Vanpools

Comfortable, Cost-effective Commuting


Enjoy your time and make it an EZ Ride

Vanpooling offers commuter comfort and hefty savings. At less than $6 a day for a round-trip commute, vanpools are the most cost-effective way to get to work.

A vanpool can be formed by a group of commuters to share a journey to work on a regular basis. Riders share expenses. The individual who serves as the driver/coordinator generally pays less.

With a median one-way trip of 40 miles, EZ Ride vanpools connect the metropolitan region with New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. And access to HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes can shave up to 40 minutes a day off your commute.

In addition to financial incentives and tax breaks, you gain time during the day for reading, emailing or listening to your iPod. You arrive to work feeling less stress than you would if you had driven. And you will also feel good about your role in helping to reduce traffic congestion the greenhouse gases.

So Why Vanpool

Recruiting & Retention Benefit

Payroll deductions and subsidies available to employees. Newer model vehicles and luxury upgrades with insurance coverage, maintenance and roadside assistance with a month-to-month lease.

Decrease payroll taxes

Employers can provide a pre-tax benefit toward the cost of vanpooling, reducing taxable income for employees and lowering FICA payroll taxes for the company.

Reduce Demand for Parking

Every vanpool eliminates the need for four to 14 parking spaces, which can have immense impact on congestion and infrastructure costs.

How it works

Join an Existing Vanpool

Vanpools turn your journey to work into a reliable, enjoyable and time-saving EZ Ride each day.

Since vanpools typically share a common destination or workplace, riders first check to see if there is an existing vanpool with an empty seat available that goes to the desired destination.

Vanpooling is most cost-effective for one-way trips of 40 miles or more. If that’s got your name on it, then turn your journey into an EZ Ride.

 

Start a New Vanpool

If you decide to start your own vanpool, EZ Ride can help. Since there are two van sizes to pick from, you will need either 7 or 15 riders. You may recruit these riders at your company or you may consult EZ Ride’s list of riders who are interested in joining a vanpool.

One of the financial benefits of vanpooling comes from financial subsidies that come from NJ Transit. To qualify for these subsidies, you must lease your van from a NJ Transit approved vanpool provider.

Once you have your riders, you’ll need to discuss your cost-sharing arrangements, routes and pickup schedules. Make sure to maintain updated contact information for everyone in your group in case of bad weather or any unforeseen situation. Always have a designated backup driver to allow for vacation time, illness or business travel.

What Does it Cost?

Vanpool Riders Share Expenses

Vanpooling is popular for its convenience, its contribution to a cleaner environment and its reasonable cost. Vanpooling is the most cost-effective way to get to work – about $6 a day – given a daily roundtrip commute of at least 40 miles and a 21-workday month.

Fares are based on the number of average monthly miles and the costs of operation, maintenance, insurance and vehicle depreciation. Monthly costs per rider, based on 14 passengers, are generally between $90 and $170 a month.

Leases are issued on a 30-day, renewable program. A typical lease ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 per month, depending on the van and your monthly mileage. The lease includes maintenance, insurance and 24-hour Roadside Assistance.

Financial Incentives

Check with your employer to see if they currently offer subsidies for vanpooling. Employers can offer their employees up to $125 in tax-exempt dollars per month towards vanpool or transit expenses, saving employers on payroll taxes and providing a write-off at the end of the year.

The federal Commuter Tax Benefit (formally known as the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit or Section 132(f) benefit) currently allows employees to use up to $125 a month, or $1,500 a year, of their pre-tax salary to pay for their commuting expenses. Using pre-tax money to pay for vanpooling lowers your total tax burden, and allows your employer to save money on payroll taxes.

 

NJ Transit's Vanpool Sponsorship Program

To reduce traffic congestion, NJ Transit encourages vanpooling by providing:

  • $175 a month to every vanpool on an ongoing basis.
  • An additional $150 a month if the vanpool uses the HOV lane on the New Jersey Turnpike between Exits 11 and 14 during 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

To qualify for subsidies, you must:

  • Operate a 7- to 15-seat van with a minimum occupancy of 50%. That means a 7-seat van must have at least 4 riders; a 15-seat van must have at least 8 riders.
  • Lease your van from a NJ Transit approved provider.

EZ Ride Incentives for Vanpooling

Empty Seat Subsidy

To encourage formation of new vanpools, EZ Ride provides $60 a month for an empty seat for the first 3 months, providing a financial cushion while passengers are recruited.

Emergency Ride Home Program

Once you’re registered, all vanpoolers are automatically registered in the Emergency Ride Home program, which gives peace of mind knowing that they’ll get home freely in the event of an emergency.