Sharing a ride to work first came to prominence during the oil crisis of the 1970s. The King County Metro Commuter Van Program managed by Rideshare Operations was established in 1979. Originally consisting of only 21 VanPool groups, the successful and popular program grew steadily from the time it was implemented. In 2004, VanShare was added to the program. As of 2017, with over 1,600 vans on the road, our Commuter Van Program is the largest publicly-owned program of its kind in the nation. The VanPool and VanShare Programs both provide an alternative to driving to work alone for groups of 5 to 15 commuters. With monthly fares covering gas, maintenance, insurance, some tolls and a guaranteed ride home, either program offers fantastic benefits. Factor in the advantage of HOV lanes and the environmental benefits and the programs can’t be beat.
VanPool is designed to serve commuters who are unable to take advantage of traditional fixed route transit service. Groups pay for the use of a vehicle that provides ‘door-to-door’ service, regardless of commute length. The group must have a minimum of five riders, two of whom volunteer to be drivers and one of whom volunteers to be a bookkeeper. A driver keeps the van at home overnight and the group decides where riders will be picked up and what route they will take on their commute to work.
VanShare is designed to provide that ‘last mile’ service for commuters who need help connecting from home or work to traditional fixed route service like a train, ferry or bus. These groups must also have at least five riders, at least two drivers and a bookkeeper (driver and bookkeeper roles may be fulfilled by the same individual). Groups using a VanShare van to get from a transit location to work and back park their van overnight at a designated spot near the transit service. Groups using a VanShare van to get from home to a transit location and back park their van overnight at home.
For more information on the Commuter Van Program,