What is Vanpooling?
A vanpool is a group of people with a similar origin, destination, and schedule, who share the costs of commuting and ride in a vehicle with 7 or more seats. The group divides the cost of the monthly van rental, gas, insurance, and other costs among themselves.
Vanpools can form on their own or with help from vanpool vendors, employers, or MassRIDES. A group needs three key characteristics to form a vanpool:
- A common origin (within proximity)
- A common destination (workplace)
- A common schedule
A vanpool group must decide on who will be the primary driver and identify alternate driver(s). The van gets on the road after signing an agreement with a vanpool provider for the van and completing a registration form to receive the state vanpool subsidy as part of the Massachusetts Commuter Vanpool Program.
- Save money on gas, maintenance, and insurance
- Reduce wear and tear on your own vehicle
- Get there faster using HOV lanes
- Relax and enjoy the ride or catch up on reading
- Reduce your stress
level by letting someone else do the ride
- Take advantage of incentives and pre-tax savings
Vanpool Tax Benefits
The Commuter Choice federal tax benefit program (Section 132(f) of the federal tax code) allows employers to offer employees a variety of financial incentives for using alternative commute modes, including the pre-tax payment of vanpool and transit fares. Click here for more information or check with your employer to find out if you can take advantage of a pre-tax vanpool payment option.
There are number of vanpools already operating throughout Massachusetts - check out the list here. If you find a vanpool that matches commute route and times, you can email the driver directly or call MassRIDES for more details.
If you already know 5 to 15 people that are ready to vanpool, give MassRIDES a call and we’ll help with the next steps. You can also use the NuRide ride matching to find other commuters who live in your neighborhood or town and commute in the same direction that might be interested in forming a van. MassRIDES can also help with vanpool formation meetings and events at your worksite.