How to Start A Vanpool in Portland & SW Washington

Wondering how to take advantage of vanpooling? First off, there are three basic types of vanpool arrangements. Owner/operator vanpools use a van owned by a commuter who wants to have riders share his or her cost of operating the van.

Employer-sponsored vanpooling use vans owned by an employer and offered to employees for commuting purposes as an extra benefit. Third-party vanpooling allows individuals or employers to contract for vans on a month-to-month basis from a vanpool management company.

Tips on starting a vanpool:

  • Find people near your home who travel to your worksite - Talk with co-workers, contact your employer's transportation coordinator or Human Resources department. You can also register your commute on
  • Research van options - Employers and vanpool groups should research each provider's costs and benefits, and discuss costs with potential riders. Metro VanPool, C-TRAN, Enterprise, VSPI Inc and DriveLessConnect are good places to find Portland area vanpools. There may already be one that meets your needs.
  • Check to see if your vanpool qualifies for a Metro VanPool incentive and register - (Southwest Washington commuters contact C-TRAN commuter vanpool program) If you have a group or even a partial group ready to vanpool, contact Metro Regional Travel Options to register your vanpool. Metro will provide a monthly incentive to qualified vanpool groups. Metro pays the provider directly, remaining costs are split between vanpool riders.
  • To qualify the vanpool must:
    • Travel to a destination in the Portland metropolitan area or Southwest Washington.
    • Originate at least 10 miles from the destination or travel through a congested corridor.
    • Use one of Metro VanPool's van providers.
    • Maintain a minimum of five participants, including the driver, three or more days a week.

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