What is a Vanpool?

It's Your Commute. Only Better.

A vanpool is a group of 5 to 15 people who commute together in a comfortable passenger van. We own, maintain, manage, insure and license a fleet of 7-, 12- and 15-passenger vans. These vans are issued to commuter groups and driven by volunteers who share the commute. You must live at least 10 miles from where you work to start a vanpool, and one end of your trip must be in Thurston County.

Vanpool riders pay a low monthly fare based on the number of miles traveled and number of riders. Some employers even pay part of their employees' van fares!

RideshareOnline.com is a free, online ridematch service that can help you locate commuters who want to start or join a vanpool. Or call us at 360-786-8800, 1-866-330-7033 toll-free.

Is a Vanpool the Right Choice for Me?

When you vanpool, you help reduce the number of vehicles on the road. And, you meet new people and make new friends in the process! Other benefits include:

More money in your pocket 

Vanpooling saves you money on gas, oil, insurance, parking, and wear and tear on your vehicle, a savings of about $359 a month. That's six times the average monthly vanpool fare! If your employer offers transportation subsidies, you'll save even more.

Stress-free commuting

You can use the HOV lanes and move past all that traffic when you vanpool. You may also be eligible for preferred parking and, if you ferry, you can cruise right to the front of the line.

More time in your day

Get a head start on your work day in the vanpool, catch up on some reading, or grab a few more minutes of sleep. It can help you unwind after a busy day and gets you home relaxed and refreshed.

How does it work?

You need at least five commuters to start and maintain a vanpool. Each group must have a coordinator, at least three drivers and a bookkeeper. We must approve and train drivers before they operate the vanpool vehicle.

Vanpool passengers pay a low monthly fare (see cost below) depending on mileage and number of riders in the van. Fares cover the costs of operating the van, including fuel, insurance, and maintenance. (Adobe Reader 6.0 or later required to view fares. Free download available.)

The vanpool group creates its own rules such as pick-up and drop-off locations and the commute schedule.

You pay your fare at the beginning of each month to reserve your seat, but you aren't required to ride every day; members can ride fewer than five days a week.

If an emergency arises while you're at work, vanpoolers are eligible for a free taxi ride home, covered by your employer or Intercity Transit.

How do I start one?

You need at least five people, including yourself, to start a vanpool. The more people, the lower your fare. Put up signs around your office building, talk with friends. And we'll be happy to help in the search, just:

After you have found four other riders, call us. We'll need you to:

  • Map out a route,
  • Decide on pick-up and drop off points,
  • Determine a schedule,
  • Choose someone to coordinate the vanpool,
  • Choose a bookkeeper to collect fares,
  • Choose at least three people to drive. Driver applicants must meet specific requirements. We will screen and approve driver applications. Fill out the Vanpool Operator Application and fax (360-357-6184) or mail it to Vanpool Services, P.O. Box 659, Olympia, WA 98507.
  • Sign up drivers for our Defensive Driving course,
  • Have all drivers and riders read and sign the Vanpool Agreement then send it to Vanpool Services, P.O. Box 659, Olympia, WA 98507. 

Can I join an existing one?

Yes! To join an existing vanpool or to find others interested in forming one:

  • Check out our Current Vanpools
  • Find a vanpool going your way,
  • Call the coordinator listed on the roster, 
  • Call us at 360-786-8800, 1-866-330-7033 toll-free, or
  • Visit RideshareOnline.com

How much does it cost?

Monthly fares are based on the number of round-trip miles your van travels each day and the number of monthly riders in the van. (See the links below for vanpool fares.)

Fares cover the costs of operating the van, including gas, maintenance and insurance.

Below are links to vanpool fares based on the number of days per week they operate:

Do vanpool vehicles accommodate mobility devices?

Yes! We can provide a mobility-device accessible van for you.

Finding rideshare partners

Search for rideshare partners by: