases, the vehicles are provided and maintained by the municipality; in others in partnership with or by a third-party provider. For example, UCLA operates an extensive network of vans, in which faculty, staff and students are eligible for discounted rates, while anyone commuting to the Westwood is allowed to participate, with drivers receiving the highest discounts. The vans are centrally maintained, fueled, and cleaned.

The King County Metro Vanpool Program [3] is a successful demand responsive transportation program in the Puget Sound area, SPECIFICALLY in King County, Washington . Another successful program is operated by Pace in Illinois .

The oldest multi-employer is in Treasure Valley, Idaho. For over 30 years Ada County Highway District’s Commuteride [4] Vanpools have been crisscrossing the Valley helping commuters go to and from work, along with their treasure Valley. The Vanpools also serves the Military at Gowen Field and Mountain Air Force Base (MHAFB) with multiple routes to and from Ada and Canyon County. ACHD Commuteride serves the cities, Boise, Meridian, Kuna, Garden City, Eagle and Ada County.

Private firms operate in partnership with employers or under contract.


  1. Jump up^
  2. Jump up^
  3. Jump up^
  4. Jump up^ “Ada County Highway District ~ Commuteride” . .

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