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The majority of vanpools and buspools serve office and other salaried and support employees on regular work schedules, but a number of significant operations oriented to craft workers, opera- tors, and laborers exist. Vanpool passengers tend to have socio-economic profiles more like auto commuters than transit riders. As with carpools, the personal relationships involved in a vanpool can affect its success and longevity. Excepting certain programs serving central business districts (CBDs), slightly over half of new van- poolers and buspoolers formerly drove an automobile to work. Vanpool program trip length aver- ages mostly fall within the range of 24 to 54 miles one-way, compared to the national average of just over 10 miles for solo auto driver commute trips, and 5 miles for the average unlinked transit trip. These distances make vanpool travel more important in terms of vehicle miles of travel (VMT) reduction than the market share of trips would indicate. Employer vanpool programs, when surveyed in the late 1980s, reported break-even or positive rev- enue results in about half of all cases, but only with administrative costs excluded. Nevertheless, most employers judged their vanpool programs to be cost-effective from a broader perspective. Transit provider vanpool programs often make use of external funding sources for capital costs, and then, in several reported instances, achieve cost recovery ratios that approach or even exceed full operat- ing cost recovery. Known buspool cost recovery ratios for transit operators are 60 to 80 percent. RESPONSE TO VANPOOL AND BUSPOOL PROGRAMS Employer Sponsored Vanpool Programs The first vanpools of the 1970's were employer-operated. Even VPSI, the nation's largest third- party vanpool provider, began as an employer-operated vanpool program of the Chrysler Corpo- ration (VPSI, 1999). Employers generally offered this support of vanpools to reduce parking costs, make parking space available for expansion, reduce congestion, respond to energy shortages, or satisfy zoning or air pollution requirements. In addition, corporations noted positive ancillary ben- efits such as reduced employee tardiness and absenteeism, improved public relations, and lower turnover rates (Wegmann, 1989). Outstanding Employer Vanpool Programs What is thought to be the longest established employer sponsored vanpool program was started in 1973 at the 3M Company headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. The 425-acre 3M Center is located in a low-density suburban area east of the city. Vanpools were originally introduced to reduce the need for parking spaces and mitigate traffic in the neighborhood. Table 5-1 shows the effectiveness of the 3M program over time to 1995. Peak vanpool usage was circa 1980, with effects of the 1970s energy shortages not yet worn off. At that point, 10.3 percent of all employees commuted by van- pool. Vanpool usage at the site dropped from 135 vans in 1980 to 105 vans in 1985 (Comsis and ITE, 1993). Company managers speculated that high employee turnover, relocations, and the intro- duction of flextime were to blame (Bhatt and Higgins, 1989). In 1995, of the nearly 13,300 employ- ees, 525 (3.9 percent) used a vanpool to travel to work, and the fleet totaled 68 vans (Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co., 1998). 5-6

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Table 5-1 Effectiveness of the 3M Company Employer Vanpool Program Over Time Year 1970 1974 1977 1980 1985 1995 Employment 7,723 9,476 10,711 11,740 12,700 13,300 Method of Travel Drive Alone 86.4% 72.7% 75.6% 73.1% 76.4% n/a Carpool 13.0% 20.1% 14.0% 14.8% 14.1% n/a Vanpool 0.0% 6.0% 8.7% 10.3% 7.8% 3.9% Transit 0.6% 1.2% 1.7% 1.8% 1.7% n/a Vehicle Trips per 100 Employees 91.6 81.3 82.0 79.9 82.7 n/a Average Vehicle Occupancy 1.09 1.23 1.22 1.25 1.21 n/a Sources: Kuzmyak and Schreffler (1990), Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (1998). During the 1970s, two-thirds of the 3M Company vanpool runs were under 20 miles in length and also had ratios of passenger-pickup time to line-haul time in excess of 1.0 (Owens and Sever, 1974 and 1977). According to the available rules of thumb for assessing likely vanpool viability, presented under "Related Information and Impacts"--"Indicators of Market Potential"--"Service Attractive- ness Guidelines," these vanpools should not have been attractive to users. Vanpooling at 3M may have been operating in a "supersaturated" mode in the 1970s, in response to both the energy crises of the epoch, and a corporate vanpooling ethic and enthusiasm that ultimately proved hard to sus- tain in the face of changing circumstances. The reduced 1995 vanpool travel share may represent a more "normal" response, though it is not known if it reflects a decline primarily in shorter-distance vanpooling or simply a general decline. This and other aspects of the 3M program are expanded upon in the case study, "The 3M Company Employer Based Vanpool Program." Another vanpool program with significant numbers of runs under 20 miles in length, and still operating in that mode as of last report, was that of the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California. Their vanpool program started in 1975 with a full-time coordinator. It grew out of a subscription bus service attempted in 197374, and a subsequent carpool matching service that saw 38 