Carpool & Vanpool Frequently Asked Questions

What is a carpool?

A carpool is a group of two or more people who commute to UW together in a personal vehicle. UW offers two types of carpool permits—quarterly and annual permits and U-PASS permits. Up to three gratis U-PASSes are issued with a quarterly or annual carpool permit. Occasional (impromptu) carpooling additionally requires that each participant has a U-PASS.

Where do carpools park?

Carpools with quarterly or annual permits are issued a hang-tag parking permit with a lot assignment based on your work location and availability; if your lot is full, park in your overflow lot or stop at a campus gatehouse for reassignment for the day. U-PASS carpools may park in the Montlake E1 lot or in several locations on the main campus on a space available basis.

What is a vanpool?

A vanpool is a group of five to 15 who live at least three miles away who share the commute to the UW Seattle campus in a van owned, maintained and insured by an area transit agency. Your U-PASS gives you up to $70 credit per month toward the monthly vanpool fare. For more information, visit our Carpool and Vanpool page.

Where do vanpools park?

Vanpools park free of charge within general stalls of any university permit-parking lot, but they cannot park in restricted spaces (i.e. Pay Station areas and/or numbered stalls, disability spaces, load/unload only, university vehicles only, etc…) within those lots.

Is carpooling and vanpooling flexible? I’d like to try it, but occasionally need to commute alone.

With a carpool, you come inbound to the campus together, but, if you wish, can leave campus separately. Vanpool participants can choose to either arrive or depart with the vanpool depending on their schedule. Quarterly and Annual Carpool Permits require a commitment to ride to campus together regularly three or more days per week; occasional carpools give you the option to carpool on the spur of the moment, only when you wish. Vanpool participation can be full-time (three or more days per week) or part-time (two days per week).

How can I find others to carpool or vanpool with?

Check out our Carpool/Vanpool page for a list of the resources available to help you find a few rideshare partners!