Organizing and Operating a Vanpool Program: Feasibility of Vanpooling in Virginia

Report No: 77-R15

Published in 1976

About the report:

This report identifies the various elements of vanpool programs and describes the procedures necessary for employers and agencies to implement a vanpool program based on Virginia conditions. The concept of vanpools is introduced and benefits to management and employees are identified. Among these are reduced needs for parking, reduced traffic congestion, lower commuting costs and conveniences. Employer concerns about vanpool implementation are discussed, such as legal aspects and insurance costs. In Virginia there are no serious legal problems to prevent vanpooling. Experience with vanpools elsewhere in the U.S. indicate that methods for managing and operating programs differ from one company to another although the basic concept is similar to that selected by the 3M Company in its pioneering effort. A variety of operating techniques exist for furnishing the van, purchasing fuel and maintenance, selecting insurance, utilizing vehicles and selecting riders and drivers. Accordingly when establishing a vanpool program, a general procedure should be followed and company specific operating details worked out as appropriate. The procedure for implementing vanpools in Virginia involves first a feasibility phase (including an analysis of costs and potential demand) and second a pilot program to develop operating experience. A procedure for estimating vanpool costs is explained and cost data for Virginia conditions are furnished. The cost per day for a vanpool rider ranges from $1.25 to $2.00 for one-way trip distances of 5-30 miles. The steps necessary to implement a pilot vanpool program are selecting a vanpool coordinator, van acquisition, insurance and legal requirements, and establishing operating procedures. These steps are described in detail and their relationships illustrated in flow charts. The state's role in vanpool programs is identified and includes supportive legislation, furnishing incentives, providing information service about vanpools, and organizing programs by state agencies in order to demonstrate benefits and establish cost and procedural experience.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Moreland Herrin, Lester A. Hoel, Ph.D.

Last updated: January 28, 2024

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