percent of the 1974 workforce in carpools during the first 1970s oil crisis. The workforce is heav- ily professional, and the location is a large "aerospace" employment center just south of Los Angeles International Airport. Circa 1990, the Aerospace Corporation's vanpool program operated over 60 vans carrying approx- imately 15 percent of their 4,000 workers plus 2,000 workers of the Space and Missile Program of the U.S. Airforce. Carpooling remained high, at 19 percent. The vans, on average, traveled about 35 miles each way, but 13 of the vans (22 percent) served commutes of between 10 and 20 miles. The pro- gram's success is attributed to strong corporate support and sponsorship, employee participation in the program management, and low rider fares; about three-quarters the fare charged at a nearby plant. Aerospace was able to keep fares low by operating the vanpool program itself including insur- ance and both light and heavy maintenance of the vans that extended their useful life (Torluemke and Roseman, 1989; Comsis and ITE, 1993). Nationwide Employer Vanpool Program Characteristics A 1985 nationwide canvass of private employer ridesharing programs yielded information from 160 corporations. The firms responding to the survey came from diverse industries and were dis- 5-7

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persed among CBD (27 percent), other in-city (26 percent), suburban (37 percent), and rural locales (10 percent). Table 5-2 gives selected characteristics of the 20 large and small vanpool programs reviewed in depth in the study. Of the 160 firms that responded, 58 were actually operating employer vanpool programs, and another nine provided certain vanpool services to their employees. Before including administra- tive costs, 50 percent of the vanpool programs were operating at a financial break-even point or better. However, when these costs were allocated against the programs, only a few reported break- even or positive revenue results (Wegmann, 1989). In the 1990's, many employers shifted their vanpool involvement to a supportive rather than an operational role. There is reportedly a desire on the part of many employers to focus on their core business, leaving such matters as vanpool administration, finances, liability, and insurance to others. Concurrently, involvement of Transportation Management Associations and third-party operators, including transit providers, has grown. The national trend has been toward one form or another of third-party vanpooling (Morris, 1981; Metropool, 1997; Boylan, 1999). Table 5-2 Characteristics of Twenty 1985 Case Study Employer Vanpool Programs Vanpool Vanpool Self Assessment: Employer Employees Vans Riders Share "Cost Effective?" Large Programs 1 12,700 115 990 7.8% Definitely 2 2,200 20 180 8.1% Definitely 3 7,000 92 1,120 16.0% Definitely 4 14,000 54 518 3.7% Definitely 5 3,000 25 240 8.0% Definitely 6 3,500 70 525 15.0% Definitely 7 6,000 54 750 12.5% Definitely 8 200 8 80 40.0% Definitely 9 1,300 8 70 5.4% Marginal 10 2,000 38 400 20.0% Definitely 11 16,000 37 385 2.4% No 12 4,800 24 240 5.0% Definitely Small Programs 13 250 4 30 12.0% No 14 700 2 21 3.0% Marginal 15 1,000 5 50 5.0% Definitely 16 3,100 4 62 2.0% Definitely 17 70 1 9 12.9% Marginal 18 180 1 8 4.4% No Response 19 110 2 25 22.7% Definitely 20 165 1 15 9.1% Definitely Note: The self assessment of cost effectiveness applies to employer's overall ridesharing program. Source: Wegmann (1989). 5-8

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Third-Party Vanpool Programs Third-party vanpool programs acquire vans and/or establish vanpool programs for others, either employers, other agencies, or groups of individuals. Through this approach, the third party admin- isters the paperwork associated with the fleet management responsibilities. The sponsoring agency or employer, if any, typically provides financial assistance to offset some portion of administrative expenses or broader operating costs, and to guarantee lease payments for vanpools not yet finan- cially self-sufficient (Comsis and ITE, 1993). Third-party vanpools have grown, benefiting from the removal of many institutional barriers and the potential cost savings and operating efficiencies that can be realized through central- ization of the vanpool operating function. Third-party vanpool programs offer flexibility in "how, where, and at what rate vanpool services are introduced within an urban area" as well as private sector involvement. Multi-employer or small employer vanpools become possible (Heaton et al., 1981). The growth in transit industry vanpools is by far the most pronounced, as will be illustrated further on. Third-Party Vanpool Demonstration Programs Four pioneer third-party vanpool programs were created in Knoxville, Tennessee; Norfolk, Virginia; San Francisco, California; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, between 1975 and 1977 under the Urban Mass Transportation Administration's Service and Methods Demonstration program. The four programs had significant differences, which provided a unique opportunity for study. Additional information on the San Francisco--Golden Gate demonstration program is given in the "Golden Gate Vanpool Transportation Demonstration Project" case study. All of the projects were reasonably successful in attracting prospective poolers and placing them in vanpools, as shown in Table 5-3. Vanpoolers in the projects were generally