How to get started with METRO vanpool

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Ride sharing in a METRO vanpool can save you valuable time and money. It just takes a little bit of organizing to get things started.

A METRO STAR vanpool is a group of five to 15 commuters who ride together. Even if you don't know people who live in your area and share similar work hours, you can get started just by registering with METRO.

Just register with the ride matching database to set the wheels in motion.

The cost is calculated according to mileage, the number of riders and the size of the van (minivan to 15-passenger van). The average cost per passenger is $4 to $6 a day.

Most van drivers ride for free, with the monthly operating cost divided among the riders. Your employer may have benefits to help cover the costs as well.

The primary contact, generally the main driver, collects the money and pays the lease payment to STAR. Gas, toll, parking etc. will be paid by the vanpool, as needed.

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An approved volunteer from the group drives the van, and keeps the van in their possession. Once the group is formed, METRO works to find a convenient location for all the vanpoolers to meet.

Rather than being picked up at their homes, vanpoolers meet in a designated, central location where their cars will be left during the day while the van is in use.

If you try vanpooling and decide it's not for you, no problem. Vanpooling is a month-to-month commitment without long-term obligations.

To get started, email, call 713-224-RIDE or fax METRO at 713-652-8962.

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