Vanpools are offered by regional transit agencies and provide groups of five or more individuals a vehicle to share their commute. To ride in a vanpool, you must live at least three miles away from campus.

Vanpool fares are set by the managing transit agency, based on the distance the van travels daily and the number of people in the vanpool. Each vanpool must assign one member to be the bookeeper responsible for collecting fares. Vanpool fares cover the costs of the van, insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance and fuel. 

The University of Washington will provide a free parking permit for each van in one of the Seattle campus lots as well as a monthly subsidy to vanpoolers who have a U-PASS:

  • Up to $40/month for part-time riders (up to four one-way trips per week) 
  • Up to $80/month for full-time riders (five or more one-way trips per week) 

Vanpool participants are responsible for paying any remaining amount to their vanpool’s bookkeeper. To qualify for the subsidy, you must have a valid U-PASS and register with Transportation Services

Getting started

Find a vanpool:

  1. Set up an account and search for possible ridematches at www.rideshareonline.com or by calling 888-814-1300.
  2. Contact a participating transit agency’s vanpool program coordinator (see links below).

Join an existing vanpool:

  1. Complete the transit agency vanpool application process (see links above).
  2. Make sure you have an active U-PASS
  3. Register for the UW vanpool subsidy.
  4. Make sure you know the rules and regulations for parking at your destination.

Start a new vanpool:

  1. Identify who will be the primary driver, the backup driver and the bookkeeper.
  2. Complete the transit agency vanpool application process (see websites below).
  3. Make sure that you have an active U-PASS
  4. Register for the UW vanpool subsidy.
  5. Make sure you know the rules and regulations for parking at your destination.
  6. Decide who in the vanpool will get the two gratis U-PASSes.

Participating transit agencies

Commuters are eligible to ride a vanpool with any agency that operates in the county in which their commute starts or ends.