commuters who did not require their car during the day, rarely worked overtime, and traveled relatively long distances. All of the projects continued beyond the demonstration period by using other sources of funding (Heaton et al., 1981). Third-Party Vanpool Program Evolution A number of the early third party programs have evolved into new forms. For instance, the former State of Maryland VANGO program, which was leasing almost 140 vans in mid-1980 (Stevens et al., 1980), has devolved into the ridesharing program of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). This MTA program provides matching services in cooperation with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (Adams, 1999). It thus provides one example of the number of public agencies restricting their vanpooling role to vanpool formation only, referring their rid- ers to private third party or leasing companies for the equipment. 5-9

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Table 5-3 Demand Response to Service and Methods Demonstration Vanpool Projects Golden Gate Knoxville Norfolk Corridor Minneapolis Operational program vans at 51 46 86 62 close of demonstration Vanpool occupancy Year 1 10 6-8 9.4 8 Year 2 11 8-10 10.2 10.2 Vanpool mode split 2.1% 3.4% 0.5-1.0% 0.3-0.7% Average round trip distance 61 miles 54 miles 56 milesa 54 miles Note: a Figure is for year 2. Source: Heaton et al. (1981) Maryland's MTA not withstanding, vanpool operation by transit providers, covered in the next sub-section, has become much more common. Meanwhile, Connecticut's Rideshare Company pro- vides an instructive example of a third party program that has evolved more within its original context. The state of Connecticut has had long-term involvement in providing comprehensive assistance and incentive programs to encourage commuter vanpooling. As of the early 1990's, the State was offering attractive pricing and financing for vanpool purchases through ridesharing organizations that included The Rideshare Company, a not-for-profit corporation (Comsis and ITE, 1993; Higgins and Rabinowitz, 2002). Business relocation to the suburbs, workforce reductions, and policy changes that reduced incen- tives for companies to subsidize alternative transportation, all caused a reduction in The Rideshare Company vanpools from a high of 200 in 1993 to 155 in the fall of 1995 (2Plus, 1996b). In October 1995, to respond to these changes, The Rideshare Company began its brand-name commute-to- work service, Easy Street. At the heart of the branding was the conversion of a fleet of anony- mous white vans to prominently and colorfully marked ones with the service's logo and toll-free number. Callers are matched to existing vanpool routes, or if interest is sufficient, new routes are started. The service provides flexibility and a variety of benefits to participants. For example, Easy Street permits riders to schedule usage on a two or three day a week basis (2Plus, 1996a; The Rideshare Company, 1998). The new program enjoyed success. Vanpools soon reached 200 once again, and had slightly ex- ceeded that number by November 1996. The number of weekday unlinked trips made via The Rideshare Company vanpools increased by 400 in the same time period, to a total of nearly 1,800. The Easy Street program was recognized by a number of national awards (2Plus, 1996b and 1997). Additional growth is evident in recent NTD data and the results of a circa-2001 survey, with on the order of 270 vanpools in operation on an average weekday in 20012002, serving some 2,400 trips. Riders include welfare-to-work program participants in addition to regular commuters. Objectives include extending the reach of transit service. The vanpools link not only with employment sites, but also with transit services in four states (National Transit Database, 2001 and 2002; Higgins and Rabinowitz, 2002). The program is described further in the case study, "Connecticut's Easy Street Vanpool Program." 5-10

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Transit Provider Vanpool Programs The number of reported vanpools operated by transit service providers has grown steadily from 447 in 1984 to 3,982 in 2001 (Wambalaba, Concas, and Chavarria, 2004). Using what appear to have been slightly different criteria, the American Public Transit Association (now American Public Transportation Association) reported that, as of the mid-1990s, 59 transit agencies were involved in offering vanpool service. The total number of vanpools given in connection with this statistic was 2,668 vans (American Public Transit Association, 1996). In some cases, the actual administration of the program is done by a contractor. VPSI, Inc., is the largest vanpool provider/operator in the United States and the world, offering services to both employers and public agencies. The firm was incorporated in 1977 as a spin-off from Chrysler's Employee Vanpool Program. VPSI has evolved into a transportation service company that in the 1999 through 2004 period has been providing commuter transportation programs for some 50 to 60 urban areas from 25 to 30 regional customer service centers. These are mostly in the United States, but include modest operations in four cities of the Netherlands. The firm maintains a fleet of 3,500 to 4,000 vans to accommodate roughly 30,000 commuters served daily (equivalent to 60,000 trips) (VPSI, 1999 and 2004; Enoch, 2003). Most U.S. VPSI vans, as of the early 1990s, had