METRO Star Vanpool

Live your life in the fast lane! There's never been a better time to drive less and save more by sharing the ride with others, while reducing your carbon footprint. Forget the stress of driving alone, simply park your car and share the ride with friendly colleagues or neighbors. Enjoy freeway express lanes designated for vehicles with multiple passengers. Scroll down to learn about the benefits of joining a vanpool.

Already interested in joining a vanpool? Click Get Started.

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METRO STAR Vanpool vehicle in HOV lane on U.S. Highway 59 South.

Hear from some of our riders about the stress-free and cost effective convenience of METRO Star Vanpool. We're your key to a smoother and more efficient commute.

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Let's Get Engaged

Share the ride and start enjoying the savings. Learn more by calling  713-224-RIDE (7433), email us at Star@RideMETRO.org or engage with us in any of the following ways:


Consultation

Free Consultation

Schedule 15 minutes with us so we can learn about your travel needs.

Online inquiry

Online Inquiry

Submit a brief form with your contact information and how we can help.

Get registered

Get Registered

The information you provide will help us match you with a vanpool.

Email newsletter

Stay Updated

Subscribe for free to our Vanpool Vibe e-newsletter.

Common Questions


The Basics

It’s a rideshare service that allows commuters who share similar travel patterns to lease a van on a month-to-month basis so they can ride to and from work together. This is especially helpful for riders who live in areas where METRO bus service isn’t available.

METRO Star Vanpool operates in eight counties: Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller.

Because you would save money on gas, tolls, maintenance and other commuting costs. This can add up to thousands of dollars in savings every year.

The van travels in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on the major freeways, avoiding stop-and-go traffic and reducing travel time.

And because driving responsibilities are shared, vanpoolers can enjoy more time relaxing during a stress-free commute.

How it Works

Five to 15 people ride in each vanpool.

 

Please register for an online account and answer a few questions. This information helps us determine if you’re looking to get matched with an existing vanpool or if you’d like to start a new vanpool.

 

The cost is calculated according to mileage, the number of riders and the size of the vehicle.

The average cost per passenger is just $4-6 a day. That amount factors in the rider's share of the monthly lease (including insurance and maintenance), in addition to:

  • Gas
  • Parking
  • Tolls
  • Cleaning

Some employers offer a transit benefit that lowers the cost even more.

Using the Service

An approved volunteer from the group drives, allowing the vehicle to always stay in possession of the group. Once the group is formed, we work with you to find a convenient location for all the vanpoolers to meet. Everyone parks their car and then rides together to work. At the end of the workday, the approved volunteer drops everyone back off at that same location.

The group also decides who can keep the vehicle for limited, personal use outside of business hours.

Each vanpool has one or two approved backup drivers who can take over driving responsibilities as needed.

Yes. METRO Star Vanpool will maintain and repair the vehicle when necessary. If it needs to be kept overnight, a backup vehicle will be provided.

Other

Vanpooling is a month-to-month commitment. There are no long-term obligations. However, if you pay your fare at the beginning of the month, you’re committing to ride that month. If at some point that month you stop riding, any partial refunds are at the discretion of the group.

If you have an emergency and need to leave work early, call METRO Star Vanpool at 713-224-RIDE (7433). If we authorize your trip (three maximum per year), you’ll be provided taxi service to your destination. We’ll cover the cost of the ride, minus tips (which are optional). 

This program operates weekdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

We arrange vehicles as needed to meet ADA requirements. Most vans are equipped with running boards and handles to assist riders with boarding. We work with vanpool groups that require ADA accommodations to find the most convenient and comfortable option to accommodate all riders, including those with disabilities.

As a practical matter, vanpool groups often struggle to retain enough riders when there are expectations of accommodating one or more riders who need assistance to board the van. We work to offset this by covering any extra costs that result from providing accessible vehicles.

In the past, we've provided a special vehicle equipped for low-floor side ramp access for a rider in a wheelchair. We installed a floor locking feature to match the one the rider had in her personal vehicle, resulting in a bi-reconfiguration of her wheelchair. Without the modifications, the group would have been in a minivan with seven passengers sharing the cost. So we priced the van such that the riders paid the same amount they would have paid individually if they were part of a seven-passenger group in a minivan.

Driving Up Your Costs

According to a study by the American Automobile Association (AAA), commuting by yourself comes with a high price tag:

* Cost represents a weighted average that factors in size of vehicle, depreciation, gas, insurance, maintenance and more.

Riders boarding a METRO Star Vanpool van.

Commute Better. Commute Together.

Ditch the high cost of driving alone. Commuting together in a METRO Star Vanpool can save you thousands of dollars in annual driving costs.

Round-Trip CommuteYearly SavingsFewer Miles
30 miles$592.687,920
40 miles$1,230.2410,560
50 miles$1,867.8013,200
60 miles$2,505.3615,840
70 miles$3,142.9218,480
80 miles$3,780.4821,120
90 miles$4,418.0423,760
100 miles$5,055.6026,400

Show me the math

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