Shared transportation for Central Pennsylvania including McKean, Potter, Elk, Clearfield, Jefferson and Cameron counties. Shared transportation for Central Pennsylvania including McKean, Potter, Elk, Clearfield, Jefferson and Cameron counties.
 
             
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These questions are most often asked as a potential rider evaluates the costs of their current ride compared to the Vanpool Advantage solution which among commuter ride options is thought to be the most economical and safe mode for getting to work.

Besides the obvious economic advantages and personal savings each week, the vanpool advantage means less congestion, reduced stress, reduced wear & tear on your personal vehicle, helping the environment, and meeting new people in a cooperative ride.

ATA, a rural public transportation with expertiese in place since 1976 (over 35 years) will provide the maintenance for the vanpool fleet, the insurance for the fleet, all the necessary maintenance, vehicle checks, and repairs. Finally all of the fuel is provided through ATA. Sound like an advantage to you and your friends?

A CDL license is not required to operate a Vanpool Advantage Sprinter. However, ATA requires vanpool drivers to be a U.S. Citizen, be at least 25 years of age, allow ATA to obtain driver record history and criminal background check and not have more than one moving violation or at-fault accident in the past rolling 36 months. ATA will provide driver safety and other training for you if you sign on as a vanpool advantage driver. We have found that these vehicles operate much like a standard passenger van and they respond beautifully during the driving session. ATA has also made provision for the best techinical vehicle requirements for safe winter driving and challenging road conditions year round.

Actually your costs will vary from vanpool to vanpool based on the number of miles traveled and the number of people contracted to ride the vanpool. ATA will calculate these costs for you. Obviously a vanpool advantage vehicle at or near rider capacity is to everyone's advantage, resulting in the lowest possible costs for the team. Experience with the program has shown that once a vanpool team is created and once it has been in operation for a few months, with each member cooperating, the costs are amazingly low compared to the single passenger car or even a car pool. ATA will figure it out for your to the penny before you sign on.

ATA's vanpool advantage coordinator can come up with a savings estimate for you and your group once we know your pick up locations, destination, number of miles to be traveled each day, and the number of vanpool advantage team members recruited for you vehicle. There are also savings calculators of a general nature you can look up on the web. A private Vanpool company known as VPSI offers a simple vanpool savings calculator.

The federal Commuter Tax Benefit has many benefits over other pre-tax programs. It is exempt from the usual restrictions that accompany many other pre-tax offerings allowed by the IRS. There are no plan filings, forms to fill out or mandatory enrollment dates. It is the federal tax law allowing employees to set aside pre-tax income to pay for vanpool fares up to $125 per month …. $1,500 per year. The ATA Vanpool Advantage Coordinator will assist you with details in making sure you use this commuter benefit to your advantage. See ATA's special flyer entitled "The commuter tax benefit is a vanpool advantage." 2pp. See also National Center for Transit Research. The center offers a summary table of current commuter tax benefits. While the benefit for vanpools was $230 a year ago, the amount of the commuter beneift was reduced in the last session of The Congress. The commuter benefit is now $ 125.00 per month. With this table you can track any change in the benefit amount of this popular IRS program in the years ahead.

 

These questions are frequently asked by employers and sometimes interested riders on behalf of their employers.

The answer to this question has a number of positive implications for employers. A place to go for an education in community transportation is where we at ATA often go. It's called the Community Transportation Association of America. The Association brings together a large body of information on community based transportation and encourages employer participation through its members across the United States. One recent feature from CTA is a concise on line Guide called Transportation To Work Toolkit. As part of the Toolkit you will find a PDF file called Start a Vanpool. It has a number of chapters but the one we quote below offers some of the compelling reasons to ecnourage the vanpool advantage. There area growing number of employers who, for whatever reason have started their own vanpools by purchasing vehicles, managing the network, offering employee incentives. It is that important to them.

In the case of employers in the North Central PA vanpool advantage region, much of the planning has been done, the vehicles have been purchased and are ready for the road. They just need employees to become riders with the encouragement of employers like you.. There are few risks, no administrative obligation. It is all managed by the most experienced and well equipped rural transit provider in the United States. ATA has the latest computer assisted technology, modern vehicles, and ride matching capabilities second to none in the six county region.

CTA's tookit is a joint project with the Federal Transit Admininstration (FTA), JobLinks Employment Transportation (JL-CTA) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Their combined wisdom on vanpools is offered:

 

"Today more and more smart employers are recognizing company-supported vanpooling as a business best practice. Vanpooling presents a strategic means of recruiting and maintaining the best workforce for one’s company. It also lessens the impact of potential commuting difficulties on employee productivity.