between 12 and 15 riders. Drivers had unlimited use of the van after working hours, and paid no fare (Comsis and ITE, 1993). It would appear that the average riders per van may now be between 7 and 9. The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas, initially contracted with VPSI to provide equipment, maintenance, and insurance for its vanpool program. Capital Metro mar- keted the program and it was substantially subsidized by charging service area riders only $10 a month. Riders outside the system paid by the mile or $120 a month. A guaranteed-ride-home pro- gram was offered for $5 a year, with up to four rides provided by a taxi operator under contract to Capital Metro. In 1995, over 100 vanpools were operating, including four outside the service area, serving 395,000 annual passenger trips. There were 90 people on a vanpool waiting list, as the sys- tem required a minimum of seven guaranteed riders (Rosenbloom, 1998). The program was the sixth largest in the United States offered by a transit provider in 1997, with 134 vanpools. The oper- ation was brought in-house in 1998, with the city of Austin providing a 2/3 subsidy to supplement fares. Average weekday deployment of vanpools stood at 111 in 20012002, serving some 1,000 daily and 260,000 annual unlinked trips (National Transit Database, 1997, 2001, and 2002; Higgins and Rabinowitz, 2002). Community Transit (CT) in Snohomish County north of Seattle, Washington, is one of several large vanpool systems that have always been operated in-house. CT started operating vanpools in 1986. The agency leases vans to qualified commuter groups in the county and markets the vanpool ser- vices. In 1994, CT carried 206,450 unlinked passenger trips in 94 vanpools, up 74 percent from 1991, and representing 3.8 percent of its total transit ridership (Rosenbloom, 1998; Higgins and Rabi- nowitz, 2002). By 1996, vanpool passenger trips had increased to 378,400 annually, served with 159 vans. CT vanpool loadings have tended to be comparatively low, averaging 4.8 per van in 1996 and 5.3 in 2002. Trip lengths were initially quite long. In 1996, the average CT vanpooler had a one- way trip length of about 41.5 miles, undoubtedly reflecting heavy use of vanpools for commuting to King County and Seattle to the south. More recently the average was down to a more typical 26.3 one-way miles. Growth has continued, with CT deploying 243 vans and serving 2,557 aver- age weekday and 652,005 annual unlinked trips in 2002. (National Transit Database, 1996 and 2002). Ridership incentives include lowered fares and HOV lane and ferry access privileges (Higgins and Rabinowitz, 2002). 5-11

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King County Metro, immediately to the south, also runs its own operation--the largest public van- pool system in the United States. Selected 1985 through 2002 statistics on vanpool and buspool ser- vice provided and consumed are given in Table 5-4. The operation originally began in 1979 with 21 vans under the auspices of the city of Seattle. The vehicle loading decrease over the last 10 to 15 years reflects in part local economic and employment shifts, which also have had their effect on vanpool ridership totals. The loading reductions also reflect new operational flexibility afforded in the early 1990s by revisions to Washington State's vanpooling regulations, allowing a 5 instead of 7 passenger vanpool minimum. These factors have led King County Metro to alter the fleet makeup, such that by 2000, mini-vans were being used for roughly 60 percent of all vanpools (Enoch, 2003; Beckwith, 2004). Table 5-4 Selected King County Metro Vanpool and "Custom Bus" Statistics Maximuma Annual Weekday Averageb, c Average Trip Length or Average Unlinked Vehicles in Passenger Trips per Vehicle One Way Round Year Service Trips Vehicle Loadingsd Miles Trip Miles 1985 127 vans 720,500 22.8 11.4 n/a n/a 1989 231 vans 1,251,000 21.7 10.9 26.2 52.5 1994 520 vans 2,100,700 16.2 8.1 28.7 57.4 1996 526 vans 1,873,100 14.3 7.2 27.1 54.2 1998 643 vans 1,987,500 12.4 6.2 25.9 51.7 2000 691 vans 2,019,800 12.0 6.0 24.9 49.8 2002 686 vans 1,749,200 10.5 5.2 24.6 49.1 1998 41 busese 434,300 f 52.5 g 26.3g n/a n/a Notes: a Maximum for 1985-1996, average weekday for 1998-2002 vanpools (average deployments). b Weekday vanpool service averages for 1985-1996 based on an annualization factor of 249. c Weekday averages for 1998-2002 computed directly from NTD average weekday data. d Effectively the average maximum load point volume, not the average over the route. e Total of 82 bus trips on 27 Custom Bus (subscription bus) routes. f Down to 263,300 in 2000 and 186,600 in 2002 (see discussion under Busp ools). g Based on an annualization factor for buspool service (including school routes) of 201.7. Sources: National Transit Database (1985, 1989, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002); Beckwith and Burrell (1999); Beckwith (2004); derived estimates by Handbook authors. The Pace Suburban Bus Service outside Chicago at one point used a hybrid approach, contracting out some of its vanpools (National Transit Database, 1993). Pace vanpools follow Pace-designated routes. Fares are based on a zone system and are calculated for the rider's own trip, not for the van's itinerary. Riders can transfer between vans and buses, using passes. In 1996, nearly 80 percent of the vanpools were routed suburb to suburb. The remainder served the city to suburbs reverse commute market. Suburb to downtown service, where there is high quality conventional transit, is not provided. Competition with fixed route transit service in other areas has not been a problem. 5-12

