What is a VanPool?

Posted by: Felicia Dodge Oct 14, 2019
Updated Jan 16, 2020


Saving money is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Transportation is a big cost for almost everyone getting to and from school or work. Whether you get there by car, taxi, Uber, or public transit, you have to spend time and money. VanPool is not a new concept, but it is growing in popularity. 

Vanpools can save you time and money on your commute. It’s a blend of on-demand service and carpools, which have been around for quite some time. A designated driver is given a vanpool vehicle for commuting from one area to another. There is a set time and pick up location, and you’re charged either a constant monthly or weekly fee. As long as there is a vanpool program in your area, anyone can set it up. The program allows you to receive a vehicle and insurance coverage. Some companies and universities are setting these up to aid their employees or students. An easy way to locate a local organization is by googling “vanpool + [your city name].” The more people in your area joining in, the cheaper it is for everyone. Vanpools are a great way of cutting spending while connecting with people on your route. 

The rules for vanpools can differ depending on your area. In the U.S. rules are fairly standard but can vary. Fees start at $50 a month and cover all costs regarding the vehicle. Every vanpool needs a coordinator responsible for the group. Each group will have two primary drivers, and the coordinator is usually one of the drivers. The coordinator is responsible for the vehicle and the leaseholder. To have a vanpool, there has to be a minimum number of riders. The minimum is usually five. You can join any time. Most organizations have a way for you to browse current vanpools and request to join. If you’re inactive or not paying, you can be ejected. 

SLOCOG is something you should look at if you’re interested in Vanpooling, haven’t over the last year, and are in the San Luis Obispo County area. It is a great tool that can cover up to 50% of your vanpooling costs. 

Local vanpools are not only a great way to save money, they reduce the wear and tear on your car, keep traffic down, use HOV lanes, cut down on carbon emissions, some states have tax benefits, work or nap during the commute, and get to know people in your area. 

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