Share the ride with Metro Vanpool
If you have a long commute and no regular bus or train service nearby, joining a vanpool may be your best option. You can’t beat the savings and relaxation!
Metro Vanpool is a regional program, subsidized by the Metropolitan Council, to help meet the commuting needs of commuters that reside or work in the seven-county metropolitan area. Vanpools have five to 15 people sharing the ride to and from work an average of three or more days a week. Each van has a volunteer driver and back-up driver(s).
- Dramatically reduced commuting costs
- Reduced commute-related stress
- Shorter commute times
- Multiple vehicle choices to commute in
- Help reduce greenhouse gases
- Commuter Tax Benefit
How to qualify
Participants must live or work in one of these counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington.
Vans must carry a minimum of five people (including the driver) who share the ride at least three days a week.
Vanpool routes must not duplicate regular bus routes, light rail or Northstar Line service. Subsidies are not available for vanpools traveling to or from downtown St. Paul or downtown Minneapolis for the following work schedules: 7-8:30 a.m. arrival and 3:30-5:30 p.m. departure.
To be eligible to lease a van, prospective drivers must:
- be 21 years old or older
- possess a valid driver’s license in his or her state of residence
- have a good driving record and permit Rideshare by Enterprise to review his or her record
- have a good credit rating
Funding from the Metropolitan Council helps subsidize the overall cost of leasing a Metro Vanpool van, making it even more affordable. The average cost is $110 per month for each participant.
Note: Metro Vanpools that operate exclusively within the seven-county metropolitan area receive a 55 percent subsidy on the van lease. Metro Vanpools that start or are traveling to locations outside the seven-county metropolitan area receive a 50 percent subsidy on the van lease.
Check with your employer—you could lower your costs even more. In some cases, employers also help cover vanpool expenses.
Vanpoolers set up their individual monthly fares based on expenses, including the van lease, monthly mileage, gas and parking expenses.
Costs are determined by:
- Distance traveled
- Size of van being leased
- Number of passengers
- Amount of Metropolitan Council subsidy
- Amount of employer subsidy
Vans are leased monthly to the vanpool’s primary driver. Rideshare by Enterprise (a leasing company contracted by the Metropolitan Council) establishes the lease rates and offers types of vans (7-, 9-, 12- or 15-passenger vans) available. The lease covers the van, insurance, maintenance, repairs and 24-hour roadside assistance.
Primary drivers ride free in exchange for driving and coordination responsibilities.
Primary drivers can use the Metro Vanpool van for some personal trips (up to 250 miles per month).
Primary drivers receive $100 after the first six months of driving and $100 annually thereafter. One back-up driver receives $50 after the first six months of driving and $50 annually thereafter.
Call 651-602-VANS or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. You will be sent two forms and the process will be explained to you:
Vanpoolers determine the route and schedule pick-up and drop-off locations, based on members’ home and work locations. We can meet with you and members of your vanpool to answer questions.
Create a commuter account at metrotransit.org/rideshare. Once you set up your account, at least one person in the vanpool must track the vanpool’s trips each month.
Vanpoolers are eligible for the Guaranteed Ride Home program as part of your registration on the rideshare database. Trips must be a part of your school or work commute. Acceptable uses include leaving work due to illness or having to pick up a sick child, having to work unexpected overtime or if your vanpool is not available to leave when needed. Registered vanpool participants can request reimbursements for 24-hour Enterprise rental car, transit or cab fare reimbursement up to four times per year or $100 in value, whichever comes first, for eligible trips with valid documentation.