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Pace itself deployed 291 vanpools on an average weekday in 1997, making it the second largest U.S. transit provider system (Metropool, 1997; Michael Baker et al., 1997; National Transit Data- base, 1997). King County Metro and Pace vanpooling incentives are expanded on in the "Underlying Traveler Response Factors" section under "Incentives and User Costs." Additional information on Pace vanpools including their ADaVantage program for serving disabled riders is provided in the case study, "Pace Vanpool and Subscription Bus Programs in Suburban Chicago." Pace 2002 van- pool data is examined below in Table 5-5. The 5 largest transit provider vanpool systems as of 2002 in terms of weekday vanpool deploy- ments are listed in Table 5-5 along with selected statistics for that year. Traditional vanpooling is a workdays only service, thus the average annualization factor for the 5 systems of only 252.2 Average weekday vehicle loadings for the 3 largest are barely above 5 passengers, reflecting a change in approach from the Service and Methods Demonstration Project years when average loadings of 8 to 10 or more were commonplace. Table 5-5 Selected Statistics for the Five Largest U.S. Transit Provider Vanpool Systems in 2002 Average Average Annual Implicit Average Average Weekday Weekday Unlinked Annuali- Weekday One-Way No. of Passenger Passenger zation Vehicle Passenger Transit Provider, Location Vanpools Trips Trips Factor Loadings Miles King County Metro, Seattle, WA 686 7,199 1,749,200 243 5.2 24.6 Pace, Cook County (Chicago), IL 422 4,678 1,192,900 255 5.5 24.2 CT, Snohomish County, WA 243 2,557 652,000 255 5.3 26.3 Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZa 209 2,945 753,900 256 7.0 27.0 Pierce Transit, Tacoma, WA 204 2,379 594,750 250 5.8 34.2 Notes: Excludes Connecticut's Easy Street program, which would rank ahead of Community Transit (CT) of Snohomish County, Washington, in numbers of vanpools if included, and the contracted-out program of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), which would rank ahead of Pierce Transit in Pierce County (Tacoma), Washington. If ranked by vanpool passenger trips, the Harris County (Houston) METROVan system, contracted out to VPSI, would be included and would rank ahead of CT and Valley Metro. a Vanpool service contracted out to VPSI. Sources: National Transit Database (2002), derived estimates by Handbook authors. The typical average one-way passenger trip length for the vanpool systems listed in Table 5-5 is close to 25 miles. Pierce Transit passenger trips average 34 miles one-way (National Transit Data- base, 2002), however, likely a function of Pierce County's location at the south end of the Puget Sound conurbation. As discussed below, however, some systems not covered in Table 5-5 exhibit remark- ably longer average trip lengths. 2 An annualization factor is the number that is multiplied by average weekday transit passenger trips or rev- enue to obtain annual trips/revenue. 5-13

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As noted with respect to Table 5-5, two third-party vanpool operations not run by transit opera- tors fall within the size range of the top five transit provider systems. One of these is the Easy Street program already described in the context of "Third-Party Vanpool Evolution." The other, the system run for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), is an example of a sys- tem with an exceptionally long average trip length. The SANDAG operation in 2002 had on the average weekday 206 vanpools deployed, 2,566 unlinked passenger trips, average vanpool load- ings of 6.2, and an average one-way passenger trip length of 52.6 miles. This has recently been a fast-evolving system, with 309 vans as of early-to-mid 2004 (National Transit Database, 2002; SANDAG, 2004). Three of these large systems and some 40 percent of U.S. vanpools are in the Puget Sound area, aided by Washington State's vanpool and commute trip reduction legislation, HOV lanes, and pri- ority ferryboat access and pricing. In 1999, vanpools of all types were attracting a 2 percent share of the regional commute trip market (7 percent for commutes over 20 miles). Concurrently, the mass transit share of commute trips was a substantial 13 percent. Of transit provider vanpools, 93 percent serve employers engaged in Commute Trip Reduction programs. The region's ferries carried 11 percent of public system vanpools and roughly 60 percent of the 200 or so private van- pools (WSDOT, 2000; Enoch, 2003). The Space Coast (Florida) and Hampton Roads (Virginia) systems are examples of smaller van- pool operations with long passenger trip lengths. Space Coast reported having, on the average 2002 weekday, 32 vanpools deployed, 495 unlinked passenger trips, and a 52.3 mile average one- way passenger trip length. The Hampton Roads system reported 39 vanpools, 564 passenger trips, and a 50.6 mile average one-way trip length (National Transit Database, 2002). Average vanpool loadings were 7.7 and 7.2 occupants respectively. These two operations are character- ized by serving industrial/military/technology concentrations with widely dispersed employee populations. Capital