For obvious reasons, most of the attention given to Metro is for the agency’s work in the realm of mass transit and road improvements. But the agency also helps organize a vanpool program that has grown considerably.
From Metro CEO Art Leahy’s daily email to staff:
The Metro Vanpool Program has reached a significant milestone with an enrollment of 1,000 vans for September. With only three years of operation under its belt (the program was launched in 2007), the Metro Vanpool Program is now the largest vanpool operation in the nation in terms of revenue service miles and the second largest in terms of fleet size. In addition, the program generates revenue for the region that is greater than the agency’s annual program expenditures. In FY10, staff estimates that the program generated $7.8 million in federal revenue. In 2009, the program was awarded an Outstanding Service Award by the Association of Commuter Transportation. An update on the program is scheduled to be presented at the Operations Committee in October.
Vanpools typically consist of long-distance commuters who live near one another and share the cost of a leased van. Metro helps organize the vanpools and subsidizes the cost, meaning that people who vanpool can save money over driving alone and also precious commuting minutes — the vans get to use the HOV lane.
There’s a lot more information on the vanpool page on the Metro website.