The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has partnered with Enterprise to launch a vanpool service.
The cost-neutral program called VanShare is open to those drivers and riders who are residents of Cuyahoga County, or who have a destination in Cuyahoga County.
The RTA is seeking names of commuters who are interested in a ride-sharing vanpool program that helps those who do not live on a fixed-route service.
“RTA wants to offer residents as many transportation choices as possible, to improve their mobility,” said RTA CEO/GM Joe Calabrese.
Enterprise Holdings, which provides the driver a vehicle that best fits the size of the van pool, will also helps match riders with similar needs, if riders don’t already have others with whom they want to share their ride. Cleveland VA Medical Center employees have been operating a vanpool and have now joined RTA’s program.
RTA says van pools are especially attractive to:
- People who live outside of RTA’s bus and train network.
- People who may previously enjoyed RTA bus service, but lost it because of budget cuts.
- People who live INSIDE Cuyahoga County, but work OUTSIDE Cuyahoga County.
- People who live elsewhere, but work in Cuyahoga County.
The RTA Board of Trustees approved the VanShare program in 2016.
A minimum of one driver and six passengers are required to set up a vanpool. A primary driver must be designated and can be rotated with the other passengers. The program includes training and appropriate background checks.
When the vanpool begins, mileage is monitored. RTA subsidizes the commute at 30 cents per vehicle mile. In the end, the program goal is to be cost-neutral, so there is no additional expense to RTA.
Vanpool programs are already successfully operating with other transit systems, including those in Columbus, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Dallas.
“By adding VanShare, RTA hopes to increase the total number of area residents using RTA’s safe, reliable, clean, and courteous public transportation services,” Calabrese said.
“There’s already lot of interest,” Calabrese said of the vanpool program. “More than 40,000 people visit the website every week.”