Many employees consider vanpooling a valuable alternative to driving alone, especially with the volatility of fuel costs and worsening traffic congestion. Vanpools can reduce their time spent on the road when they are able to use HOV lanes, make their commutes to work less stressful, and save them money over the cost of driving alone.

However, businesses also reap benefits by actively supporting vanpooling among their employees. Vanpooling:

  • Promotes your company as an employee- oriented business: A company that is concerned about its employees’ daily commute options is a more attractive place to work.

  • Saves on parking management costs: Reducing the number of employee vehicles parked on-site increases the supply of available parking for customers and other business partners.

  • Expands company recruitment options: Businesses that offer transit benefits and incentives are more likely to retain employees and increase recruitment opportunities for individuals who may otherwise not be able to commute to the company’s facility.

  • Reduces employee absenteeism and turnover: Many employers have indicated that reliable, affordable ride-sharing opportunities to work improve employee retention and productivity.

  • Reduces time spent in training new employees: Particularly in smaller markets, vanpooling increases the commuting options for employees and provides flexibility for commuters traveling during non-peak commute hours, especially in hard-to-reach locations or areas not served by public transportation.

When supporting employee vanpools, employers can choose their level of financial involvement. Some options are listed below:

  • Deduct the cost of vanpool fees from employees’ pre-tax income (up to $230 per month per employee) to reduce their and the company’s overall tax liability (see Fact Sheet #6).

  • Subsidize or fully pay for employees’ participation in an employee-run vanpool through vouchers or other forms of payment and deduct the subsidy as a business expense.

  • Purchase or lease vans and administer the vanpool program for employees.

  • Contract with a third party to set up and run a vanpool program for employees. " (Such as ATA's Vanpool Advantage Network.)

 

These questions are most often asked during the enrollment period. It refers to steps necessary to locating and designing a vanpool team, the sign up form, and obligations of being a member of the Vanpool Advantage Network.

People who have at least a 20 miles “one-way” trip to work at a common location, complex, community…the fewer the stops the quicker the trip. Vanpool groups or teams like saving money on their personal transportation to work.

 

Wiki • Vanpools are an element of the transit system that allow groups of people to share the ride similar to a carpool, but on a larger scale with concurrent savings in fuel and vehicle operating costs. Vanpools are the most cost effective mode of public transportation in the United States and the only mode more cost effective than bus.


Vehicles may be provided by individuals, individuals in cooperation with various public and private support programs, through a program operated by or on behalf of an element of government, or a program operated by or on behalf of an employer.


The key concept is that people share the ride from home or one or more common meeting locations and travel together to a common destination or work center.

Utilizing economic and industry data, 20 miles is the break over point where it becomes an economic advantage to create a vanpool.

The Area Transportation Authority of North Central Pennsylvnia or ATA obtained a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation though a program known as JARC.

ATA has set aside fourteen 12 passenger Freightliner Sprinter vans. At this time there are 14 total Vanpool Advantage Sprinters avaiable to the network. For now eleven of these Sprinters are avaialbe for the network and three will be used as back-ups for the program.

Let the ATA Vanpool Advantage Coordinator know that you and your friends are ready to join the network. The ATA Coordinator will organize an informational meeting to talk with you and your friends about the vanpool advantage program, provide more details, review with Vanpool Advantage Program Guide and answer your questions. This kind of introductory meeting is usually over the lunch period at or near your place of employment (destination). You will have an opportunity to sign the Member Registration/Agreement and if appropriate designate a driver coordinator to act on your behalf. Your group can easily move forward with assistance from the ATA Vanpool Advantage Coordinator. Then all you have to do is:"ride."

Things will happen fast and the savings to you will follow quickly. So call 1.866.282.4968.

Yes. Contracts are required to protect the interests of “all” parties to the vanpool advantage network. They are simple documents that are easy to understand. The Vanpool Advantage coordinator will answer your questions about the vanpool advantage contract provisions for riders and drivers.

This category of frequently asked questions relates to how a vanpool network team members can work together cooperatively to achieve a smooth, comfortable ride to work.

One member of the vanpool advantage team will volunteer to become the primary driver and team coordinator. The primary driver usually does not pay the monthly fee as compensation for handling the wheel and taking care of the vanpool vehicle. In addition, each vanpool team will identify alternate (back-up) drivers in the event the primary driver is unavailable.

The ATA vanpool program is a month-to-month arrangement. Fees are paid to the vanpool driver, coordinator each month. In addition other means of payment are being arranged using electronic credit card payments.

   

 

 

 

 

 
   
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