Metro in Austin, Texas, discussed previously, is an example at the opposite extreme for travel distances. The 2002 average one-way passenger trip length was 21.2 miles, accompanied by an average weekday vanpool loading of 4.5 passengers (National Transit Data- base, 2002). Self-reported characterizations of the primary customer base of many of the larger operations and a number of smaller ones surveyed are provided in Table 5-6 along with self-reported information on numbers of vanpools and weekday riders circa 2001. Clearly shown is the modest yet signifi- cant expansion of functions performed by transit provider vanpools to serve not only the able working commuter but also special needs clients. Buspools (Subscription Bus) Buspool programs organized around and operated by private carriers gained popularity during the 1970s. With time, however, and with transfer of most urban transit operations to public owner- ship, nearly all of these services were taken over by government entities. The regional transit agen- cies that found themselves in the business often chose to contract out the buspool services to private companies to retain the lower wages enjoyed by the previous service, but at the same time bring capital subsidies to the program (Cervero, 1997). In conjunction with these operational shifts, there has been a tendency to convert the more heav- ily used buspool services into conventional express bus routes offering a normal array of transit fare options and open to any rider showing up at the bus stop. For smaller markets, the challenge 5-14

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of assembling a bus or mini-bus sized load of long-distance commuters with a common origin and destination, interested in developing a subscription service, has made vanpooling the more attrac- tive option for most applications. Buspooling remains in good use, however, primarily serving the niche market of linking substantial residential concentrations of employees with very large em- ployers, at locations or along corridors not well positioned for service by conventional fixed route transit. Table 5-6 Transit Provider Vanpool Program Survey Results, Circa 2001 Primary Customer Base Commuters Commuters Commuters Commuters Welfare-to- Alt.-Shift Number No. of "8 to 5" Work ADA Non- of Riders Vanpool Service Provider, Location Vanpools per Day Santa Cruz County RTC, CA n/a n/a Space Coast Area Transit, Brevard Co., FL 100 860* Pace, Chicago, IL 380 3,420 GCRTA, Cleveland, OH n/a 440* Kibois Area Transit System, OK n/a 40 Greenville Transit Authority, SC n/a n/a Metro Transit Authority, Nashville, TN 33 450 Capital Metro, Austin, TX n/a n/a METROVan, Houston Metro, TX 111 900 "The T," Fort Worth, TX 286 3,750 Traffix, Hampton Roads, VA 40 670* Ben Franklin Transit, Richland, WA 140 1,200 Community Transit, Lynnwood, WA 239 n/a Intercity Transit, Olympia, WA 65 500 Island Transit, Coupeville, WA 30 n/a King County, Seattle, WA 700+ n/a Kitsap Transit, Bremerton, WA 92 n/a Pierce Transit, Tacoma, WA 261 1,700 Whatcom Transit, Bellingham, WA 13 130 Notes: n/a = not reported or apparently erroneous. = Goal, not part of primary customer base. Consistency of these self-reported statistics with the NTD is poor in some instances. Number of vanpools may be average weekday deployment in some cases and van fleet size in other cases. Number of riders per day may be average weekday unlinked one-way trips, one-way trips estimated by multiplying vanpool registrants by 2, or possibly round trips or vanpool registrants unfactored. Ridership conversions from monthly or annual to daily, indicated by an asterisk (*), have utilized an annualization factor of 250 (after multiplying monthly riders by 12). Sources: Higgins and Rabinowitz (2002), notes and conversions to daily by the Handbook authors. 5-15

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Buspool Lessons of the 1960s and 1970s Significant lessons were learned in the 1960s and 1970s with respect to good, indifferent, and poor environments for operating successful buspool services. The most successful were long-distance routes linking otherwise poorly served outer suburban areas with downtown employment con- centrations. Short-haul buspools were less successful. In three federally funded demonstrations, short-haul home-pickup buspools to suburban industrial sites succeeded only where the residen- tial density of targeted employees approached one such employee for every four households. Downtown oriented short-haul buspools had to compete with established radial bus routes and failed completely in all three demonstrations (Pratt, Pedersen, and Mather, 1977). Longer-distance routes to suburban employment sites were not tried during this epoch. The one short-haul buspool demonstration that did become a modest success was in Peoria, Illinois. All three federal buspool demonstrations were in small cities, the others being Decatur, Illinois, and Flint, Michigan. The Peoria subscription buspools, 17 in all, followed routes 6 to 14 miles long, primarily serving large Caterpillar Tractor Company plants on the edge of the city. They featured home-pickup and special amenities. Unscheduled overtime at the plants made the buspools most popular with the office workers on regular hours. Of employees living in Peoria and working shifts served, 9 percent rode the buspool service and 7 percent used regular transit routes (Pratt, Pedersen, and