Have you been stuck in traffic and wondered why many cars are blocking the road? Surprisingly, 50 percent of the vehicles causing traffic jams might only have a person or two in a car hurrying off to work, their shop, or school. But all that hustle can be avoided using a vanpool. In simple words, consists of a pool of people who share a van as their primary transport system to work, business places, or school. Five persons are needed to form a vanpool. The required number can be exceeded if the van has a large seating capacity. Read to know more about Vanpool.
A vanpool is similar to a carpool, but since vans are being used rather than cars, more people can commute in one vehicle rather than separate ones. Commuting on vanpools reduces the number of vehicles running in the streets and saves you time that too many cars would have cost you to lose in traffic.
If you are confused about how a it works, and how to join one or start one, this article will aid you through.
How does Vanpool work?
Certain things make vanpool work, of course, including the van. What makes vanpool work are the van and the group of people. Apart from those two things, there is also an organized method of operation, managerial duties, and other responsibilities that make vanpooling work.
A van can be provided by one of the group of people who wants to start a vanpool or through a community vanpool program. All you have to do is find a community vanpool program and a van will be provided. If the van is provided by an individual, maintenance costs, ridership, mileage, fares, and general booking keeping will have to be agreed on and assigned to one person to manage. On the other hand, if the van is provided by the corporation where you work, all maintenance and managerial duties will be taken care of.
But if the van is provided by a community vanpool program you registered under, you only have to register and your payments will contribute to covering the necessary bills for the van’s maintenance.
Apart from the van, the people are a major part of a vanpool. Usually, a vanpool is made up of 5 – 7 persons but the seating capacity of a van always determines how many people will make up a vanpool.
A vanpool is owned by individuals
If the vanpool is owned by a group of individuals, the group can decide which route to take that will be beneficial for everyone. They can also decide on pick-up locations and times, work hours, and operating rules. The van can be parked at the driver’s house. The group has to take up certain roles like choosing who is going to be the primary driver, the backup driver, planning for a backup van in case the main van breaks down, and who is going to do the bookkeeping which includes keeping track of mileage, fares, maintenance, etc.
And at the set time, the driver follows the planned route to pick up and drop group members at their workplaces and homes. The more people in the van, the more the weight of fares is reduced on everyone.
A vanpool is owned by community programs and organizations
Vanpool which is owned by community programs and organizations rarely appoints van pool members to take up any responsibility because they already have staffs who handle the managerial, bookkeeping, and driving tasks. Upon registration, all you have to do is sign your route and pickup points and you will be allocated to a vanpool. All van pool members have to do is sit and enjoy a stress-free ride to their final destination.
How to join?
You can join a Van pool by, firstly, looking for a van pool program in your community. Many transit companies run the vanpool program but they are spread about in different states in the United States. Finding one of their offices close to you and registering is how to join a Vanpool. Some of the examples of transit companies that run the vanpool program include Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), Metro Transit, SANDAG Vanpool, RideShare, etc.
You can also join an individual-owned vanpool through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or random person.
How to start?
Firstly, you need a van to start a van pool. Isn’t it obvious? After getting a van, you need to start sourcing for van pool riders or members. A van pool is always made up of 5 – 7 members. To gather members, you can start talking to people you see every day like your co-workers, neighbors, friends, or family members. You can also find van pool member matches by asking on social media platforms, asking your employer where you work or using some provided search engine to find van pool matches.
After successfully finding its members, it is time for everyone to agree on responsibilities which include driving, bookkeeping, giving reports, and operational rules. The next step to take is to register your vanpool with corporations that handle programs either on their website or physically in their offices.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will the van provide door-to-door service?
Vanpools provide door-to-door service for members or pick them up at their pick-up spot whilst following an agreed route.
- Who takes care of the van’s maintenance?
The van coordinator will be notified when the van is due for maintenance. Maintenance can be provided at one of the many service providers where thec was registered.
- How will fares be gathered?
Fares can be gathered either physically by paying to the bookkeeper or by paying through the chosen payment method online.
A vanpool is a fast way to get to your workplace, school, or business. The good thing about it is that you can use the high occupancy lanes, reduce spending on gasoline, reduce the cost of personal vehicle insurance, and reduce air pollution.