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Vanpool Sponsorship Program


NJ TRANSIT offers a statewide Vanpool Sponsorship Program, which provides a financial incentive for vanpooling in areas where public transportation is neither available nor feasible.

The Vanpool Sponsorship Program is a partnership with vanpool providers in New Jersey and local Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) throughout the state. Newly-forming or existing vanpool groups who obtain their vehicles through an approved vanpool provider can apply through a TMA for NJ TRANSIT sponsorship. NJ TRANSIT sets sponsorship amounts and requires re-application annually. The application process, along with other minimal reporting requirements, serves to ensure that the vanpool group meets eligibility requirements. It also provides summary data which helps New Jersey quantify the travel, congestion and air pollution benefits that vanpools provide.

Q.
Are there new vanpool opportunities in connection with the Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation project?
A.

Starting January 1, 2014 and continuing for the duration of the Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation project (anticipated to be through June 2016), vanpool groups that operate to or from certain zip codes can qualify for a $325 monthly sponsorship amount. This subsidy level will apply to vanpools with origin and destination zip codes of 07030 in Hoboken and 07037, 07306, 07310, 07302, 07304 and 07305 in Jersey City. Vanpools that are eligible for this program that also use the New Jersey Turnpike High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane will receive a maximum total subsidy of $325 per month. A vanpool will be ineligible if it competes directly with available transit service, as follows: Vanpools that have destinations within 1/2 mile of PATH stations and begin in locations with direct rail or bus services.

   
Q.
What is a commuter vanpool?
A.

A commuter vanpool is a group of up to fifteen people who voluntarily ride to and from work together in a passenger van. Commuter vanpools are organized based on the home locations and worksites of interested individuals. Typically, vanpool groups commute anywhere from 20 to 30 miles (or more) each way, with the monthly cost for the van dependent upon travel distance and van size. Vanpool partners may consist of friends, neighbors, co-workers or even people who work at other companies located near your own. One or more members of the group volunteer to drive and passengers share the monthly cost of the van. Most often drivers ride free and may use the vehicle for personal use.

Vanpooling is voluntary, efficient and a cost-saving alternative to driving alone. It also helps reduce parking costs and traffic in the community. Vanpool benefits include:

  • reduced commuting costs
  • reduced wear and tear on your personal vehicle
  • reduced auto insurance costs
  • reduced traffic congestion
  • reduced stress levels
  • fewer overcrowded parking conditions
   
Q.
Who is eligible?
A.

Eligibility for sponsorship is based on the following criteria:

The vanpool must operate as a voluntary commuter rideshare arrangement that provides transportation to a group of individuals traveling directly from their homes to the same geographical area. The vanpool driver's main purpose in joining the vanpool must be to get to and from work.

The vanpool group must obtain its van from a participating vanpool provider on a month-to-month “driver agreement” basis. The provider takes care of meeting requirements such as $1 million insurance coverage, use of New Jersey “CV” (commuter vanpool) license plates, maintenance procedures and so on.

   
Q.
Are there other requirements?
A.
  • The vanpool must have a workplace within the state of New Jersey as its final destination. Or, the van may travel to a New Jersey “transit hub” where the riders use another means of public conveyance to reach their work site out of state. The vehicle MUST remain in New Jersey.
  • The van must have a seating capacity of seven to fifteen people, including the driver.
  • The van must not exceed five years of age or 120,000 miles of operation.
  • The van must not duplicate service patterns already offered by public transit bus or train routes, except in cases where existing public transit hours of operation do not meet vanpoolers' needs.
   
Q.
How do I sign up?
A.

NJ TRANSIT has final authority in approving or disapproving vanpool group applications. The present application package consists of three components:

  • a one sheet Vanpool Application Form for the group;
  • Individual Application Forms (one sheet per person), to be completed by each member of the group
  • a two-sided Vehicle Trip Sheet, generally completed by the Driver/Coordinator.
Newly-forming groups may file the application forms with the appropriate TMA at the same time that the group is contracting with the vanpool provider. A new rider added at a later date must complete and submit an Individual Application, along with revisions to the group's Vehicle Trip Sheet, at that time.

To learn more about vanpooling or to find our how you can form a vanpool group, call your local TMA. They are ready to answer any vanpooling questions, help you locate vanpool partners and sign you up for NJ TRANSIT's Vanpool Sponsorship Program.

 
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  Department of Transportation
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  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  April 7, 2014