Mather, 1977). The service outlived the demonstration, and is thought to have lasted until the demise of Peoria's private transit operator. Among long-distance routes, perhaps the best-known buspool service was that established to link the planned community of Reston, Virginia, with central Washington, DC. The Reston Commuter Bus (RCB) was started in 1968 when no express public bus service and no direct freeway connec- tions were available between Reston and Washington. Residents formed a cooperative and con- tracted with a private company to provide motorcoach service. The buspool mode share first stabilized at 17 percent of Washington commuters and then restabilized at 23 percent after buses gained exclusive Reston ramp access to the high speed Dulles Access Road.3 At its height, the ser- vice served some 57,000 passengers per month. The 1980's introduced many changes including the opening of a general use toll expressway par- allel to the Access Road, the decentralization of employment in the region, higher fares, and low- ered gasoline costs. The RCB services were converted to public transit routes and taken over by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Later, with much of the transit service in the area reorganized as feeders to Metrorail, the services were put under the umbrella of the Fairfax County Connector bus operations. As of the mid-to-late 1990s, regular buses provided commute- hour runs to the District of Columbia for some 2,500 passengers per month in the Reston corridor (Pratt and Copple, 1981; Cervero, 1997). Buspool Experiences of the 1980s, 1990s, and Beyond An industry oriented buspool system that has stood the test of time and transition to public agency operation is the Worker/Driver Program of Kitsap Transit, serving the Puget Sound Naval Ship- yard in Bremerton, Washington, and one or more smaller worksites. Kitsap Transit itself is a multi- service operator with fixed routes, paratransit, buspooling, vanpooling, ride-matching, and contract passenger ferries serving Kitsap County, across Puget Sound from Seattle. The buspooling started 3 A 1970 survey indicated that the market penetration to employment areas directly served may have been 2.0 to 2.5 times greater than for the Washington commute as a whole. 5-16

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during the shipyard expansion and gasoline rationing of World War II. It was formalized as a divi- sion of Bremerton's private transit operator in 1967, and absorbed into the new public authority in 1982. The Worker/Driver Program had, at that point, declined from a once extraordinary sub- scription bus system to 12 poorly utilized vehicles. The Worker/Driver Program takes its name from the practice of having employees at the destina- tions served, primarily the Naval Shipyard, drive the 40-ft. GMC buses. The drivers are fully trained and licensed, and are officially part-time employees of Kitsap Transit. Some degree of ride pre-arrangement is required, as the buspools deviate into neighborhoods only when there is some- one there desiring service that day. Such arrangements are handled on a bus-by-bus basis. The ser- vice is highly personalized; some riders are veterans of 20 years or more, and the buspool is like extended family. Fares as of 2004 are simplified relative to the 1990s, when some of the five dif- ferent payment options available were distance based. The 1994 fare options are a 40-trip (one- way) punch card for $30.00, a $1.00 one-way cash fare, a $25.00 monthly bus pass, a $10.00 pass for qualified riders, and a Transportation Incentive Program TIP Pass available to Department of Defense employees for free Kitsap Transit riding (Kitsap Transit, 1999 and 2004; Parks, 1999). Kitsap Transit buspool ridership, 330,737 trips total for 1998, fluctuates with employment at the Naval Shipyard and the other sites served. On-site shipyard employment was, as of early 1999, perhaps half that of 6 years before, when approximately 48 buspools were in operation. In January 1999, only day shifts were being served, with 28 buspools following routes ranging from under 10 to over 40 miles one-way, averaging 15 to 20 miles. For the month, 24,995 passenger trips were car- ried (Parks, 1999). These statistics suggest an average buspool loading of approximately 24 riders, and a buspool mode share of perhaps 5 to 8 percent of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard civilian em- ployees, the primary users. In August of 2004, the operation encompassed 21 buspools (Kitsap Transit, 2004). Seattle has had a substantial buspool operation as well. Named the Custom Bus program, and established in 1979, 82 one-way bus trips were being operated on 27 routes as of the late 1990s. Ten of the routes, including all those with more than two one-way bus trips, served Boeing Aircraft and other large employers, including hospitals. The remaining 17 routes and 34 bus trips served educational institutions. As was indicated in Table 5-4, 1998 annual ridership was 434,300 unlinked trips with an average bus loading of 26 riders. King County Metro then required a guarantee of 40 passes per month from the employer/subscriber to operate a Custom Bus. Fares in 1999 ranged from $50 to $90 per month, depending on travel time, and were designed to achieve an 80 percent cost recovery ratio. FlexPasses were accepted (see also "Incentives and User Costs" under "Under- lying Traveler Response