Vanpools allow groups of people to share the ride similar to a carpool, but on a larger scale with concurrent savings in fuel and vehicle operating costs. The key concept is that people share the ride from home or one or more common meeting locations and travel together to a common destination or work area.
The County offers the vRide vanpool program as an economical, convenient way to commute if you live 20 miles or more from your worksite. Vanpools consist of at least 5 members, up to a maximum of 14. Vanpool rates are based on mileage, fuel, the number of members in each vanpool vehicle, and the vanpool vehicle size.
Similar to carpools, vanpools offer many advantages to both the employee and the environment. Vanpools are one of the most cost effective modes of public transportation in the United States second to transit. Similar to the pre-tax benefit currently available under U.S. Code §125 for health benefit deductions, employees who participate in the County’s vRide vanpool program may be eligible to receive a tax benefit under 26 U.S. Code §132(f)
Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit allowance.
Additional benefits include:
- Speed: The vanpool vehicle can use the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes because normally more than 2-3 people ride
- Less wear and tear on your personal vehicle
- Reduced commuting costs
- Preferred parking
- Encouraging new friendships
- Reduced stress
Reasons to join a Vanpool:
- Reside more than 20 miles from work
- Save money (Try the Vanpool Savings Calculator)
- Preserve your car
- Take advantage of preferred parking
- Relax during your commute
- Improve the air quality and reduce traffic congestion
Commuter Services collects vanpool rates from participating County employees through payroll deductions distributed over 24 installments (semi-monthly) and on a pre-tax basis, up to the limit established by the IRS. Rates collected are used to remit payment to vRide for the actual cost of using the vanpool vehicles and are adjusted according to mileage, fuel usage, vehicle size, and/or membership changes of the vanpool. Commuter Services shall make the appropriate modifications to the vanpoolers’ payroll deductions and will notify the affected individuals as they occur.
Joining a Vanpool
To join a vanpool, complete and submit a vRide Vanpool Program Application to Commuter Services. Applicants must complete the application process and receive authorization from Commuter Services/vRide before riding in a vanpool vehicle.
Vanpool Driver Information
Each vanpool shall appoint a Primary Driver and an Alternate Driver. Multiple Alternate Driver assignments are encouraged. Each driver of a vanpool must complete the Voluntary Driver Application and meet the following criteria:
- Age 25 or older
- Possess a valid California Driver License
- Minimum of five years current and uninterrupted licensed driving experience
- Have no more than one moving violation or at-fault accidents in the past thirty six (36) months (or any combination thereof)
- Have no record of convictions for serious offenses, such as:
- Excessive speed (20 mph or more over posted speed limit in the past thirty six (36) months)
- Operating to endanger
- Reckless or careless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license
- School bus stopping or passing violations
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or property damage
- Motor vehicle homicide
Any member who drives a vanpool vehicle must complete the driver safety training online as required by vRide. The Primary Driver and any Alternate Drivers must complete the required online training prior to driving a vanpool vehicle. There is no grace period for completing this training.
Contact Commuter Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (909) 387-9639 for additional information on forming or joining a vanpool. For additional information on other tax and salary savings plans offered to County employees contact Employee Benefits and Services at (909) 387-5787.