Vanpool Assistance Program
What is it?
The Vanpool Assistance Program provides temporary funding for vanpools having trouble filling all of their seats. It keeps vanpools on the road while they are experiencing emergency problems in their passenger levels. There are two different programs within the Vanpool Assistance Program: the VanStart Program, which funds empty seats during the critical start up phase of new vanpools; and the VanSave Program, which is for existing vanpools that are experiencing problems in their passenger levels due to the loss of riders.
Who can apply?
Anyone operating a vanpool that serves residents of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties can apply for assistance. The vanpool must be a nonprofit organization and have a seating capacity of no less than six and no more than fourteen (excluding the driver). The vanpool operator must certify that the van has PV plates and is appropriately insured under a Commercial Auto Policy or Vanpool Policy and registered with the local jurisdiction.
Are there any special requirements?
Yes. Since the VanStart Program is for new vanpools and the VanSave Program is for existing vanpools, there are some differences in the eligibility requirements.
- The owner/operator must register the vanpool and apply for assistance within the first three months of operation.
- At least 50% of the passenger capacity must be full.
- The vanpool must have been in operation for a minimum of six months and may not have received any state assistance funds in the past 12 months.
- At least 25% of the paying passenger capacity must have been empty for more that 30 days at the time of application.
How much funding is available?
The amount of funding is based on the average cost per seat of your vanpool and the average cost per seat of similar vanpools traveling the same distance. Funding will be provided for up to four months, and the number of seats subsidized will reduce each month.
Can you help me find new riders?
YES. As a member of the Commuter Connections network, we can provide the latest information on commuters interested in ridesharing. For commuters interested in starting new vanpools, we can provide information, as well as assist you in promoting your new vanpool and recruiting riders.
How do I apply?
For an application or for more information, please contact Commuter Services. Remember, vanpools must be registered with a rideshare organization prior to receiving funding. Contact us today to register and keep your vanpool on the road and you out of traffic congestion.