Roxanne Daniel, RideShare and Outreach Coordinator, Cherriots Staff
Cherriots RideShare is a transportation options program managed by Salem-Keizer Transit. The goal of the program is to promote transportation options as an alternative to the single-occupant automobile, thereby reducing vehicle miles traveled, growth in parking demand, traffic congestion, energy consumption, and auto emissions. The program serves commuters with origins or destinations in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties.
Cherriots Rideshare partners with other RideShare agencies or programs in the region to jointly operate the Valley VanPool program. Now in its seventh year of operation, there are 33 vanpools and two commuter buses allied with the Valley VanPool region; the vans are comprised of both public and private commuter groups. Of the 33 vans, 18 are actively engaged in the Valley VanPool program.
There are four vans that have participated since the beginning of the program, three vans with 5 + years, with the other vans operating anywhere from 3 years to several which are new as of this fiscal year. The participating vanpools operate either 9 passenger or 15 passenger vans, offering flexibility as ridership grows.
The Valley VanPool partners are engaged in continual efforts to retain and recruit participants for vanpools throughout the region. The addition or modification of routes is evaluated on an as needed basis with drivers and assistance from the vanpool leasing companies which also receive direct inquiries from commuters. Valley Vanpool serves commuter groups by working on parking issues, addressing concerns from business and handling feedback from the public. The following routes have one or more vanpools being supported by these efforts:
Albany – Salem (2) private vans
Corvallis – Eugene
Corvallis – Monmouth – Sheridan
Corvallis – Newport
Corvallis – Salem (4)
Eugene – Corvallis (2)
Eugene – Salem (5) 4 vans, 1 bus
Lebanon – Sheridan
Portland – Salem (6) 5 vans (2 private), 1 bus
Salem – Eugene
Salem + Portland (11) private or participating thru another agency
The most accurate information remains with the vanpool routes under subsidy agreement. The National Transit Database (NTD) reports required for all vans in the subsidy program provide complete and accurate information with regard to rosters and travel data. Through Federal funds received (as a result of the NTD reporting) Salem Keizer Transit is able to offer a locally controlled subsidy program for the vans coming into the region.
Vanpool Yearly Average Statistics
Number of Vans in Cherriots Rideshare———————–13
Average Total Number of Participants (PT and FT per month)—–94
Average Daily Ridership (per 9 passenger van)—————–5
Average Daily Ridership (per 5 passenger van)—————-8.3
Average Trip Length————————————-51 miles
Yearly Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs) Saved——————5,655,000
Yearly Vehicle Miles Traveled Saved (per participant)———-5,872
Yearly Passenger Trips Reduced (per participant)————-159
Yearly Gallons of Fuel Saved——————————282,750
Total Yearly Fuel Cost Savings to participants (gallons x $3.75)–$1,060,030
Overall Savings to Society (Total Yearly VMP x $.56/mi.)——–$3,166,800
Valley VanPool Subsidy Program
Valley VanPool promotes and provides support for vanpools in the regions served by Point2point Solutions at Lane Transit District, Cascades West Council of Governments, and Cherriots Rideshare/Salem-Keizer Transit District. Each vanpool will be assigned to one of the Valley VanPool partners, hereafter called the sponsoring Valley VanPool partner. This assignment is determined by the vanpool’s destination city or (in some cases) county.
In addition to assisting in the formation and ongoing support of vanpools, Valley VanPool also provides a monthly subsidy to help offset the lease cost of the van.
Subsidy Eligibility Requirements
- Vanpools must be for commute trips with an origin or destination of Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Benton, Polk, Marion, or Yamhill counties (origin or destination must be within Lane Transit District or Salem Area Mass Transit District service areas).
- The van may not be operated for profit by the driver or other members.
- Vans must be leased from one of Valley VanPool’s approved third-party providers (Enterprise Rideshare or VPSI, Inc.) Vanpool drivers are free to choose vanpool provider, van type, and amenities.
- Vanpools must display Valley VanPool program contact information (as provided by Valley VanPool) on the exterior of the van.
- Unused van seats must be made available to the public.
- The flat rate subsidy amount (Table 1) is based upon van size and mileage. At no time may the subsidy exceed 50% of the van’s monthly lease cost.
One-Way Miles——7-Passenger Van——9-, 12-, 15-Passenger Van
- The signed lease agreement between the third-party vanpool provider and the vanpool driver must be completed and on file by the 15th of the month to initiate the vanpool’s subsidy program the following month.
- Regular vanpool members must register in the commuter database with the sponsoring Valley VanPool partner within 30 days of joining the vanpool.
Requirements for maintaining enrollment in Valley VanPool’s subsidy program are:
- The vanpool must maintain a minimum average of 50% paid members. If the minimum membership requirements cannot be maintained for three consecutive months, the subsidy will be reviewed and may be reduced or eliminated. Valley VanPool can assist in recruiting new members to fill seat vacancies.
- Completion of monthly ridership reports by the 5th business day of the month. Fill-in forms will be provided and should be returned promptly to the third-party vanpool provider.
- The vanpool driver (or designated organizer) must inform the sponsoring Valley VanPool partner when there are permanent route changes, schedule changes, roster changes, operating updates, seats available, and changes in driver contact information.
- Completion of occasional surveys or other information as requested by Valley VanPool.
- To discourage frequent changes of providers, a vanpool group may not change providers more than once in a six month period without forfeiting the vanpool subsidy. Exceptions to this include when ridership dictates that a different size van is needed, or in the event of service issues.
Subsidy is provided at the discretion of Valley VanPool depending on the availability of funding and/or eligibility of the van.