The great alternative to driving alone.
If your employees are looking to reduce stress and finally enjoy their commute, a vanpool may be for them. Vanpooling provides transportation for groups of 7–15 commuters. The commuters share a ride in a comfortable van driven by one of the vanpool riders (frequently a coworker). The vanpool driver may sometimes ride for free, since it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the smooth functioning of the vanpool. But in other cases, the driver volunteers to pay to help reduce the cost per rider. Passengers share the cost of operating the van by paying a monthly fare. The fare covers fuel and the balance of the lease after all subsidies have been applied. Most vanpools are subsidized by their employers based on one of the following:
- Percentage of lease
- Flat amount each month
- Per occupied seat
The monthly fares are based on round trip mileage. The farther you must travel, the more you save. Since costs are shared equally, the more riders in your vanpool, the less you pay and the monthly savings can really add up.
There are three different vanpool arrangements:Third-Party Vanpool
Vehicles are owned and operated by a for-profit vendor. An operating agreement with the vendor covers maintenance, insurance, and administration. Marketing and fee collection are the group’s responsibility. This type of vanpool is usually the most expensive.Employer-Sponsored Vanpool
The least expensive vanpooling option for employees usually is employer-sponsored vans. Employers purchase or lease the vans and arrange for maintenance, insurance and administration. Fares may be collected, or the employer may subsidize the cost. Employers may also market the program and help organize the groups. Participation is often limited to employees of one company.Owner-Operated Vanpool
An owner-operated vanpool is owned by one or more of the group’s members, sometimes via a corporation, which protects the owners from personal liability. The owner (s) arrange for maintenance, insurance, and billing.
Why Should You Offer a Vanpooling Program?
With clean air regulations, cost of fuel, cost of food, and the on-going reduction in the real estate market, companies are looking for ways to reduce the number of trips their employees make to the workplace. A vanpool program can help you meet your trip-reduction goals. Just one van on the road takes as many as 14 cars off the road-the same results as up to seven carpools.
Vanpooling is also extremely popular among employees. In fact, 96% of people who have tried vanpooling say that it is their preferred way to commute. You can bet that once you get a vanpool on the road, it’s likely to stay up and running for many years.
How Much Will It Cost?
Cost can vary depending on the type of vanpooling program you choose to offer, whether you buy or lease vans, how much of the cost of vanpooling you plan to subsidize for employees and the size of vehicles you choose in your fleet, among other factors.
People are willing to work farther from home if they know they don’t have to drive every day, so your company can recruit workers from a wider geographic area.