Frequently Asked Vanpool and Commute Trip Reduction Questions
Q. How much do riders pay?
A. Vanpool fares have been simplified! Each Vanpool rider pays a fare based on their own commute. Vanpool has 3 different monthly fares:
$60 a month if your vanpool commute is completely within Spokane County.
$80 a month if your vanpool commute includes Stevens or Kootenai County.
$100 a month if you vanpool commute originates or ends in any other county.
Vanpool fares are paid at the first of the month.
Q. Do vanpools pick up riders at their front door?
A. The route and schedule for each vanpool are decided by the group. Some vans go door-to-door, but most vanpools establish one or two convenient pick-up points.
Q. What happens to the vanpool group when the driver is sick, on vacation or has to work late?
A. Each vanpool group should have at least two approved back-up drivers who can take over in the event that the primary driver is unavailable.
Q. What happens when a rider is sick or on vacation?
A. Payment of the monthly fare reserves your seat whether you ride or not. Riders do not receive a refund for missed days. If a rider is planning a vacation, the rider can sublet the seat to a temporary rider from the vanpool waiting list. Part time riders can also ride in a vacant seat and pay a daily fare.
Q. What about insurance coverage?
A. Spokane Transit purchases its insurance coverage through the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool (WSTIP).
Q. If I work a compressed schedule, can I still join a vanpool?
A. Yes. Many of our vanpool groups operate on a 4/10 or 9/80 compressed work-week schedule.
Q. Who is responsible for routine maintenance of the van?
A. Maintenance is a joint effort between the vanpool group and Spokane Transit. The primary driver completes daily, weekly and monthly inspections and all riders should report anything unusual. Spokane Transit's Maintenance Department performs the van’s routine preventive service every 4,000 miles and handles emergencies as they arise.
Q. Where can a vanpool travel?
A. Vanpool is specifically designed to accommodate commuters who are coming from or going to a destination outside of the Spokane Transit bus routes. This is not to say that vanpool cannot operate if buses are available. Sometimes a vanpool group needs to commute at times or in a route that is incompatible with the current bus schedule. Vanpool groups must either start in the Spokane Transit bus boundaries, or terminate in it.
Q. I am a member of a vanpool and I have an emergency, what do I do?
A. Vanpool participants who use vanpool as their primary commute option are eligible to receive a free Smart Card Bus Pass that can be used on all STA buses. Vanpoolers may use this card for emergency trips from work, run errands during the workday, get to a vanpool pickup point, or complete a commute when the vanpool drops them off. Many employers offer a guaranteed rider home for vanpoolers.
Q. What is Commute Trip Reduction?
A. In 1993, Spokane County implemented the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law (RCW 70.94.521-5 5 1) to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and petroleum consumption through employer-based programs that encourage the use of alternatives to driving alone.
The Spokane County CTR program, Commute Smart NW, works with employers throughout Spokane County to reduce trips by encouraging employees to use commute alternatives to work. If you do not work for a company that has a Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program, you can still be part of the movement to help reduce air pollution, traffic congestion and fuel consumption… all benefiting our environment and community.
CommuteSmartNW.org has a lot of great information about the benefits of using commute alternatives including carpooling, bicycling, walking, riding the bus, vanpooling, working from home and compressing your work schedule. If you register at www.CommuteSmartNW.org and fill out your commute calendar, you will be eligible for prizes each month! The calendar will also give you stats on how you are making a difference including miles not driven, air pollution not emitted and cost savings.
Thank you in advance for making the choice to travel green by using a commute alternative and for helping the Commute Smart NW Office track how many trips are saved every day. Your efforts make a difference!
Need to know more?
Contact Spokane Transit Vanpool