Van Start/Van Save


The Local Motion Van Start program for vanpools is designed to provide incentive for new vanpool formations that have the City of Alexandria as their destination. The Local Motion Van Save program is designed to assist existing established vanpools with commutes that end in the City of Alexandria, that are experiencing an emergency loss of passengers. Both programs subsidize empty seats over a defined period of time. The Van Start / Save programs are open to all vanpools that have trips that terminate in the City of Alexandria.

Van Start / Save assistance will be granted at the discretion of Local Motion based on the eligibility of the applicant and the demonstrated aggressiveness in recruiting passengers. The program provides up to $200 flat rate per eligible empty seat, per number of eligible months. See program details for eligibility requirements and financial assistance terms and conditions. Funding for this program is limited and is available only between October 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014, or until the funds are spent.

For more information or to apply, contact the Local Motion Van Start/Save program manager, Gabriel Ortiz with Local Motion at 703-746-4083 or at gabriel.ortiz@alexandriava.gov.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. The vanpool final destination must be within the City of Alexandria 
  2. The vanpool must meet the federal guidelines for a “commuter highway vehicle” under 26 U.S.C §132 (f) as shown below. 
    1. the seating capacity of vehicle is at least 6 adults (not including the driver), and 
    2. at least 80 percent of the mileage use of which can reasonably be expected to be for the purposes of transporting employees in connection with travel between their residences (Commuter Lot) and their place of employment, and on trips during which the number of employees transported for such purposes is at least half of the adult seating capacity of such vehicle (not including the driver). 
  3. A private vanpool owner/operator must certify that the van is appropriately insured under a Commercial Auto Policy or is covered by the AdVANtage program, a self-insurance pool for Virginia vanpools. 
  4. The vanpool owner/operator or coordinator must demonstrate continuous aggressive recruiting for new passengers (i.e. posters at workplaces, newspaper advertisements, etc.).  Additional assistance to recruit passengers will be provided by Local Motion and/or by one of Virginia’s commuter assistance/TDM programs at both the origin and destination areas.  
  5. A vanpool owner/operator or coordinator may not apply for or receive financial assistance from this program if 50 percent or more of the total riders have been in another vanpool which received other financial assistance for vanpool start up or empty seats in the past 12 months.   
  6. Vanpool owner/operators or coordinators must submit a passenger roster with an authorized signature for each eligible month that subsidy is needed and qualifies.  

 Van Start Only 

  1. Van Start vanpools must be new and not have operated for more than three months.  
  2. Van Start owner/operators or coordinators must demonstrate that at least 50 percent of the passenger capacity is full by supplying the names and telephone numbers of existing passengers for verification. 
  3. Van Start owner/operators or coordinators that receive Van Start funds may not apply for or receive Van Save funds for at least 12 months after the last Van Start payment is received. 

 Van Save Only 

10.    Van Save Vanpools must have been in operation for a minimum of 6 months and may not have received any financial assistance for empty seats or vanpool operation for the past 12 months.  

11.    To be eligible for Van Save the vanpool must have lost at least 25 percent of its paid passengers for more than 30 days. 

Financial Assistance Terms

Eligible and approved vanpools may receive financial assistance of up to $200, or the actual monthly rider fare, whichever is less, per monthly vacant passenger seat, up to the following maximums: 


 Passenger Van 


Eligibility Chart (maximums indicated) 

Month 1 

Month 2 

Month 3 

Month 4 


# Seats 

# Seats 

# Seats 

# Seats 

# Seats 


15 Passenger 







12 Passenger 







9 Passenger 







7 Passenger 







Subsidy is based on fulfilling all Eligibility Requirements. Number of seats subsidized is contingent upon size of vehicle and the number of seats eligible decreases each month. 

Further, in order to be eligible for empty seat subsidy, vanpool owner/operator or coordinator much provide in writing that they are demonstrating continuing aggressive recruiting for new passengers, ie., posters at workplaces, newspaper advertisements, etc.  

 This information must be provided to the City by the 18th of each month subsidy is being requested. 


Please click HERE  for the application

Where to Get Additional Information

If you are interested in learning more about vanpooling or how to organize or join a vanpool, the best source of information is your nearest rideshare agency. The areas served, names, and telephone numbers of the agencies can be found HERE 

If there is no rideshare agency serving your locality, you can contact the nearest rideshare agency to you and they will be glad to help you. A rideshare agency is the best source of information about vanpooling, carpooling, and other transportation related programs of interest to commuters. 


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