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15 In addition to providing greater flexibility, KCAPTA's file demonstrates how transit agencies can use ridesharing to vanpool program is more cost-effective than its bus service. support their main-line transit services. Specifically, the cost per trip of a van is $2.19, which is almost half that of a bus ($4.10). Several factors lower the Profile: Pace Covers the "Last Mile" cost of vanpooling, including the fact that vanpool drivers are With Metra Feeders volunteers. In addition, vanpool riders pay a monthly fee-- based on the size of the van, number of riders, and distance The "last mile" issue is an ongoing problem for transit agen- traveled--that covers the cost of maintaining, insuring, and cies trying to increase ridership. Potential riders say they would replacing the vans. In contrast, only 16% of the operational take transit, but they do not have a way to get to or from their costs of KCAPTA's buses are covered by passenger fees. ultimate destination after they get off the bus or train. Instead, they drive the entire trip. KCAPTA also applies for subsidies and vouchers on behalf of vanpoolers to lower their costs. For example, Pace, the suburban bus operator for six counties surround- the agency has received money generated through a voter- ing Chicago, Illinois, has addressed this issue with its Vanpool approved sales tax increase to start new vanpools in Fresno Incentive Program (VIP). Its Metra Feeder vans are parked at County. Typically, KCAPTA receives roughly five dif the work end of a train trip, so riders getting off the train can ferent types of subsidies a year that new riders can use to use the van to complete their commute to various companies reduce their monthly cost. These subsidies normally last for located in the same geographic area. Although there is no fare one year, after which time the rider pays the full cost. State integration with the Metra commuter trains, Metra Feeder employees who participate in vanpools can also receive participants pay less than those in a traditional Pace vanpool. up to $65 a month; the subsidy is up to $230 a month for The flat rate of $58 a month makes the total train-plus-vanpool federal employees. With all of the subsidies and vouchers, trip affordable. Drivers ride for free, and backup drivers receive out-of-pockets costs for vanpoolers usually range from a $10 per month discount. Participants are eligible for up to $27 to $174 a month. $125 a year worth of guaranteed ride home services. This year, KCAPTA is forming a new authority called With approximately 300 vanpools, Pace has one of the CalVans--which stands for California Vanpool Authority-- largest vanpool programs in the country, delivering about to take over its vanpool program. The new authority's board one million rides in 2009. Although the Metra Feeder program will consist of representatives from each of the eight COGs comprises a small percentage at 13 vanpools, it is considered that currently participate in KCAPTA's vanpool program. an important part of the family of services that Pace provides The board will grow as new COGs join the program. How- in its role as a mobility manager. ever, operations of the vanpool program are not expected to change. CalVans will help ensure that the vanpool program Ridesharing in the Planning Process continues to exist even if some COGs--or KCAPTA--decide not to participate in the future. Some transit agencies consider ridesharing when planning their transit service. As shown in Table 4, seven agencies said ride- Table 3 shows that 12 transit agencies reported they specifi- sharing and transit planners collaborate, although ridesharing cally use ridesharing to serve customers who live in areas that is not viewed as a transit substitute. One transit agency respon- are not dense enough to justify transit service. Three agencies, dent said its ridesharing program largely functions as a com- on the other hand, reported that they substitute ridesharing muter information service: "Tracking requests for information for transit routes to save money. by origin and destination can, to some extent, assist with iden- tifying emerging and/or underserved markets." In some cases, Among the recognized service gaps that ridesharing can agencies contemplate whether ridesharing can take the place of fill is the "last-mile" barrier to transit use. The following pro- a transit route, whether existing or planned. Table 3 If You Indicated Above that Ridesharing Fills a Service Gap or Avoids Adding Another Bus or Train, Please Tell Us How Responses Count Percent We use ridesharing to serve people who live in an area not dense 12 92 enough to justify transit service. We use ridesharing to pilot a route as a test for potential ridership on 4 31 transit. We substitute ridesharing for a transit route as a cost-saving measure. 3 23 Other 5 38 Total responses 13 100 Answers exceed 100% because respondents could choose multiple answers.