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smart moves - a program for nj employers

Commute Alternatives


Vanpooling allows employees to share their ride to work with other co-workers in a 7- or 15-passenger van. A vanpool usually requires the naming of a regular driver and monthly fares from riders. NJ TRANSIT offers a statewide Vanpool Sponsorship program. As part of this program, NJ TRANSIT provides a financial incentive for vanpooling in areas where public transportation is either not available or not feasible.

What kinds of vanpooling arrangements are available?
There are three types of vanpooling arrangements:

  • Employer-operated. An employer owns or leases a fleet of vans, also insures and maintains them for use in the employee transportation program
  • Third Party. Participating employers or employees contract with a vanpool vendor for the use of a vendor-owned van. The vendor is paid a monthly fee by the employees to cover the vanpool’s lease and operating costs.
  • Employee-operated. An employee independently owns, leases and operates a van for the purpose of commuting with co-workers.

How can employers support vanpool arrangements?
An employer can:

  • subsidize operating costs
  • provide “empty seat” subsidies until ridership is complete
  • supply insurance and maintenance, or contract with local providers
  • sponsor driver training and safety programs
  • administer fare collection and lease payments

What can a vanpool program do for employers and employees?
A vanpool program can:

  • Reduce travel expenses
  • Lessen commute-related stress
  • Provide more productive use of commuting time
  • Reduce parking demand at worksites
  • Shorten employee travel time (mostly for employers that provide preferential parking for vanpools)
  • Improve recruitment for employers lacking sufficient bus and train access to potential employees who live at a distance.

Where is vanpooling successful?
Vanpooling is most successful at worksites where:

  • Employees commute more than 20 miles one way from their home
  • Employees work consistent hours with infrequent overtime
  • Employee parking is limited at the worksite

How can employers launch a vanpool program?
Launching a vanpool program requires planning ahead with the help of your local Transportation Management Association (TMA). Here’s what you need to do:

  • Identify employee residential concentrations with the most potential for vanpool usage
  • Decide if you will own or lease company vans, contract with a third party, or promote employee-owned vans
  • Purchase vans and arrange service contracts
  • Determine which costs to subsidize (e.g., fuel, insurance, maintenance, empty seats, etc.)
  • Determine the elements of operation you will manage (e.g., lease payments, fare collection, rules of operation, etc.)
  • Establish operating and fare collection policies, pickup and drop-off locations, schedules
  • Recruit and train primary and backup drivers
  • Introduce potential vanpoolers
  • Organize meetings to discuss vanpool policies
  • Match people for vanpooling
  • Explain the NJ TRANSIT Vanpool Sponsorship program and help with the application process
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  Last Updated:  January 28, 2005