Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) randomly chose Vincent as the vanpool giveaway recipient for participating in Vanpool Connect. Every month, ATP selects a single rider to receive a giveaway as a thank you for using sustainable transportation. To make the vanpool commute experience even better, recipients can select either an Amazon Kindle, noise-cancelling headphones or a memory foam back pillow to accompany them on their ride.
Vanpool Connect encourages people to start vanpooling by providing them with a $50/month subsidy for their first six months of pooling. The program also finds ride matches for users who sign up through JoinAVanpool.com, typically finding other riders close to where they live that travel in the same direction as their destination.
A Shorter Commute Thanks to Vanpooling
Traveling to work took Vincent more time than he wanted. Vincent heard about vanpooling through a friend who also vanpools to work, and decided to try it out. Vincent commutes 40 miles round trip and now saves 45 minutes each way by commuting in a vanpool.
“I believe vanpooling is the most convenient way to get to work, especially if you live far from Metro, or if your worksite is not near the Metro,” said Vincent.
Q: What do you think of vanpooling?
A: I think vanpooling is awesome. As a government employee, I am eligible to receive the IRS $255 transit benefit subsidy which means commuting to work via vanpool is free.
Side note: Most of the time the cost of a vanpool is covered with the transit benefit subsidy and commuters don’t have to pay additional money. The cost breakdown depends on the number of riders and length of the commute. Receiving subsidized transit benefits has been the motivating factor for Vincent to leave his car at home and vanpool
Q: What made you want to join a vanpool?
A: It’s the fastest option and very comfortable. People should keep in mind that you must be able to keep the rigid schedule, which is a blessing as I must leave work on time.
Q: What is a misconception that you had about vanpooling before?
A: I was told by my friend that vanpools never wait for anyone. That is true sometimes, but people try to be fair. One rider was late last week and the driver did wait a few minutes until he arrived. There have been other times that I have seen riders left behind. The late rider will call one of us in the and we'll say, "Sorry, we are on Route 50 headed to DC." It is important to be on time; I have never been late, and I think my fellow passengers respect that.
Q: How many people are in your vanpool?
A: Currently, there are six people in the van and we are currently looking for a seventh person.
Side note: Vanpools accommodate as few as four and up to 15 passengers. As part of the vanpool program they must have a vehicle with at least seven seats and be 50% occupied to qualify for federal transit subsidies. The number of riders in the van fluctuates based on schedules, telework and other factors
Q: What’s your favorite activity to do while vanpooling to work and do you have any vanpool quirks?
A: I mostly catch up on work and chat about life and sports with the other passengers. We have one guy who likes country music, so that is a cost we have to put up with from time to time. I just received some headphones in this giveaway, so I can block that out now!
Save Time and Money by Joining a Vanpool
If you currently drive alone to work and want another option for commuting, or have few public transportation options close to your home, consider joining a vanpool. When you give vanpooling a try, you can save up to $10,000 per year on commuting costs and get to and from work even faster.
Contact ATP today to start vanpooling and save yourself time and money by using your pre-tax or subsidized commuter benefits. Sign up directly at JoinAVanpool.com.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners