What is vanpooling?
A vanpool is a group of six to fifteen commuters who:
- travel from the same area (neighborhood or park-and-ride lot)
- travel to the same area
- have similar work hours
- share the costs of operating the van
- usually meet at a Park & Ride lot or other centralized location near their home; the van drops them off at or near their place of employment
What are some of the benefits of vanpooling?
- Reduces commuting costs - for a low monthly fee, commuters can enjoy a comfortable ride to work while saving on gas and wear and tear on their cars
- Reduces air pollution (one van can take as many as fourteen cars off the road)
- Reduces traffic congestion
- Helps conserve fuel
- Alleviates commuting stress
Who drives the van?
A member of the group volunteers to be the primary driver. This person is usually the one responsible for collecting the monthly fares and completing the required paperwork. All drivers are carefully screened for driving ability and safety record. They must have a valid Texas Driver's License.
What are the driver's basic responsibilities?
- Picking up and delivering of passengers, safely and on time
- Fueling the van
- Keeping the van clean
- Taking the van for scheduled preventive maintenance, unscheduled maintenance and repairs
- Collecting fares and submitting report paperwork
What are the driver's benefits?
- Free commute to and from work
- Free use of the vehicle during non-commute hours
- No long-term commitment
What happens when the driver is ill or on vacation?
It is recommended that the vanpool group designate a back-up driver for the occasion when the primary driver is ill or on vacation.
What costs are covered by the monthly fare?
- Vanpool lease
- Insurance - Complete, comprehensive coverage in excess of both the state insurance requirements and minimum levels
- Fuel - in some cases
What happens if a rider is sick or on vacation?
The monthly fare reserves the passengers' seat whether they ride or not. Refunds are not given for days not ridden. Riders may, however, "sublet" their seats for days they do not ride the van.
What if I ride in a vanpool, and an emergency arises during the day and I need to go somewhere?
Both the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA) provide an Emergency Ride Home for passengers in the event of a medical or personal emergency, or unplanned overtime. Passengers can arrange for a taxicab to take them to where they need to go and are reimbursed the cost by DART or FWTA.
How is maintenance for the van handled?
All necessary maintenance is covered by the monthly fares. Each van comes with a coupon book for scheduled, preventive maintenance that can be used at designated maintenance providers.
How can I learn more about vanpooling, or get into a vanpool?
If you live in the Dallas area, contact Dallas Area Rapid Transit at (214) 749-RIDE. If you live in the Fort Worth area, call the Fort Worth Transportation Authority at (817) 336-RIDE. If you live in the Denton area, call the Denton County Transportation Authority at (940) 243-0077.