Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Vanpool?
A vanpool is typically a group of 7 to 15 people who share their commute. The vanpool travels from home (or a prearranged meeting place) to work, school, or other destinations. Valley Vanpool vans are leased through a third party (vRide or Enterprise Rideshare). To be cost-effective, a vanpool generally should travel at least 40 miles round trip each day.
How much does it cost?
A lot less than what you would pay to drive alone! Each passenger pays a monthly fare to ride in the van. Fares are based on the number of average monthly miles and the costs of operation, maintenance, insurance and depreciation. Montly costs per rider, based on 14 passengers, are generally between $90 and $170 per month. Interested in a specific route? Find out the costs by clicking on the route HERE.
Some employers offer subsidies to employees who rideshare! Employers can receive a tax deduction for the first $245 they contribute each month to your vanpool fare. Check with your employer to see if they will help pay your vanpool costs. Further, employee can withhold up to $245 of pre-tax benefits from monthly pay toward the cost of vanpooling.
Who owns the vans?
Valley VanPool vans are leased by the driver from a third party vanpool provider (Enterprise or V-Ride), while Cascades West Rideshare, Cherriots Rideshare and point2point/Lane Transit District provide support, and subsidy for eligible routes.
What are the vans like?
Valley Vanpool vans have a 7-15 passenger capacity, air-conditioning/heating, CD player and depending on the model may have plug-ins for laptops and reading lights. Vans are usually replaced in 3-4 years depending on the route distance.
Who takes care of maintenance?
The lease company provides Free preventative maintenance and repair work as well as a loaner van when yours is in the shop. The driver arranges for scheduled maintenance.
The driver is a commuter like you who has committed to taking the other people to and from work each day. The driver may drive every day or share the driving with a back-up driver. Drivers must be at least 21 years old with a current Oregon driver's license, and have a clean driving record.
What are the driver's responsibilities and benefits?
Drivers and back-up drivers sign a lease agreement. Valley VanPool arranges to provide safe, off-the-street parking or arranges a reserved space for the van during business hours. The driver must prepare and submit simple monthly reports on ridership and miles driven as well as provide contact information to connect to new riders.
Because of the responsibilities they shoulder, drivers ride FREE or at a reduced rate in vanpools and many are allotted a certain mileage per month for personal use of the van.
How are fares collected?
Riders pay their monthly fee to the vanpool driver, who then sends a check to the lease company. The driver sets policy about whether they require cash or checks for payment.
What about insurance?
The commuter vanpool lease company pays for the van's insurance, including collision and liability, as part of the lease cost.
What is my commitment to the van?
In most cases, the driver and riders make a month-to-month commitment. The lease is paid in advance each month so a driver can't get stuck with a bill. You may leave the vanpool at any time after giving a month's notice.
Does the van provide door-to-door service?
Vanpool riders and drivers may set their own policy about pick-up and drop-off locations, but because fares are calculated on miles traveled we encourage you to choose a central meeting place. Often, Park & Rides and shopping centers will allow their parking lots to be used by vanpool riders.
What happens if I am sick or go on vacation?
Vanpools are allowed to determine their own rules on sick-or vacation-time. Most often, however, riders are responsible for their fares whether or not they choose to ride the van every day. Sometimes, part-time riders or one-time riders can help fill seats.
What if the driver is sick or on vacation?
Each van has one or more back-up drivers in case the primary driver cannot drive the van for whatever reason.
What if I have an emergency during the day and need to go home?
The vanpool leasing company may offer an Emergency Ride Home as part of the lease. Some employers offer ERH programs. The City of Corvallis, for example, offers an emergence ride home program for employees who vanpool or carpool. You simply call a taxi, tell the appropriate person at work (so they can record and bill the ride), and the City will pay for that ride home. Cherriots Rideshare also offers an Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program which is available to any employer in Marion, Polk or Yamhill counties. Lane Transit District has a similar program in the Eugene area. If you work in this area and are not covered, talk to your employer.
How do we get more passengers on our van?
Valley Vanpool will help you recruit passengers and you are encouraged to look for potential riders at your workplace as well.