The University of Washington: Facilities Services

UW Vanpool Policy

UW Vanpool Policy

Below are the policies and procedures governing the vanpool element of the University’s U-PASS program. Every attempt has been made to keep these policies and procedures consistent with Metro Transit, Community Transit and Island Transit’s vanpool policies and procedures. In most cases, the U-PASS fare policies are congruent with the Transit Agency policies concerning the use of other subsidized bus passes.

Fare Policies


To receive a U-PASS vanpool subsidy each participant must have a valid U-PASS membership and must commute from a residence 3 or more miles away from campus. Single-occupancy-vehicle, motorcycle or carpool parking permit holders are not eligible. For vanpool members to qualify for the U-PASS subsidy, the van’s destination must be the UW Seattle campus or a Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) affected worksite as approved by the Transportation Services Office (this excludes Harborview, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma).

Complimentary U-PASSes

A vanpool group may receive 2 complimentary U-PASSes (contact Transportation Services for more information). One complimentary U-PASS goes to the primary driver of the vanpool while the other complimentary U-PASS goes to either the bookkeeper or the backup driver of the vanpool. Deciding whether the bookkeeper or the backup driver receives the second complementary U-PASS is up to the members of individual vanpool.

U-PASS Subsidy

A subsidy of up to $70.00 per month may be applied to a vanpool participant’s fare if they have a valid U-PASS membership and the number of subsidies claimed for each vanpool does not exceed the number of seats available in the vehicle. For example, an 8-passenger van may only claim up to 8 subsidies. The U-PASS subsidy may not exceed the amount of the vanpooler participant’s fare. The subsidy will be provided as follows:

  • The primary driver (a UW student, faculty or staff who rides to campus a minimum of 3 days per week) receives a complimentary U-PASS and qualifies to receive the monthly U-PASS subsidy of up to a $70.00 to apply to the vanpool group’s fixed monthly rate (the cost of the vanpool before it is divided by the number of riders).
  • A full-time rider is a UW student, faculty or staff member riding at least 3 round trips per week every month. A full-time rider can receive up to a $70.00 U-PASS subsidy towards his or her monthly vanpool fare.
  • A part-time rider is a UW student, faculty or staff member riding 2 round trips or less per week every month. A part-time rider can receive up to a $35.00 U-PASS subsidy towards his or her monthly vanpool fare.
  • A temporary rider is a UW student, faculty or staff member who rides less than 2 days per week on a space available basis. This person is not eligible for the U-PASS subsidy. Seats for temporary riders are not reserved but signed Rider Agreements are required. A full-time or part-time rider has priority over a temporary rider.

Sharing a Seat

A vanpool seat may be shared by two riders splitting the full monthly fare when one person rides to the campus and one person rides from the campus a minimum of 3 days per week. In this situation, each participating U-PASS member could claim up to a $35.00 subsidy toward his or her fare.

Driver Credit with Shared-driving Arrangement

Drivers involved in a shared-driving arrangement with one or more riders and who pay a partial fare may apply up to the full $70.00 subsidy toward the partial fare. The U-PASS subsidy cannot exceed the vanpool fare. For example, a monthly vanpool fare is $160. The 2 full-time drivers split the cost, which totals $80 each. UW provides an U-PASS subsidy which totals $140. Each driver splits the difference and pays $10.00 a month.

Reserved Seat Policy

A rider on leave for a month or longer can reserve his or her seat by paying the full monthly fare. Riders are not provided a subsidy to apply to their fare while on leave. Riders may choose to sublet their seats during a planned absence or vacation. The substitute rider must have a valid U-PASS membership.

Rider Responsibility

The rider is also making a commitment to the University, which is paying a subsidy for the rider to participate in the vanpool. All riders who claim a U-PASS subsidy must commit to ride in the vanpool a minimum of 2 to 3 days per week for each month they are claiming the subsidy. In order to receive a subsidy a new rider or driver must sign-up to be in a vanpool by the 6th of the month and complete the online U-PASS Vanpool Subsidy Form by the same date. If a new rider or driver joins after the 6th of the month or completes their U-PASS Vanpool Subsidy Form after the 6th of the month, please contact your Transit Agency to ensure you receive a U-PASS vanpool subsidy.

Vanpool riders with a U-PASS must write a check payable to the bookkeeper for the amount of any vanpool fare balance on the first of each month. Vanpool riders are responsible for having a valid U-PASS membership. The U-PASS membership may be purchased by faculty or staff members on a quarterly or annual basis through payroll deduction.

Bookkeeping and Monthly Reporting

Determining Monthly Rider Fares

Bookkeepers must collect the assigned fixed rate for the vanpool (less any U-PASS subsidies) each month. Group rates are based on the distance traveled by each van and the number of passengers per van. Rider fares are determined by dividing the fixed group rate by the number of paying passengers in the van.

Reporting the U-PASS Subsidy

Bookkeepers will report the total amount of the group’s U-PASS subsidy for the month in the revenue section of the Vanpool Monthly Report. Individual rider fares and U-PASS subsidies are recorded on the Ridership Report. Bookkeepers are responsible for ensuring that all new vanpool riders complete a U-PASS Vanpool Subsidy Form.

Report Distribution

Distribute the original and the yellow copy of the Vanpool Monthly Report and the Ridership Report to King County Metro, Community Transit, Island Transit, Kitsap Transit or Intercity Transit. The pink copy of each report remains with the bookkeeper.

For your convenience, and in our continued efforts to promote environmental conscientiousness, it is no longer necessary to submit a photocopy of the Vanpool Monthly Report and Ridership Report to the Transportation Services Office in order to receive the monthly U-PASS vanpool subsidy. The U-PASS vanpool subsidy reporting system has been streamlined to require less time and effort from UW vanpool participants and less paper by eliminating this step.

For More Information

For more information about the UW vanpool program, please contact the Transportation Services Office at:

Transportation Services
University Transportation Center
Box 355360
3745 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 221-3701