County Offers New Vanpool Service
The county Mass Transit Agency is implementing a new service to connect people to work.
Mass Transit is introducing Hele-On Vanpool, a new program provided by Commute with Enterprise, that will subsidize 30 vans at $500 per month. Participants can choose a qualifying vanpool vehicle from a selection of makes and models, including crossovers, SUVs, minivans and large passenger vans. In addition, vanpools have access to Enterprise’s Guaranteed Ride Home program, ensuring they can leave work at unscheduled times worry-free.
“Our administration is focused on creating a sustainable island community, where our keiki can thrive and succeed for generations to come,” Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth said in a press release. “Reducing our carbon footprint, alleviating traffic congestion and improving the commute for our working class is all part of that vision, and we applaud the work of our Mass Transit Agency for providing yet another tool for our residents to get to and from.”
The new vanpool service also provides 24-hour roadside assistance, liability insurance and scheduled maintenance within its pricing. Vanpoolers can also choose to upgrade their vehicles with options such as wheelchair lifts, bicycle racks, satellite radio, in-vehicle Wi-Fi and power ports for individual seats.
“The average driver spends about $600 a month on fuel and vehicle expenses, whereas the average vanpool rider spends about $80-$150 a month, based on seven passengers contributing to the cost,” John Andoh, Mass Transit administrator and Hele-On general manager, said in the press release. “By joining a vanpool, you can avoid commuting’s wear and tear on your vehicle and save money on transportation by splitting the cost with fellow riders.”
Vanpool pricing does not include gasoline; however, pre-loaded fuel cards are provided for each vanpool. Prices also do not include van washing or taxes. Prices vary, and the cost will still be shared between vanpool riders or the company sponsoring the vanpool.
Companies and employees can also pursue pre-tax benefits through the IRS to subsidize a portion of the costs.
“Enterprise is supporting Hele-On as it brings positive change to the island,” Commute with Enterprise’s Jason Oka said in the press release. “Our mission is to provide commuters with a more convenient way to get to and from work, ensuring that everyone has access to transportation choices that can take them where they need to go safely and efficiently.”
Hele-On Vanpool also will help determine the implementation of future bus routes, if demand is present. Potential destinations Hele-On Vanpool would target are companies with large commuter populations.
Support for the vanpool service comes from the extensive Enterprise Rent-A Car neighborhood network.