Don't own a car? Or maybe you do but want to use it less for any given reason — maybe financially and/or environmentally? Wait, though. You hate waiting for the bus in the rain or because it's never on time. Well then, aren't you in a dilemma? Think again! There is VanPool or VanShare, King County Metro's
Commuter Van Program.
You might have a lot of questions: VanPool? VanShare? What are they? Aren't they the same thing? How do I start a VanPool/VanShare? Do I have to do it through my work?
Let’s take your questions one at a time.
VanPool? VanShare? What are they? Aren't they the same thing?
Actually, no, they're not the same thing. The main difference between the two is that VanPool is used for the whole commute, wherever that might be. VanShare, on the other hand, is used for a shorter distance and is used to connect you, the rider, with public transport such as the train, ferry or bus that takes you to your final destination.
How do I start a VanPool/VanShare?
It's easy go to the King County Metro's site, which has great resources to see which program — VanPool or VanShare — is best for you and gives you a list of items to know to start each of them. For quicker access here is the link to the information to start VanPool
and this one to VanShare
Do I have to do it through my work?
No, you don't. You can get a group of people together and map out your route and connect to public transport so everyone can get to where they need to go to; it's as easy as that.
I bet you're saying to yourself: "But I don't know anyone that wants to carpool." Well, here's where King County Metro comes to the rescue again! They have on their site, conveniently, bulletins for people seeking others
to start or join their VanPool/VanShare.
Need more information? Visit King County Metro's website and read up. I do have to warn you, though, if you are really serious about starting a VanPool/VanShare, it takes a lot of commitment and work to start it, let alone keep it running. I encourage you to do your homework and see what is best for you and most feasible.
The non-profit I work for, EOS Alliance
, recently started a VanPool to our office. Today was the first day, and though there are a few kinks to still work out, all in all it was a great way to commute to work. Not only will it save my coworkers and me money, but also it minimizes our carbon output. Given we work for an environmental and sustainability organization, I think that is a good thing.