The University of Washington: Facilities Services

Vanpooling to the UW


What is a Vanpool

A vanpool is a group of 5 to 15 people who live at least 3 miles away from the UW Seattle campus and who commute to campus together in a van that is owned, maintained and insured by Metro Transit, Community Transit, Island Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit or Intercity Transit.

Commuting in a vanpool lets you use HOV lanes and on-ramps to speed up your commute. For even more flexibility, Metro Transit, Community Transit, Island Transit and Kitsap Transit vans can be outfitted with bicycle racks so it’s easy to use your bicycle to run errands during the day.

Parking a Vanpool on Campus

Vanpools park free of charge in any University permit parking lot but they cannot park in the restricted spaces (disability spaces, load/unload only, University vehicles only, etc…) within those lots.

Vanpool Fares

Vanpool fares are calculated by the transit agency who owns the van and based on the distance the van travels daily and the number of people in the vanpool. Your U-PASS is worth up to $70.00 off your monthly vanpool fare for full-time participants (3+ days per week) or up to $35.00 off your monthly vanpool fare for part-time participants (2 days per week or less). If a vanpool’s monthly fare is greater than $70.00 or $35.00 respectively, you would be responsible for paying any remaining amount due to the vanpool’s bookkeeper. A U-PASS member with a 50-mile round-trip commute could save up to $4,000 annually (based on 32.5 cents/mile commuting costs and a 5-day work week) by commuting in an 8-passenger vanpool rather than driving alone.

When it comes to vanpooling, it pays to be in the driver’s seat. Each vanpool driver receives a complimentary U-PASS and has some personal use of the van. One backup driver or bookkeeper per van also receives a complimentary U-PASS.

U-PASS Vanpool Subsidy Registration

Are you a current U-PASS member and vanpool participant? Register to receive the monthly U-PASS Vanpool Subsidy here.

Connect with a Vanpool

  • Contact the free Regional Ridematch service at or call (888) 814-1300. Provide the details of your commute (such as your start time, location and the time you leave campus) and Ridematch will send you the names and numbers of existing vanpools and potential vanpool partners. If you are interested in forming a new vanpool, let Ridematch know and they will send you additional information on how the process works.

  • Check the regional Riders Wanted Listings for a list of existing vanpools within the entire region who are seeking new participants.

  • UW has partnered with Zimride to provide a convenient way to match up with other UW students, faculty and staff looking to share the ride.

  • Check the UW Rideshare List for a list of existing UW vanpools who are seeking new participants.

  • Ask around. If you are trying to form a new vanpool and need riders, ask your co-workers, neighbors and friends. Often friends and colleagues live near you and would like to share the ride. With nearly 65,000 students, staff and faculty traveling to campus every day, even those with unusual schedules can usually find someone living nearby to share the ride.

Contact a Transit Agency for Help Starting or Joining a Vanpool

  • King County Metro Transit
    Contact the Rideshare Services Representative at Metro Rideshare Operations by calling (206) 625-4500 or check out their Metro VanPool Starter Kit online.
  • Community Transit
    Contact a Community Transit Vanpool Coordinator by calling (425) 353-7433 or visit their Vanpool Program webpage.
  • Kitsap Transit
    Contact a Kitsap Transit Vanpool Coordinator by calling (360) 478-5858 or visit their Vanpool Program webpage.
  • Island Transit
    Contact an Island Transit Rideshare Coordinator by calling (360) 678-7771 x3 or visit their Vanpool Program webage.
  • Pierce Transit
    Contact a Pierce Transit Vanpool Coordinator by calling (253) 983-3377 or visit their Vanpool Toolbox.
  • Intercity Transit
    Contact an Intercity Transit Vanpool Coordinator by calling (360) 786-8800 or visit their Vanpool Program webage.

Preferential Loading Registration for Vanpools on Washington State Ferries

The Washington State Ferry system issues High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) permits for preferential loading onto the ferries to vanpools. You can register your vanpool by filling out the online Registration Formand submitting payment by credit card to the Washington State Ferry system. For all the rules and regulations of the Washington State Ferries Rideshare program, see Rideshare Program Brochure.

Print a Riders Wanted Sign

Need to find a new vanpool partner? Print out a Riders Wanted sign, fill in your vanpool’s origin, destination and contact information then display the sign anywhere you want to advertise for vanpool partners. In your break room, locker room, a window in your vehicle or where ever you think possible vanpool partners would be. It’s an easy way to advertise that you’re looking for new vanpool participants.

Vanpool Riders Wanted sign


If you have questions about the UW vanpool program, please email or call the Campus Rideshare Coordinator at or (206) 616-7517.