Vanpooling allows employees to share their ride to work with other co-workers in a 7- or 15-passenger van. A vanpool usually requires the naming of a regular driver and monthly fares from riders. NJ TRANSIT offers a statewide Vanpool Sponsorship program. As part of this program, NJ TRANSIT provides a financial incentive for vanpooling in areas where public transportation is either not available or not feasible.
What kinds of vanpooling arrangements are available?
There are three types of vanpooling arrangements:
- Employer-operated. An employer owns or leases a fleet of vans, also insures and maintains them for use in the employee transportation program
- Third Party. Participating employers or employees contract with a vanpool vendor for the use of a vendor-owned van. The vendor is paid a monthly fee by the employees to cover the vanpool’s lease and operating costs.
- Employee-operated. An employee independently owns, leases and operates a van for the purpose of commuting with co-workers.
employers support vanpool arrangements?
An employer can:
- subsidize operating costs
- provide “empty seat” subsidies until ridership is complete
- supply insurance and maintenance, or contract with local providers
- sponsor driver training and safety programs
- administer fare collection and lease payments
What can a vanpool program do for employers and employees?
A vanpool program can:
- Reduce travel expenses
- Lessen commute-related stress
- Provide more productive use of commuting time
- Reduce parking demand at worksites
- Shorten employee travel time (mostly for employers that provide preferential parking for vanpools)
- Improve recruitment for employers lacking sufficient bus and train access to potential employees who live at a distance.
Where is vanpooling successful?
Vanpooling is most successful at worksites where:
- Employees commute more than 20 miles one way from their home
- Employees work consistent hours with infrequent overtime
- Employee parking is limited at the worksite
How can employers launch a vanpool program?
Launching a vanpool program requires planning ahead with the help of your local Transportation Management Association (TMA). Here’s what you need to do:
- Identify employee residential concentrations with the most potential for vanpool usage
- Decide if you will own or lease company vans, contract with a third party, or promote employee-owned vans
- Purchase vans and arrange service contracts
- Determine which costs to subsidize (e.g., fuel, insurance, maintenance, empty seats, etc.)
- Determine the elements of operation you will manage (e.g., lease payments, fare collection, rules of operation, etc.)
- Establish operating and fare collection policies, pickup and drop-off locations, schedules
- Recruit and train primary and backup drivers
- Introduce potential vanpoolers
- Organize meetings to discuss vanpool policies
- Match people for vanpooling
- Explain the NJ TRANSIT Vanpool Sponsorship program and help with the application process