Factors"), but payment of a premium might be required (Beckwith and Burrell, 1999). The Custom Bus program declined steadily from the late 1990s until 2003, when 140,700 trips were served on a little more than 1/4 as many routes. Services to large employers have been subject to the same economic and employment shifts as Metro's vanpools, with larger proportionate effects, as buspool size relative to vanpools provides less flexibility. The more precipitous decline, however, has been in service to educational institutions. Private schools must pay full cost for the service, and a rate increase caused them to look elsewhere to meet their transportation needs. However, total Custom Bus routes operated are--in the first 3 quarters of 2004--up 50 percent over the previous year, as some schools have found alternative arrangements unsatisfactory (Beckwith, 2004). Subscription bus service was not found to be the best option for Brevard County, Florida, in a ridesharing demonstration there. The new service made one round-trip per weekday between Sarno Shopping Plaza in Melbourne and several locations on Patrick Air Force Base. A minimum 5-17

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of 23 riders paying a fare of $1.00 per one-way trip allowed the long-haul bus service to begin. The operating cost averaged $1,932 per month, and fare revenues covered half that. Lacking sufficient supporting funds, the subscription bus service was replaced by two vanpools. At the end of the demonstration, the transit authority also replaced four of its regular peak period bus runs with vanpools. The fixed-route bus runs involved were averaging eight to twelve riders per trip and operating at a substantial loss. The replacement vanpools actually collected revenues above costs (Atherton, 1985). In Chicago, subscription bus service was made part of the package designed to serve and retain as many transit riders as possible when Sears moved its 5,000 employee Merchandise Group from the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago to suburban Hoffman Estates, 35 miles out. Pace Suburban Bus worked closely with Sears for three years prior to the 1992 move to develop transportation alter- natives. Subscription bus service was designed for areas with a significant concentration of Sears employees, but no suitable fixed route service. Ten routes were established using thirteen motor- coaches operated by private contractors. Each route served a park-and-ride lot an hour or more from the worksite. A monthly fare of $75 to $94 was charged. The mix of fixed route, subscription bus, and vanpool services was successful in retaining a 30 to 35 percent share following the move, compared to 92 percent transit at the Sears Tower site. After 6 months, Sears ridership was divided roughly equally among the three modes. Subscription bus routes carried 986 daily trips after 2 months and 820 after 6 months. Of the 10 subscription bus routes, one was discontinued within the first year following a drop in ridership, but 9 routes and 12 buses were still operating 3 years later (Brazda, Grzesiakowski, and Reynolds, 1993; Community Transportation Association, 1996). The transit agency serving Talihina, Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services developed a connecting transit service to poultry processing plants in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as a welfare-to-work project. As of 1996, the 60-mile shuttle was responsible for employment of over 100 residents of Talihina, where the unemployment rate was 15 percent. Workers using the service were trained as drivers, producing characteristics of a vanpool or buspool operation (Surface Trans- portation Policy Project, 1996). A circa 2001 response to a vanpool survey reported a daily rider- ship of 40 (Higgins and Rabinowitz, 2002). The Triangle Transit Authority (TTA), from 1993 through early 1999, used an innovative form of buspools as a way of developing new service areas within North Carolina's Research Triangle region. The service used large vans and minibuses, and reserved half of the seats for subscription passengers and half for per-trip passengers. Thus passengers were provided the option of either paying a fare of $2.00 each way or subscribing for $50.00 per month. By obtaining advance com- mitments for about half the seats, the routes were not as dependent on walk-up riders as a regular bus route. This approach was viewed as being less costly than beginning conventional service out- right. In 1998, the 11 operating buspools had an average monthly ridership of 1,929 representing an average occupancy of 29 percent (Triangle Transit Authority, 1998a and b). The service was ter- minated abruptly when the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) ruled that since they operated on fixed routes, the buses involved had to be ADA accessible, which they were not. As many of the routes as could be were converted to vanpools (Litton, 2004). A new, privately operated buspool service was initiated in 2000 by a San Francisco area entrepre- neur. At the end of the year, eight buspools were being operated with 15 to 20 people per 25-seat mini-bus. Three routes served San Francisco from the urban fringes and five routes served Silicon Valley locations. Monthly fares were $89. HOV lane privileges and Commuter Check rider fare subsidies for some riders helped attract patrons. The operation as of 2004 is down to two routes, 5-18