Welcome to Flexible Vanpooling
Flexible Vanpool is a new Commuter Connections program feature that helps Vanpool Operators and Coordinators advertise open seats in their vanpool(s) to the public! Enrolling a van in Flexible Vanpool means the public can request to join a vanpool in real-time or reserve a seat in advance for a one-time ride. Both the Vanpool Operator AND the Vanpool Coordinator must approve the flexible option for vanpools. This will allow the van to display a cost-per-ride to the public. Other information needed for the enrollment process includes origin and destinations, departure and arrival times, days of operation, and vanpool Coordinator contact information.
How do I enroll my van in the Flexible Vanpool program?
Vanpools can be programmed into the Commuter Connections TDM System by local rideshare coordinators or Commuter Connections staff. Commuter Connections staff can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-745-7433. To find a representative in your local jurisdiction, please visit the Resources section of our website and expand the "Rideshare Programs" option.
Is there a cost for enrolling vanpools into flexible vanpool?
No. Commuter Connections provides this service for free to all vanpools operating in the Washington, DC region. There is no cost associated with creating a Commuter Connections account or using our mobile applications.
Does Commuter Connections facilitate payments?
No. Commuter Connections offers this technology to connect vanpools with potential riders, but the program is not responsible for collecting payments. Future enhancements may permit Vanpool Operators to link riders to their respective online payment portal if one exists (e.g., PayPal, Stripe, custom portal, etc.).
How does a memeber of the public reserve a Flexible Vanpool seat for a one-time ride?
Upon learning the cost of a one-time ride from a matchlist produced by the Commuter Connections TDM System, a member of the public can contact the Vanpool Coordinator using the contact information displayed in the matchletter to book a seat for a one-time ride on a specified date.
How does a member of the public request a Flexible Vanpool ride in real-time?
Real-time vanpooling requires use of the CarpoolNow mobile application. A Vanpool Coordinator – while NOT driving – must start the vanpool trip in the app. The Coordinator will then be permitted to view any commuters who are requesting rides along the vanpool’s route. Riders will be told upfront the cost of a ride, if any, and agree to pay the billed amount prior to accepting the ride offer.
Is there a cap to the number of rides an individual may take on the vanpool?
Each Vanpool Operator and Coordinator may implement a policy limiting the number of flexible rides an individual may take on a specific vanpool. Commuter Connections recommends a 10-ride limit before requiring an individual to formally register as a permanent vanpool rider.
Commuter Connections is a regional network of transportation organizations coordinated by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. If you live or work in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area, Commuter Connections can provide you with information on all your commute options, so you can make a smart choice about how you travel to work.