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Vanpool may be the perfect commuting solution

You’ve decided a carpool is right for you. In fact, you’ve found several suitable rideshare partners: same work location, similar schedules, and you live along the same general route. It is perfect.

Except it is not.

For whatever reason, a carpool is just not quite right. Maybe one of you does not have a car, or your rideshare driver has a small or unreliable car. Maybe you have too many people for some of the participating vehicles, and you don’t want to leave anyone out.

Out of luck? Nope. Maybe forming a vanpool is a better option for you.

A vanpool is just like a carpool but instead of all the drivers using their own vehicles when it’s their turn to drive, the participants use a leased van for their daily commute.

PAG partners with Commute with Enterprise to offer vanpool leasing and vehicle maintenance services. Commute with Enterprise has over 35 years of experience operating commuter vanpool programs.

“Working with major employers in the region, PAG offers a subsidy to groups of six or more people who share the ride to lessen congestion, protect air quality and reap the benefits of sharing the ride,” said PAG’s Director of Partnerships and Development Mary Carter. “Choosing to participate in a vanpool is a smart choice.”

Commuters in a vanpool arrange to share the cost of fuel and a monthly lease of the vehicle. The lease includes all scheduled and unscheduled service/maintenance costs, 24-hour roadside assistance/towing, and commercial grade insurance.

A vanpool means less wear and tear on the participants’ personal vehicles, shared expenses, and less vehicles on the road and in the workplace parking lot. There are financial, environmental and logistical benefits to a vanpool.

In general, you can save about 80% to 85% on commute costs by vanpooling vs. driving your own car to work. When you include your savings on service/maintenance, depreciation and insurance (your true commuting costs), your annual savings are significant. Use PAG’s Commute Calculator, to learn how much it costs to drive your car to and from work and figure out how much you can save in a vanpool.

Vans typically have seating capacity from 5 to 15 passengers and the more participants, the lower the cost per person.   

Vanpools that sign up to participate in Pima Association of Governments’ (PAG) Sun Rideshare program may be eligible to receive a federal subsidy to further reduce the cost of leasing a van. Some businesses that participate in PAG’s Travel Reduction Program also offer subsidies for vanpools, so ask your human resources department if they do,.

Contact Mary Carter at (520) 495-1424 to learn more about vanpool options, including subsidy information.