The Point: Eligible vanpools receive up to $400 per month toward cost of vanpool lease

The Riverside County Transportation Commission is making it easy – and easy on the wallet – for commuters to start a vanpool through VanClub, a new incentive program. Eligible vanpools can receive a $400 per month subsidy toward the cost of a vanpool lease through Enterprise Rideshare or the California Vanpool Authority.

Commuter Jaime E. explains, “Vanpooling has made my 100-mile daily commute manageable. Sharing the commute with others provides camaraderie. It also reduces my carbon emissions and saves money. Driving alone no longer makes sense.”

RCTC began the program in April with a “soft launch,” inviting established vanpools to apply. By September, there were 69 vanpools enrolled – 63 vans with Enterprise Rideshare and six vans with the California Vanpool Authority. Additional vanpools are encouraged to apply for the subsidy, which is up to $400 monthly and may not exceed 50 percent of the lease cost.

To be eligible, vanpools must have at least five participants, commute more than 30 miles each day, commute 12 or more days each month, and travel to a workplace in western Riverside County. Please visit the program website for full eligibility requirements. Once enrolled, vanpools must log their monthly trip statistics and costs into the website. RCTC will report this data to the Federal Transit Administration. In approximately two years, RCTC expects the VanClub program to begin generating enough federal funding to sustain the program long-term.

Vanpooling offers multiple benefits:

  • Financial savings: Participants can save up to 70 percent in commuting costs, including gasoline, maintenance and insurance, compared to driving solo.
  • Time savings: Vanpoolers can zip past traffic using carpool lanes or Express Lanes for free or reduced tolls.
  • Health savings: VanClub members can relieve stress, relax, reduce fuel consumption, and improve air quality.

Based on August figures, VanClub participants had saved 30,400 trips, 1.1 million miles and a staggering 1.8 tons of emissions.

Funding for the subsidies is provided by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee and Measure A, the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Riverside County.

Visit VanClub.net or call 844-VANCLUB for more information and to apply.

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