Arlington Transportation Partners was excited jump into the vanpooling world last year with Vanpool Connect. This new program is a great way to help ease people into vanpooling by providing them with a $50/month subsidy for their first six months of pooling and assisting them with ride matching so that they can find people to pool with in the first place. ATP even has giveaways every month for our vanpoolers, where they have a chance to get some very nice stuff to make their vanpool commute even better – think Amazon Kindles, noise-cancelling headphones, memory foam back pillows, etc. We’ve been working closely with Enterprise on this endeavor and have heard nothing but positive reviews from program participants thus far.
What is vanpooling and is it the same as carpooling?
Vanpooling is more formalized than carpooling in that it has a set group of people, starting spot and departure time. Often vanpoolers work together or at least nearby so that it is easier to get everyone to meet at the van when it is time to go home. Carpooling is a bit more fluid since less people are involved and it can be as simple as neighbors driving together so that they can use HOV lanes for their commute. Vanpools are operated by the people in the pool; some participants opt to be drivers so they can have a cheaper monthly vanpool transportation cost while the rest of the people ride stress-free and are able to read, snooze, chat or even catch up on email. A vanpool can be a little challenging to get up and running since you need to identify a certain number of people (usually at least four) who are traveling in the same direction and can stick to a consistent work schedule. This is where Vanpool Connect can help you find those other riders.
What does vanpooling cost?
Vanpool transportation in the DC region costs most people an average of $190 a month - far less than driving alone and putting all that wear and tear on your personal vehicle and not being able to use HOV lanes. The monthly vanpool cost covers gas, insurance and the monthly lease on the van. The more people in your van, the lower the monthly cost for each individual rider so it is preferable to try and fill all your van’s seats if possible. One of the nice things about Vanpool Connect is the fact that you can combine ATP’s $50/month subsidy with your $260/month transit benefit. That’s a lot of money to cover your vanpool cost while you’re just getting started and looking for more riders!
Interested in learning more? Contact ATP today to learn how vanpooling can improve your commute!