Management & Operations

WMATA may administer Virginia vanpool program

Posted on June 27, 2003

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is looking to expand its role as a regional mobility manager to include vanpooling out of Virginia. WMATA hopes the program, a collaborative effort with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transport (DRPT) to provide subsidies to vanpool operators, will encourage larger numbers of automobile drivers to get out of their cars and into vanpools. The Virginia vanpool subsidy-incentive program is designed to reduce the cost of commuting via vanpool by enticing riders to hop on board instead of sitting behind the wheel of their private automobile. WMATA's board will consider whether it wants Metro CEO Richard White to be able to enter into a contractual agreement with VDOT and regional transportation planning organizations to move forward to implement the program. VDOT and DRPT receive funds from a federal highway fund to encourage vanpooling as part of a Transportation Emission Reduction Measure. Both are interested in having Metro/WMATA administer the subsidy program, which should provide $200 to $325 per month in incentives to vanpool operators, who in turn pass along the savings to riders. Vanpool program goals include providing operating subsidy to vanpools to increase and maintain vanpool usage and encourage upgrading of the vans; requiring the collection and submission of data needed to qualify for federal funds; and increase federal funds to the regional transit service. Currently, nearly 50 transit properties nationwide are involved in vanpool incentive programs.

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