Public Transportation - Vanpool Program

WSDOT invests in vanpool and vanshare programs across the state, partnering with over 20 transit agencies to provide commuters with more travel options.

Puget Sound Leads the Nation

The Puget Sound region leads the nation in vanpooling with more than 2,400 vans rolling each weekday. The oldest and largest public vanpool network in North America, it includes programs operated by six transit agencies:

Nearly 20,000 commuters—including many with long commutes—choose to vanpool regularly. They avoid the stress and expense of driving and get access to HOV lanes, preferred parking and, in many cases, employer-provided vanpool fare subsidies.

Since 2003, vanpools in Washington have increased by more than 90 percent – a net increase of more than 1,500 vanpools. In 2009 and 2010, vanpool growth flattened primarily due to the Great Recession. Since then a slow but steady economic recovery has spurred vanpool growth in the state. Increases in traffic congestion (especially in busy corridors) have also added to vanpool growth.

Vanpool Investment Program

In 2003, the Washington State Legislature created a vanpool grant program to help public transit agencies expand vanpooling and make it more appealing to commuters. Between 2003 and 2018, the state provided more than $70 million to local transit agencies through this program. Agencies have purchased more than 2,000 vans with grant funds, and will purchase an additional 371 vans by 2019. These funds augmented millions of dollars invested by local transit agencies, employers and commuters.

Regional Vanpool Programs

Vanpools are good for business
Employers across the state say it's just good business to offer workers full or partial monthly vanpool fare subsidies. Not only does it save employees out-of-pocket commute costs, it helps employers meet their commute trip reduction requirements. Hundreds of companies in Washington support vanpooling because it helps reduce parking costs, retain employees, earn tax benefits and meet commute trip reduction and sustainability goals.

For more information: 

Shamus Misek