Vanpool and Buspool Services
Vanpool and buspool services are similar to carpool services, but on a larger scale. They are employed for a variety of reasons, including:
- To connect residents living in low-density regions with local employment centers
- To provide an affordable alternative to the automobile for home-to-work travel
- To provide a door-to-door transportation service in areas where public transit doesn’t exist or paratransit services are too costly to operate<ref>"Vanpools and Buspools:Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes." TCRP, 2005</ref>
Vanpool and buspool services are typically operated either by an individual, under the auspices of a public or private program, directly by the government, or by an employer. Funding sources can include public agencies, private employers, a combination of public and private sources (as a part of a public-private partnership), or nonprofit organizations such as Best Workplaces for Commuters. <ref>"Vanpool Benefits:Implementing Commuter Benefits as One of the Nation’s Best Workplaces for Commuters." Office of Air and Radiation, US EPA, 2005</ref> Tax breaks are also available for vanpool services, as part of a national effort to decrease congestion. <ref>"Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits Summary Table." National Center for Transit Research, 2013</ref>
Vanpool and bus services offer several benefits to users. They reduce the collective cost of gas and private auto insurance, provide access to commuter tax benefits and high occupancy vehicle lanes, and operate on a fixed schedule, ensuring users will get to their destination on time.
California has one of the most robust vanpool programs in the country. Established in 2012, the California Vanpool Authority (CalVans) was created primarily to serve the mobility needs of agricultural workers in the Central Valley.
University Evening Van Service Programs
Several universities across the United States have implemented evening transit programs, aimed at increasing the safety and mobility of students, faculty and staff during evening hours. These vans typically follow fixed routes between campus and drop-off locations in nearby residential areas, or will cater their drop-off locations according to individual requests.
Examples of universities that offer evening van services are Harvard University<ref>"Evening Van Service." Harvard Transportation and Parking</ref>, Mills College<ref>"Mills Shuttle Service." Mills College Safety and Transportation</ref>, University of California Los Angeles<ref>"Evening Van Service." UCLA Police Department</ref>, and University of California Berkeley<ref>"Night Safety Shuttle." Berkeley VACF</ref>. The University of California, Los Angeles' evening van service is provided by the Community Service Officers Program, a campus safety program managed by the University of California Police Department<ref>"Community Service Officers." UCLA Police Department.</ref>
Conrick, Amy "Vanpools: A Viable Option in Rural Regions."
Ride Arrangers: Denver Regional Council of Governments. "Vanpool Guidebook."
Transit Cooperative Research Program. TCRP Synthesis 98. "Ride-Sharing as a Complement to Transit." 2012.