Due to rising gas costs and heavy traffic in large metropolitan cities, people who drive to work are seeking alternatives for their daily commute. A van pool service allows multiple commuters headed in the same direction the option to carpool, which saves gas, money--and, in many cities, the ability to take the multipassenger lane. Providing a job van pool service is a potentially lucrative and environmentally friendly way to help the planet and workers.
Items you will need
Determine if there are people in your area who are interested in van pooling. You will save yourself from setting up a business and not having interested customers. Locate online matching services that offer information on employees who have similar work locations and schedules. Attempt to find 10 or more matches for your van pool service.
Contact the human resources or transportation representatives at companies within the area that you wish to serve to determine if they would like to set up a van pool service, if one is not established already. Human resources representatives will send emails or other correspondence to employees to gauge interest and to invite van poolers, thereby helping to promote your service.
Determine if you want to lease or purchase a van. In some cities, there are certain van pool programs that will only allow you to lease vehicles through certain agencies that are partnered with the city in which you reside. Los Angeles is one city that uses specific leasing agencies for van pool services. The lease typically includes insurance and maintenance on your vehicle. If you purchase a van instead, seek a safe, fuel-efficient vehicle that can comfortably hold up to 10 passengers.
Research whether any licenses are required to become a van pool driver. If you are driving a regular-size van, a common driver’s license should suffice. However, check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to make sure there are no other licenses are required.
Create a record of the leasing fees, maintenance and gas for your van to determine a fair amount to charge each customer. Make the price reasonable so it takes care of your monthly vehicle expenses while making your customers feel they are saving money by not commuting themselves to work each day. Tracking your expenses also helps with accounting and filing taxes.
Check with your local transportation agency in your city to determine if there are any subsidies or grants issued for starting a van pooling service. For example, Los Angeles' Metro offers a $400 monthly lease subsidy for those who enroll in its Metro van pool service. Contact your city hall or chamber of commerce for details as well.
- Family van image by Avesun from Fotolia.com