WHAT IS A VANPOOL?
A vanpool is a group of 5 to 15 people who have similar schedules and share their commute to and from work or school at the same time each day in a vanpool van. Island Transit vanpools must begin or end in Island County.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Island Transit does not operate their Vanpool Program for profit.
The Vanpool fees collected are based on van size and daily round-trip mileage. Your vanpool fee covers operating costs which include fuel, maintenance, insurance and the capital cost of the van.
Each person riding in an Island Transit vanpool van shares in the responsibilities of operating the van, such as: helping to keep the van clean, being courteous and considerate in their dealings with fellow riders and members of the public and recruiting riders and drivers when necessary.
Each vanpool group has a Vanpool Manager, Bookkeeper and at least two drivers.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Identify people who share a similar commute. If you need help, Island Transit’s Rideshare Coordinators can assist you by researching our Ridematch Database for possible matches. You may contact the Rideshare Coordinator by calling (360) 678-7771, press option 1 for Whidbey then option 3 for Vanpool or (800) 240-8747, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can try self ridematching at www.rideshareonline.com.
Along with at least two drivers, each vanpool must have at least one Manager/Bookkeeper and one Backup Bookkeeper. The Van Manager/Bookkeeper and Back-up Bookkeeper will be scheduled for a Bookkeeping Orientation.
The Drivers must be able to comply with the Driver Function List and the Driver Eligibility Criteria, complete a Driver Application and Vanpool Agreement and provide a copy of their Driver’s License and Proof of Insurance.
Upon receipt of an acceptable response from Motor Vehicle Records, each Driver will be scheduled for a Driver Orientation, Defensive Driving Course and an On-Road Evaluation
Island Transit’s insurance requires that each vanpool driver complete a Defensive Driving Course. The course may be scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday—Friday. If you are unable to schedule during these hours/days, please call the Rideshare Coordinator to request an alternate time/day.
All riders and drivers must complete a Vanpool Agreement.
A van may be issued to the group soon after completing these steps.
WHAT ABOUT THE FERRY?
Through the Washington State Ferries permit process, www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/rideshare/ vanpool groups are eligible for ferry cost discounts and preferential loading on Washington State Ferries. (This solves the problem of waiting through two or three ferries to get to work or home.) The WSF permit allows the van and driver free loading on the ferry. Riders pay a passenger cost of ferry each way, except on the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry, which charges only westbound.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
- Employers often provide financial incentives or subsidies as well as preferential parking for employees who vanpool.
- Vanpool groups have access to Park & Ride lots and the use of HOV lanes - a huge time-saving benefit!
There are ecological benefits, such as:
- Reduction in emissions = cleaner air to breathe
- Minimizing the need for additional roadways and other infrastructure to support a greater number of vehicles
- Conservation of natural resources, such as fossil fuels
- Decreased number of tires requiring disposal
- Utilizing alternative modes of transportation results in reduced congestion on our state’s roadways and decreased dependence on oil. It also diminishes the costs of maintaining our roadways.
ANY OTHER BENEFITS?
Using alternative modes of travel also results in personal benefits, such as:
- Reduced wear and tear on your personal vehicle
- Lower mileage on your personal vehicle, resulting in additional value at sales or trade-in time
- Decreased insurance premiums, due to fewer miles traveled by your own vehicle
- Reduction in new tire purchases
- Fewer fuel purchases
- Reduced maintenance costs
- More MONEY in your pocket to SPEND!