Provided by Commute with Enterprise, COMET Vanpool, a one-year pilot to subsidize 20 vans at $500 per month — not to exceed $120,000 per year — will be providing shared rides to residents in South Carolina's Richland and Lexington Counties.
Commute with Enterprise’s van pricing starts at $950 and will vary depending on vehicle selection. The company offers various makes and models, including seven-passenger SUVs, Nissan Pathfinders, Toyota Siennas, 10-, 12-, and 15-passenger Ford Transit Vans, as well as various types of luxury Ford Transit Vans.
The COMET Vanpool is meant to be a service that will help determine the implementation of future bus routes if demand is present. Potential destinations that The COMET Vanpool would target include WP Rawl, CMC Steel, Amazon, China Jushi, Nephron, Samsung and TRANE, as well as other companies with large commuter populations.
“The average driver spends about $600 a month on fuel and vehicle expenses, whereas the average vanpool rider spends about $80 to $150 a month, based on seven passengers contributing to the cost,” John Andoh, executive director and CEO of The COMET, said in a statement. “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.”
Amenities such as bike racks and wheelchair lifts can be added for an additional cost. The van pricing does not include gasoline (pre-loaded fuel cards are provided for each vanpool), van washing or taxes. However, these prices will vary, and the costs will still be shared between the vanpool riders or the company.
Companies and employees can also pursue pre-tax benefits through the IRS to subsidize a portion of the costs.
When emergences arise, Commute with Enterprise provides a "guaranteed ride home" program for when vanpool participants need an earlier ride home due to unforeseen circumstances.