The Los Angeles Metro Vanpool Program

Jul 20, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Most people aren’t aware of it, but the Los Angeles Metro has a Vanpool Program that provides alternative transportation choices for commuters, improves air quality, reduces traffic congestion in Los Angeles County, and provides a real-world solution that co-workers or fellow Vanpool riders can save money, time, and stress, during their weekly work commutes.

This under publicized Vanpool Program is aimed at sustaining and improving regional mobility.

Definitely one of Metro’s innovative and creative ways to reduce traffic congestion and improve our air quality, the Metro’s Van Pool Program, is part of a multi-million dollar program that was put in place with various Vanpool Leasing Agencies, employee transportation programs, and the well known journalist and speaker—Huell Howser.

Use Metro

Vanpooling Economics

Essentially the Vanpooling model builds upon the carpooling concept; which is among the easiest of clean air commutes.

It’s already a familiar practice as it utilizes our existing transportation infrastructure and simply takes advantage of the excess capacity for vehicles already in use.

Essentially, any person, organization, or entity can apply with one of Metro’s participating leasing agencies, and after approval, receive a $400 monthly lease subsidy. Although the subsidy cannot exceed 50% of the lease costs, it’s available to all qualified commuter vanpool groups of 5-15 passengers that have a destination to a L.A. County worksite. Although the program isn’t totally free—its cost and other savings are tremendous.

While much of Metro’s efforts are centered on improving bus and rail services for our transit customers, this new program aims at the very heart of the commute problem in our county: daily solo drivers,” said Roger Snoble, Metro CEO.

We are confident that more L.A. commuters will make a simple dollars and cents decision to let Metro help defray Vanpool leasing costs. The amount of funding and resources we are providing for this program is substantial, and underscores our long-term commitment to making Vanpooling even more economical and accessible in L.A. County.

Vanpooling and Employers and Employment Centers

Use the Car Pool Lanes

Metro’s program has been designed to primarily work with large Employment Centers throughout Los Angeles County. By having employees travel together they can save up to 30 percent in vanpool leasing costs alone. If you think about it, hundreds of thousands of workers drive solo to Los Angeles work-centric areas such as Century City, Woodland Hills, Downtown, Santa Monica, Burbank, Universal City, and so on. Therefore its participants don’t have to literally work at the same office, but frequently they work in the same area without ever knowing it and can use Metro’s Vanpooling program easily and without hassle.

Vanpooling saves time, money, and is more efficient than individual commuting

Go Metro via a Vanpool

A 70-mile roundtrip for one driver can cost as much as $785 per month in car ownership, fuel, and maintenance costs. A vanpool trip without Metro’s program is about $224 per person a month– but with the Metro Vanpool Program, the vanpool commute is further reduced to a $170 cost per month which equates to about $5.66 a day; about a 78% cost savings! That’s money that you can put into your pocket every day. Not a bad deal at all.

Benefits to Business’

Besides the bottom-line basics as explained—by using Metro’s Vanpooling program, participants are able to save time, money, wear and tear on their psyche—what’s the cost for that— while one’s able to put their hard earned money to better use. The result is that they’re less stressed out and can function better at their jobs.  Need a little help finding a Vanpool near you?  Try CommunteSmart.

Other ways in which Vanpooling improves esprit’d’corp, it saves money by reducing employer parking costs; it helps develop lines of communication among employees and promotes punctuality; and Vanpooling boosts morale and productivity.

And best of all—you get to make new friends. That’s priceless.

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4 Responses to “The Los Angeles Metro Vanpool Program”

  1. David says:

    Lisa, great coverage of Metro’s Vanpool service. It’s a smart program because not only does it utilize existing road infrastructure, it takes advantage of employment clusters. And that’s a very smart way for sustainable development.

    [Reply]

  2. LisaNewton says:

    I totally agree. If you can’t use Metro all the way, a vanpool is definitely the way to go.

    [Reply]

  3. Diane C. says:

    I’m so glad to see all these alternative transportation choices available in L.A. I hope other cities will follow their example.

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Urban Wildlife

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Diane C., The current political climate is very friendly towards public transportation. I think many cities will be following suit.

    [Reply]

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