Vanpool Pilot Project

Project Overview

Vanpool Project vanThe City of Rochester, in partnership with vRide, Inc. and the Regional Transit Authority (RTS), is piloting a commuter van pool program that will help connect Rochester residents to jobs throughout the region.

During this pilot program, the City will subsidize the cost of the service for two to three vanpool groups that:

  • Originate within the City’s limits, or
  • Include at least three City residents who reside in census tracts with 30 percent or greater poverty.

The City is currently seeking to partner with employers interested in increasing transportation options for their employees. Career Start, a locally owned job-placement agency, has committed to participating in the pilot program and is helping to make the service even more affordable for their employees.   

  • News Release: (Friday, Jan. 6, 2017) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren today announced a successful start to a partnership with del Lago Resort & Casino and the City’s vanpool project. To apply for jobs at the resort please visit del Lago's Career page. See below for how to become a vanpool participant.
    Learn more>> 
  • News Release: (Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016)Mayor Lovely A. Warren today announced that del Lago Resort & Casino will host a job fair at City Hall on January 3, 3 – 6 pm and will partner with the City of Rochester’s Vanpool Pilot program to provide a transportation option for new hires. . Learn more>>  
  • News Release: (Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren today announced the launch of the Rochester Vanpool Pilot Project, a new transportation initiative that will help connect Rochester residents to jobs in the region. Learn more>> 

What is a van pool?

A van pool is a group of up to 12 commuters who voluntarily participate in a rideshare arrangement. The van makes just one trip to a workplace and one trip home during the day. Vans are driven by a volunteer driver who is also commuting to work.

vRide will provide the van, insurance, maintenance, a ride matching platform and designated fuel card for each group. Unlike traditional bus service or a shuttle service, vanpooling is unique because each route is tailored to suit the needs of a specific group of riders. 

For Employers

There are many benefits to providing or supporting vanpool services to your worksite including:

  • Improved employee morale, productivity, efficiency, and attendance;
  • Reduced on-site parking requirements and demand;
  • Payroll tax savings through participation in Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits program;
  • Enhanced public image and environmental stewardship; and
  • NO capital investment!

Employers can help provide or support vanpool services in a variety of ways that suit their needs and resource availability including:

  • Allowing vRide access to employees through email or in person visits to educate and gauge interest in vanpooling;
  • Providing employee zip code data to vRide for cluster mapping and feasibility;
  • Paying for the service partially or completely to help reduce the cost to employees; and
  • Setting up a Transportation Fringe Benefit package for your employees.

For more information please see this document and contact Sean Huonker, vRide Account Manager at or 646-276-4493.

For Vanpool Participants

Our vendor, vRide, operates thousands of van pools across the nation. As a van pool participant you can:

  • Save money and time. If you have a vehicle, you will save money on its maintenance, gas, parking, and insurance. If you do not have a vehicle, you will have a reliable ride!
  • Gain flexibility and reliability in your commute. You and your coworkers will figure out your preferred route to work, you will be in control of timing pick-ups and drop-offs. Leases are flexible and renew every 30 days, so there’s no long term commitment.
  • Relax during your commute. In a vanpool you can read, take a nap, or catch up on email during your commute. 
  • Reduce your impact on the environment. Sharing a ride to work reduces harmful emissions and reduces the demand on parking- vanpooling is the green way to get to work. 
  • Become a volunteer driver. Love driving or want limited access to a vehicle for personal use? If you meet the following requirements, you can volunteer to drive to the vanpool. Your coworkers will appreciate it.

Click Here to Create a New Vanpool>> 

 Apply Here to Become a Volunteer Driver>> 

 Driver Requirements

  • Valid driver’s license;
  • Minimum of five years current and uninterrupted licensed driving;
  • 25 years of age or older
  • No more than one moving violation or at-fault accident in past 12 months, no more than two in past 36 months;
  • No speeding violation in excess of 20 miles per hour;
  • No record of convictions for serious offenses including but not limited to driving under the influence or reckless operation;
  • Must apply and have issued written approval by vRide to operate vehicles provided by vRide.

To learn more

Contact Information

  • Brenda Massie, City of Rochester Program Coordinator at 585-428-7975 or
  • Sean Huonker, vRide Account Manager at or 646-276-4493 (For more information on participating in a van pool, starting a van pool or becoming a driver).