Reduce the cost, stress, and environmental impact of your commute
Contact us to get started!
Connect with our Vanpool team at 509.943.5442 or [email protected].
Office hours 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, our office is closed from 12-1 p.m. for lunch.
WINTERTIME DEFENSIVE DRIVING
As the weather gets colder, and snow and ice are in the forecast, proper preparation and defensive driving skills become imperative to preventing collisions.
Prepare for the drive: Before leaving the bus yard in the morning, ensure you are prepared for the road. Clear ice and snow from your vehicle and double-check that you have the needed cold weather supplies; e.g., ice scraper, shovel, ice melt, etc.
Winter driving: When slick conditions are present, never use your cruise control and ensure you are maintaining a proper following distance. Remember, the combination of the size and weight of the vehicle and the adverse weather conditions can significantly extend your stopping distance.
When you leave room in front of your coach to account for adverse conditions, remember to leave room around all sides of it as well. This extra room can prevent collisions with other vehicles and fixed objects.
With proper preparation and utilizing your safe driving skills, you can prevent wintertime vehicle collisions!
It’s your commute, only better.
A Vanpool is a group of 5 to 15 people who commute together in a comfortable passenger van. Ben Franklin Transit owns, maintains, manages, insures, and licenses 6-, 12-, and 15-passenger vans. If your commute starts or ends within BFT’s service area, Vanpooling can work for you. Locations currently being served by the Vanpool program include Pendleton, Walla Walla, Connell, Patterson, and the Hanford Site.
Is a Vanpool the right choice for me?
When you Vanpool, you:
- Keep more money in your pocket. Vanpooling saves you money on gas, oil, insurance, and wear and tear on your personal vehicle.
- De-stress your commute. Sit back, relax, nap, or catch up on the latest news while enjoying the ride to and from work each day.
- Help the environment. Reduce the number of vehicles on the road and cut your carbon emissions.
How does it work?
You need at least five commuters to start and maintain a Vanpool. Each group must have a coordinator/bookkeeper, and two drivers. BFT must approve and train drivers before they operate the Vanpool vehicle.
Vanpool passengers pay a low monthly fare depending on mileage and the number of riders in the van. Fares cover the van's operating costs, including fuel, insurance, and maintenance. You pay your fare at the beginning of each month to reserve your seat but aren’t required to ride every day.
The group sets its own rules such as pick-up and drop-off locations and commute schedule.
How do I start one?
You need at least five people, including yourself, to start a Vanpool. The more people in your group, the lower your fare will be. To enlist riders, put up signs around your building, and talk with co-workers and friends; we will gladly assist you as well. After you have found enough riders for a group, call us and we will help you through the following steps:
- Map out a route
- Decide on pick-up and drop-off points
- Determine a schedule
- Choose someone to coordinate the Vanpool
- Choose a bookkeeper to collect fares
- Choose at least two people to drive. Driver applicants must meet specific requirements. We will screen and approve driver applications.
- Sign up drivers for our Vanpool Driver training
- Have all participants complete and sign a rider agreement
Can I join an existing one?
Yes, you can! How do you join?
- If you see a van at work, contact us with the van number and we can connect you with the group.
- Let us help find you one by telling us where you want to start, where you want to go, and when.
How much does it cost?
The monthly fares are based on the number of round-trip miles traveled each day, the number of days worked based on your shift, and the number of riders in the van.
For example, a group of 10 traveling 70 miles a day, working 4×10’s would be responsible to collect $645.30 a month, or $64.53 per person. That breaks down to less than $0.06 per person per mile a month for this commute.
For Vanpool Users
Vanpool Rate Charts
For more information, please contact our Vanpool team at 509.943.5442 or [email protected].