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Frequently Asked Questions


Carpools
Q. What is a carpool?
A.

A carpool is any group of two or more people who ride together to and from work in a personal vehicle (e.g., personal automobile, SUV, or truck).

Q. Why should I carpool?
A.

Carpooling saves in parking fees, gasoline, and vehicle wear and tear.

Members of a carpool can use the extra time to relax, read, pay bills, or just to take a few deep breaths. The frustration of commuting alone in congested traffic is reduced when you share a ride with others.

Q. How much money will I actually save by carpooling?
A.

Carpooling frequently costs less than what you are paying to commute alone. Try the Commuting Cost Calculator to find out exactly how much money you can save.

Q. How do I get started carpooling?
A.

Request a free Rideshare Matchlist. Indicate your preference to join a carpool as a driver or rider, and you'll receive a list of commuters who live in your area, with similar work destinations, and who are interested in ridesharing.

 

Vanpools
Q. What is a vanpool?
A. A vanpool is a group of no less than seven and no more than 15 people, who commute to and from work together in a vehicle (e.g., a van or mini-van). By state law, the vanpool driver must be a commuter, whose operation of the vehicle is incidental to their own commute.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Usually the cost is considerably less than what you are paying to commute to work alone. Try the Commuting Cost Calculator to find out how much money you can save.
Q. How are the fares collected?
A. The vanpool driver or coordinator (another passenger) collects your monthly fare at the beginning of each month.
Q. Could my fare change?
A. Changes in gasoline, insurance, or maintenance costs could cause a change in your fare. The number of active riders also affects vanpool fares.
Q. What is my commitment to the van?
A. In most cases, the driver and riders make a month-to-month commitment with the coordinator. You may leave the vanpool, by giving the driver the requested amount of notice at anytime.
Q. Who owns the vans?
A. Many vans are owned or leased by a commuter or group of commuters; some are owned and/or organized by private leasing companies, private employers, government agencies, or private associations.
Q. Is eating or smoking permitted in the van?
A. You and the other riders decide on the specific rules pertaining to the operation of the vanpool.
Q. Who does the driving?
A. A licensed driver, who is also a commuter like you drives. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not a requirement under state law. However, the driver should have a safe driving record and be committed to the responsibility of driving up to 14 other people to and from work each day. The driver may drive every day or share the driving with designated back-up drivers.
Q. What are the driver's basic responsibilities?
A. Drivers are responsible for picking up and dropping off the passengers at agreed-upon locations, arranging for van maintenance, fueling the van and collecting fares.
Q. Does the van provide door-to-door service?
A. Each group sets its own route and schedule. Most vans have a common meeting point, which cuts down on overall travel time, while others may go door-to-door.
Q. What happens to the vanpool group when the driver is sick or on vacation?
A. Usually, each vanpool has back-up drivers. They are passengers who occasionally drive the van in exchange for a reduced fare.
Q. What if I have to work late or have an emergency?
A. Check in advance with your employer or your local Transportation Management Association at 1.800.245.POOL to see if they have an "Emergency Ride Home" program to offer to you and to others in your vanpool group. An on-call taxi service or an employer-owned vehicle may be made available to you in an emergency circumstance, at a low or no cost.
Q. What happens if I'm sick?
A. To prevent unnecessary travel time delays to the other riders, please call the driver or coordinator and provide advanced notice.
Q. What happens when I go on vacation?
A. Vanpool riders reserve their seat by paying a monthly fare. Contact your vanpool coordinator for specific rules pertaining to the operation of your vanpool.
Q. How do I get started?
A. Request a free Rideshare Matchlist. Indicate your preference to join a vanpool as a driver or passenger, and you'll receive a list of vanpools serving in your home and work area. The driver or coordinator of the van is listed as the contact person. The NJ Transit Vanpool Sponsorship Program provides information on financial incentive.
   
 
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  Last Updated:  January 23, 2012