Stanford Vanpool FAQ
1. What is included in the subsidy? Is there a maximum amount?
Stanford will fully subsidize the monthly fare for qualifying vanpools. This does not include gas and tolls. There is a maximum subsidy amount of $1,200 per month.
Since eligible vanpool members receive the subsidy plus Clean Air Cash as Commute Club members, we encourage each vanpool to create a reserve fund to cover temporary periods of empty seat(s). This will help ensure your vanpool can continue despite temporary or ongoing changes in membership.
2. Does my vanpool qualify?
In order to qualify for the subsidy, your van must have at least five members who are eligible for the Commute Club. In order to be eligible, you must work or study on the main campus at least 20 hours a week and cannot have a long-term parking permit, among other requirements.
3. Some of my vanpool partners are not Commute-Club eligible or not affiliated with Stanford. Can they be part of my group?
Stanford commuters who are not Commute-Club eligible and non-Stanford affiliates can ride with the vanpool, but they do not count towards the subsidy.
4. How can I find more members for my vanpool?
There are a number of options you can consider to recruit riders.
- Update your current vanpool listing on our P&TS website, if you have one, to include how many open seats you have available.
- Post your vanpool on Stanford's Carpool and Vanpool Listings page to recruit Stanford affiliates.
- Post your vanpool on Scoop, a public app that includes Stanford subsidies, for specific days you have seats available.
- Contact our rideshare coordinator to request targeted outreach to Stanford commuters.
- Post your vanpool on Stanford Staffers.
- Contact Stanford's designated representative at Enterprise Rideshare.
5. I have my five-person (or larger) group. What do I do now? What about parking?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.736.9923. We will be glad to hear you are ready to start your vanpool!
In addition to letting us know, one of the first steps is to contact our vanpool provider, Enterprise Rideshare, about leasing a van. Our contact is Chris Knoll (Christopher.W.Knoll@ehi.com). He and his office will work with you to lease the van. They can also help you with other van-specific logistics, including which van is appropriate for you and which of your members will be drivers.
You will also need to apply for a free Stanford parking permit online. Your vanpool will receive a free ‘A'-Carpool parking permit, which will allow you to park in any ‘A’ or ‘C’ space (except 'C' spaces in Hoover Pavilion Garage), including the carpool spaces that are reserved for carpools until 10 a.m.
6. Do vanpool members qualify for other Commute Club incentives?
7. What happens if someone drops out or becomes ineligible?
When a van drops below five eligible members, P&TS will grant the vanpool a two-month grace period and two-month partial subsidy to get back up to the five-member threshold.
If your vanpool drops to four members:
For the first two months, P&TS will continue to provide the 100% subsidy.
- If the seats has not yet been filled after the first two months, P&TS will subsidize 50% of the vanpool fare for two more months. Vanpool members will be responsible for the other 50%, and the group can decide whether the empty seat is paid for by all the members or by the member(s) on leave.
- After four months, the vanpool will be responsible for 100% of the vanpool fare.
If your vanpool drops to three or fewer members:
- If a van drops to three members, it will have one month to get up to at least four members.
- If the vanpool has four members after one month, then it can continue with one additional month grace period and two months of partial subsidy.
- If it does not have four members after the first month, it must convert to a carpool.
- If the vanpool drops to two members, there is no grace period. It must convert to a carpool at the end of that month's lease.
Commute Club members will no longer receive Clean Air Cash.
With three or more members, you will still receive a free ‘A’-Carpool permit. If your group drops to two members you will need to either switch to a free ‘C’-Carpool permit or pay the difference in price between the ‘A’ and ‘C’ permits.
Should you choose to keep the lease on your van, you will be responsible for paying the monthly vanpool fare and will be charged by your vanpool provider directly.
Please notify P&TS of any membership changes through our online portal to your vanpool by submitting a new vanpool application. Failure to do so can result in penalties and/or in the loss of vanpool or Commute Club privileges for your members.
We encourage each van to have additional members beyond the minimum of five eligible members required, if possible. We also strongly recommend creating a reserve fund to cover temporary periods of empty seat(s).
8. What if one or more members of my vanpool wants to join on a part-time basis?
Each eligible member must actually ride in the vanpool at least three days each week to count toward the vanpool subsidy. Those taking other forms of sustainable transportation, such as transit, three-days or more per week do not qualify as full-time members. However, two part-time riders can count as one full-time rider for the purposes of the subsidy.
9. I have a five-person group, but one of our members doesn’t qualify. Can you make an exception in our case?
We have four-person carpools, and it would be unfair to them to subsidize four-person vanpools while not providing the same incentive to these carpools. We encourage groups with four eligible members to start as a carpool until they identify a fifth eligible member.
10. Who can I contact if I have other questions?
We are happy to answer your questions and help you create a new vanpool or join an existing one. You can reach us at email@example.com or 650.736.9923.