Who needs the headache of sitting in traffic in one spot, losing patience every second and wishing there was another way? Well, there is! Vanpool, King County Metro public transportation, offers so many commuter benefits, including social connections, use of the HOV lanes, gas included and lowering emissions and air pollution.
“One of the big pluses about Vanpool is gas and the shared ride is included – you don’t have to worry about the headaches of rising gas prices– now $5.50 a gallon – and you don’t have to sit alone in grueling traffic on I-405, I-5 or SR 527 because you get to use the HOV bypass lanes – plus tolls are free in your shared vanpool, too. So many worries dissipate with a Metro Vanpool commute,” says Mark Thie, Metro Vanpool Communications staff.
How Vanpool Works
Vanpool starts with a group of five or more people with a similar commute, at least two of these who volunteer to drive and someone to complete your van’s monthly reports. Vanpool offers multiple vehicle sizes to fit your needs including minivans. Each group then decides their own pick up and drop off locations, schedules, routes and ground rules.
Park and Ride:
“For those who live in areas where it’s harder to be picked up, Park and Ride lots in King County are a great meeting option,” Thie says.
Pilot Program for Kent
Kent’s new pilot program offers commuters who make $25 or less per hour a $49 flat monthly fare rate, saving them hundreds in fuel costs from driving themselves– and remember everything’s included: van, fuel, tolls, insurance, maintenance and an emergency ride home program. “We want to introduce Vanpool’s benefits to qualified Kent commuters with huge savings,” Thie says, noting the program fare subsidy is available for at least one year to income-qualified participants.
Your employer may already cover part of your van fare – check with HR or your Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) to find out. Already have Vanpool benefits? KC Metro will pay the difference for qualified commuters. Don’t qualify? You can still form or join a vanpool for a low monthly fare – check out our handy-dandy fare calculator to determine potential monthly fares.
Why choose Vanpool?
- Monthly fare covers everything: If you join a Vanpool that’s already established, or start your own, your monthly fare covers the van, fuel, tolls, insurance, roadside assistance, maintenance and a paid ride home if you have an emergency. Sharing the ride in a vanpool means lower stress and money savings.
- Social Connection: Connect with neighbors and co-workers in a shared van where you can take turns driving. “New friendships are one of the top benefits people report back to us with Vanpool,” Thie says.
- Emergency Ride Home: “The best part about our Vanpool program is that we cover the costs of an emergency ride home for you if anything happens. If you or your kid gets sick, you can take a cab, Uber, Lyft or public transportation and we’ll reimburse you. Just get the receipt, fill out a form and send it in. We don’t want our riders worrying about situations out of their control,” Thie says.