Team up, Save Time, and Money: Join a Van Pool
COVID-19 suggestions for vanpooling
- New: Please see November 2020 vanpool guidance.
- Be prepared to sanitize your vehicle whether you own or share it.
- Disinfect anything you touch – door handles, steering wheel, controls, etc.
- Wear face coverings while riding together.
Mason would like to assist employees who would like to join an existing vanpool or start a new one.
For an overview of the I-66 project and vanpooling, watch the recording of a recent vanpool interest meeting held virtually at Mason on 12.8.2021.
How does Vanpooling work generally?
- A vanpool consists of a minimum of 4 people to a maximum of 15 who travel together to and from work.
- Federal rules stipulate that a vanpool must use a minimum vehicle size of 7 passengers and 80% of the mileage must be used to transport employees to and from work in trips where at least 50% of the seats (not including the driver) are occupied. This is why the minimum number for a vanpool is 4 in a 7-passenger vehicle.
- You can use any vanpool provider in the area. For a list of vanpool providers, sign up with Vanpool Alliance.
- To find others with whom to vanpool, visit:
- Zimride, Mason's rideshare program, indefinitely suspended its carpooling platform for all College and University Networks, including Mason, on December 31, 2020. Parking and Transportation is researching other rideshare opportunities for the future. Employees may use the regional rideshare program at Commuter Connections.
- Once you have your vehicle, riders, and a meeting location, e.g. a Park and Ride Lot, then you will:
- Select a Vanpool Coordinator
- Split up the driving and other vehicle responsibilities
What is the role of the Vanpool Coordinator?
- The Vanpool Coordinator acts as the vanpool team captain
- Recruits riders
- Is the point of contact (and responsibility) for the Vanpool provider
- Submits any reports required by the Vanpool provider
- Acts as a liaison to Mason with respect to their vanpool
What do you save when you Vanpool?
- Reduce the amount of time you’re driving
- Use HOV lanes for free
- Split any tolls
- Less wear and tear on your car
- Potential reduction in your personal auto insurance costs
- Reduce the cost of your commute – in some cases to zero
- Reduce C02 emissions
How Does Vanpooling Work at Mason?
- To receive the Mason subsidy of up to $270/month
- You must be a full-time faculty or staff member
- Obtain a WMATA SmarTrip card and register it with WMATA. Visit http://www.smartrip.com for details
- Visit Mason’s Commonwealth Commuter Choice page to:
- Complete the Commuter Choice Enrollment form (one time)
- Complete your Monthly Benefit Request (due the 10th of each month or the Thursday before if the 10th falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
- Please review November 2020 vanpool guidance for important details.
- Use the WMATA SmarTrip website to allocate your subsidy from your SmartTrip card to your vanpool provider
- The allocation process has to be done initially when you join a vanpool and then only if your monthly requested amount changes
- Vanpools do not need to pay to park at Mason; the Vanpool Coordinator (or their designee) picks up an annual permit from Parking and Transportatoin to be used by the vanpool
- Vanpool participants can also:
- Receive up to 2 complimentary parking passes per month
- Participate in the Guaranteed Ride Home Program should an emergency arise
Are there vanpool resources where I live?
- Arlington County - Arlington Transportation Partners
- Fairfax County
- Loudoun County
- Prince William County
Questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.