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Vanpooling is similar to carpooling, though it is often a more formal arrangement among five or more commuters.  In many cases, a designated driver operates a leased van and other commuters fill the remaining seats for a monthly fee.  Vanpools are especially good options for commuters who must travel long distances every day.

Dividing up the cost of travel among five or more people means you’ll save even more money than in a carpool.  It has a bigger impact on traffic congestion and the environment as well – one vanpool can take up to 14 cars off the road.

There are more than 1,000 vanpools operating throughout Southern California, and many are seeking new riders. Go to Go511.com, Southern California’s largest commuter database, to get a free list of vanpools in your area.  If you don’t see an existing vanpool that fits your needs, it’s easier than you might think to start a new one.  Ridematch.info can provide you with a list of potential vanpool partners – people who live and work near you and have similar schedules.  It’s free and only takes a few minutes to register.  You’ll need to provide contact information so that potential carpool partners can reach you, but your home address and other personal information are never released.

OCTA can also help you get started vanpooling, either by finding a seat in an existing vanpool or starting a new one. You may be even eligible for a monthly subsidy of your van lease.  Click here to learn more.

Employers that actively participate in the Vanpool, E-Pass, AVR Processing and Metrolink Corporate programs are eligible to take part in OCTA’s Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) program.  GRH provides a free ride home for ridesharing employees with a qualifying emergency such as illness, a home emergency or unplanned overtime.  Visit www.octa.net/employers2011.aspx for more information.