California Vanpool Authority
The California Vanpool Authority (also known as CalVans) is a Joint Powers Authority with member agencies throughout Central California. CalVans original emerged as a program of the Kings Area Rural Transit system to fill a gap created when Caltrans ceased operating vanpools to state facilities. Since 2001, CalVans has operated vanpool service, beginning with a single van serving county employees and expanding to almost 400 routes serving 23 counties statewide. The program (now called CalVans) has been able to expand transit service to residents of low population density areas, connecting workers to jobs in ways that fixed-route transit systems could not.
The Authority is sponsored by the Kings County Area Public Transit Agency.
CalVans receives bulk discounts on vans. Find leasee/operator who can collect money from passengers and administer the vanpool.
Having a leasee/operator who is responsible for making lease payments, acquiring new passengers, and managing day-to-day operations reduces labor costs that might be incurred by a centrally-administered for profit vanpool program.
The Kings County Area Public Transit Authority Board originally decided to pursue vanpools only if they could achieve 100% recovery of operating costs. The program has been financially self-sustaining from the day it began, according to Hughes. Historically, many of the passengers have been state employees who are eligible for Caltrans vanpool subsidies.
Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC)
Urbanized Area Formula Program
Calvans serves multiple Urbanized Areas (UZAs) in California.
Small Transit Intensive Cities (STIC)
Federal funds formulas for small urbanized areas have historically included demographic factors but not service characteristics. SAFETEA-LU established 5307 funding for for cities that offer high levels of transit service relative to their size . The program has brought new operating funds to communities that CalVans serves.
According to Hughes, CalVans model allows it to accept leasee/operators who would be declined by for-profit vanpool companies due to poor credit. Because of this, he sees the service as providing a lifeline to individuals who would not otherwise be able to access jobs. Additionally, Hughes said that a leasee who looses a job or is unable to maintain payments can return a van if needed because the van can be reassigned.
Portions of the content appearing on this page are based on an interview between Juan Matute and Ron Hughes on September 9, 2011.