Our Van, Your Crew, Affordable Fares for All
What is a Pace Vanpool? It's a public transportation service for getting to work where a group travels together and shares resources, someone volunteers to drive and Pace provides help with operating costs. Vanpooling is designed for commuters who start or end their travel in the Pace service area: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. Pace Groups consist of individuals who live near each other and have similar travel patterns and work hours. Pace Vanpools are like a carpool but better because we provide the van and cover all the expenses – all for a flexible monthly fare based on each rider's needs. The longer the commute, the more benefits the participants experience. Plus, we offer different commuter vans depending on the group size and accessibility needs.
Bottom line: Pace Vanpool is a smarter way to commute, because we supply the right vehicle for your commute and cover all the costs, including:
• Fuel • Maintenance • Insurance • Roadside Assistance • Guaranteed Ride Home for emergencies • Tolls • Van Washes
And participants can reduce their car ownership, wear and tear on their own vehicle and possibly lower costs on personal auto insurance.
There are two types of Pace Vanpools: Traditional and Feeder
A Traditional Vanpool is your regular point-A to point-B commute. An assigned driver picks up members in their group and drives them to work.
A Feeder Vanpool uses a Pace-owned van to connect you from home or work to bus, train and park-n-ride locations.
As part of Pace's continual effort to provide affordable public transportation, Pace vanpool fares are designed around your commute and participation offers big savings to you. There are even a few ways to bring our low fares down even lower. And for commuters traveling less than 3 days per week, Pace is excited to introduce our reduced part-time fares.
The Perks of Vanpool
An individual in a two-person household who takes public transportation and lives with one less car can save an average of $1,009 per month ($12,104 annually) according to the American Public Transportation Association's July 2019 Transit Savings Report. That's a lot of money you can save! With the Commuter Savings Calculator, you can compare estimates of your monthly and annual costs commuting alone to traveling in a group.
Primary drivers participate for free, and get personal usage miles. Full-time riders who volunteer to be a backup driver receives a $25/month discount. For part-time rider participation, there is a $15/month backup discount. View driver requirements.
Pace Vanpooling is great for hybrid, reduced work weeks, and regular work shifts. Fares are available for both full-time (4 or more days per week) or part-time (3 or less days per week) participation levels.
Reduce driving stress by joining a Pace Vanpool.
Riders can use their time productively or to just sit back and relax.
Paid With Pre-Tax Dollars and/or Subsidy
Pay with pre-tax dollars and/or an employer subsidy, saving up to 40%. Check with your employer on availabiltiy and limits. Learn more about tax-free commuter benefits.
Guaranteed Ride Home
Get up to $125/year for alternative transportation taken due to a personal emergency.
How to Get Started
STOP 1: Join or Form a Vanpool
How to join an existing Pace Vanpool
To find a seat in a Pace Vanpool, start by registering. Set up an account, decide on the role you want (primary driver, backup driver or rider) and search for possible groups traveling along your route to work. When you find a vanpool group to commute with, submit an online request to join. Pace will contact you to share more about the commute, fares and how things work. You can set up 3 FREE rides before joining a vanpool or begin riding right away.
How to form a new Pace Vanpool
The first step is to form a group of 3 or more commuters. You may know interested coworkers or have an existing carpool. If you need assistance with finding others, consider registering to find matches. You can also distribute our "Join my Group" Flyer, and/or approach your company’s Human Resource Department, Transportation Coordinator or Property Manager for assistance with identifying other commuters at your company (and even nearby employers). When organizing a Pace vanpool, consider these group formation tips. When approaching your employer, share our employer brochure to help explain things more.
STOP 2: Benefits of Becoming a Vanpool Driver
Once you have a group, pick two drivers: one primary driver and one backup driver.
All primary drivers participate at no cost and can use the Pace van for personal trips within mileage limits. Traditional vanpool drivers receive 300 personal miles per month while Feeder vans are allowed 600 miles per month for work, maintenance, lunch, errands etc.
Riders who backup drive will receive a monthly fare discount based on their full-time ($25 credit) or part-time ($15 credit) rider status. There can be more than one backup driver in a group.
STOP 3: Submit Your Application
You now have your group and selected drivers and are ready to get rolling. It's time to fill out the Vanpool application form. Inside the application, there are directions on where to send the application form. All participants must sign a Driver or Rider agreement. Backup drivers sign both agreements.
The typical application time is 4-6 weeks, but can be impacted by how quickly drivers are available for the training course. Upon course completion, Pace will select a van that best fits your needs and provide the van to the primary driver.
Fill out the application form to get started. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
Tax-Free Commuter Benefits
Pace Vanpool participants can save even more on their fares by using a tax-free commuter benefit. Sometimes referred to as a Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit, this program is set up by employers to allow their employees to use pre-tax dollars or a subsidy to pay for bus, train or vanpool fares saving on taxes each year. The commuter benefit can be used for parking costs too. Ask your employer if they offer this or a similar benefit or encourage them to enroll by sharing this page.
Find out how much you could save monthly and annually using the RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program Savings Calculator.
WCIU's "You and Me This Morning" Covers Pace Vanpooling
Please see the links below to find options for employers, non-profits and other Vanpool resources (including our VanGo program).