Page updated on Jan 27, 2020 at 10:55 AM

Why Should I Carpool or Vanpool?

Save Money: Cut the cost of gasoline, parking, tolls; and by driving less often, you may be eligible to save on insurance costs. By carpooling with one other person, your commuting costs would drop 50%! Commuting with two others would make your expenses drop by 66%!

  • Save Time: Carpoolers and vanpoolers can use the special High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes instead of waiting in traffic.
  • Reduce Stress: Having someone else drive means some days you can relax, read, or take a nap.
  • Receive Special Benefits: Many employers offer parking for carpools and vanpools at a reduced rate or for free.
  • Save the Environment: Using carpools and vanpools instead of driving alone can cut harmful auto emissions up to 85%. That means the air we breathe will be cleaner and there will be less health risks to ourselves and our families.

What is a Carpool?

Carpooling is sharing a ride with another, whether a neighbor, family member, or classmate. Sharing a ride will save the driver and passenger(s) money and time, reduce stress, and save the environment.

What is a Vanpool?

Vanpooling is similar to carpooling, however with additional passengers. It is an economical option for those who commute over long distances.

There are three kinds of vanpools:

  • Owner-operated vans-An individual leases or purchases a van and operates the van independently. Riders generally meet at a central location and pay the owner a set monthly fee.
  • Third-party vans-A vanpool "vendor" leases the vanpool vehicle for a monthly fee that includes the vehicle operating cost, insurance, and maintenance. The vendor can contract directly with one or more employees. The monthly lease fee is paid by the group of users.
  • Employer-provided vans-The employer (or a group of employers) buys or leases vans for employees' commute use. The employer organizes the vanpool riders and insures and maintains the vehicles. The employer may charge a fee to ride in the van or subsidize the service. Check with your company's Human Resources.

How Do I Join a Carpool or Vanpool?

It's easy and it's free. You can register online, or contact our office at (703) 746-4084.

Within a few days you will receive a matchlist with the names and telephone numbers of potential carpoolers and vanpoolers. Then it's up to you to call the commuters on your matchlist to form a new carpool or vanpool or to join an existing one.

The information you give is strictly confidential. Your home address is never given out. Only your name and phone numbers will be sent to other applicants interested in carpooling or vanpooling so that they can contact you.

Do I Need a Car or Van to Be Able to Carpool or Vanpool?

No. Many carpools and vanpools look for riders so that they may use HOV lanes or further decrease of the group's commuting costs. You may choose to be a passenger only.

If I Carpool or Vanpool, Where Can I Park?

Park & Ride lots are convenient meeting locations for carpools and vanpools. There are many Park & Ride lots throughout Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. Parking is free at most lots and bus service is available at many locations. For more information about Park & Ride facilities in your area, call the Council of Governments at (800) 745-RIDE, weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


Pool Rewards is a program from Commuter Connections that pays a monthly $200 incentive to newly formed vanpools. ‘Pool Rewards is operated by Commuter Connections, a regional transportation network coordinated by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

To learn more and sign up click HERE  




HOV Lanes

HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes promote more efficient use of roadways by restricting certain lanes at certain times to vehicles that carry multiple passengers. This allows the roadway to move more people at a faster rate than the regular lanes because less vehicles will be present. HOV lanes are designated with a diamond throughout the region.

The HOV locations and times are as follows:

HOV Lane  Direction  Restriction  Times 
I-395 Northbound HOV-3 6:00-9:00 a.m.
  Southbound HOV-3 3:30-6:00 p.m.
I-95 Northbound HOV-3 6:00-9:00 a.m
  Southbound HOV-3 3:30-6:00 p.m.
I-66 Eastbound HOV-2 outside Beltway
5:30-9:30 a.m.
    HOV-2 inside Beltway
6:30-9:00 a.m.
  Westbound HOV-2 outside Beltway
3:00-7:00 p.m.
    HOV-2 inside Beltway
4:00-6:30 p.m.
Washington St. Northbound HOV-2 7:00-9:00 a.m.
  Southbound HOV-2 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Patrick St./Rt. 1 Northbound HOV-2 6:00-9:00 a.m.
Henry St./Rt. 1 Southbound HOV-2 3:00-7:00 p.m.