Metro’s popular vanpool program took another step toward making vanpools more accessible and affordable. A new pilot program offers a reduced $49 monthly vanpool fare to Kent residents and commuters who make $25 or less per hour. The program begins May 1.
The $49 monthly fare, which includes the van, gas, maintenance, and insurance, significantly reduces participant commuting costs. The vanpool program allows for maximum flexibility for users and cuts down on traffic congestion by increasing ridesharing in the area.
How it works:
- Commuters may start their own Metro vanpool with just three commuters – so neighbors, co-workers or family who have a similar starting point, destination, and work schedule; or they may join one of more than a dozen other Metro vanpools already ridesharing to area employers.
- Commuters who work or live in Kent and make $25 or less per hour, pay just $49 out-of-pocket each month in fares, with Metro paying the difference for up to two years.
- Participants’ monthly fare covers it all! It includes the van, fuel, tolls, insurance, maintenance, 24-hour roadside assistance and a benefit that covers cab fare if the user needs to go home sick, pick up a sick child or in an emergency.
- Pilot vanpool groups may start with three or more commuters. The commuter group should include at least two volunteer drivers, along with someone to complete the group’s monthly reports.
- All volunteer drivers must be approved and vetted via Metro’s vanpool team, and all participants must complete a registration form, program application, and meet other requirements.
- Commuters who don’t qualify for this pilot and live or work in King County may still start or join a Metro Vanpool for a low, monthly fare, saving money and benefitting from a shared ride!
- Kent commuters who already qualify for Metro reduced-fare transit cards and meet the pilot qualifications are eligible for additional vanpool benefits.
- Metro will connect with Kent-area employers and small businesses to share this and other new or existing commute options for employees.
This vanpool pilot was developed as part of the 2018 Renton Kent Auburn Mobility Project (RKAAMP), which also brought Metro’s on-demand service Ride Pingo to Transit last year. Metro’s outreach to residents, employers, and community-based organizations indicated a high need for transit access to swing and nightshift work at distribution centers in the Kent Valley. Many jobs act as primary workforce entry-points for immigrant and refugee populations in the Kent East Hill neighborhoods.
Metro’s Mobility Framework— which helps the agency adapt to the changing transportation landscape in an equitable and sustainable way— identified certain core Kent neighborhoods as areas of opportunity because traditional bus routes and rail weren’t good solutions for workers there, coupled with a high need for affordable public transit. Vanpool affordability was a proposed solution to fill this gap.
For complete information on this pilot and how Metro Vanpool may improve commutes, visit the pilot page, call Metro vanpool at 206-625-4500, email the vanpool team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Metro vanpool online.
- Kent Vanpool Reduced Fare Pilot – http://www.kingcounty.gov/KentVanpool
- Metro Vanpool – https://kingcounty.gov/metrovans
- What is vanpool? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP0GMC0KLgM
“Metro is offering an even more affordable monthly vanpool fare, bringing an additional transit option to Kent area commuters, small businesses, and the residents who need it most. Metro vanpool is a critical Metro service, making transit connections and linking commuters directly to their worksites in an efficient, sustainable, and affordable way. This pilot is a game-changer for residents of Kent, helping get people to work while reducing emissions in pursuit of a greener King County”
Dow Constantine, King County Executive
“Vanpool is an important mobility option for Metro and area commuters and employers for the past 40 years, and now we’re able to bring this shared ride solution to more commuters at an even more affordable monthly fare. Ridesharing in a vanpool helps commuters save time and money, provides critical connections, and helps cut traffic congestion and reduce emissions.”
Christina O’Claire, King County Metro, Mobility Director
“When it comes to transit, one size does not fit all. Kent-area commuters told us they needed flexibility and easy access to a public transit mode beyond the bus, especially for workers who have shifts scheduled 24/7. This pilot provides additional affordability and access to a shared van that saves commuters time and money and cuts vehicle emissions caused by drive-alone commuting.”
King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, who represents Kent East Hill
“We’re excited about this new commuter offering. This solution cuts down on city traffic congestion, allows residents to save thousands a year by ridesharing, and fills a critical transit gap for workers on swing, night, and weekend shift work. Fixing this transit gap is critical for our growing community, and this lower-cost, flexible vanpool is invaluable for our Kent East Hill residents and all who travel to our Kent Valley industrial and distribution centers.”
Kent Mayor Dana Ralph