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New Vanpool Benefit Program - ESHB 2134
Mar 29, 2024

This update is to provide information regarding the Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) efforts to implement a state worker vanpool benefit program that is fully subsidized consistent with Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2134.

While full implementation is contingent upon the governor signing the budget, WSDOT is working with agencies and local transit companies to get agreements in place to begin this benefit program.  As WSDOT builds this program it will be contracting with county transit agencies for vanpool services in many regions across the state and engaging state agency participation in the vanpool benefit program. As state agencies learn more about the vanpool benefit program and assess impacts to their state workers, they will review their agency policies and provide notification to the Union consistent with applicable contract terms. Below are some highlights about the WSDOT vanpool benefit program.

Who will be eligible for vanpool benefit?

Eligible state workers shall mean only those state workers of the State of Washington who meet the following criteria: full-time, part-time, temporary, or non-permanent state workers who are benefit eligible and receive other benefits. This funding amount precludes state workers of higher education institutions. If state workers want to learn more about this initiative, they should contact their agency transportation coordinator.

When does eligibility begin?

Prior to offering the benefit, state agencies must complete an agreement with WSDOT. This agreement describes the new benefit and the role state agencies play in confirming that an employee is benefit-eligible.

Eligible state workers would claim the vanpool benefit as soon as a contract between WSDOT and the county transit agencies has been finalized. To expedite the availability of the benefit to as many state workers as possible, WSDOT will prioritize contracts with transit agencies that serve higher numbers of state workers (Community Transit, Intercity Transit, King County Metro, Pierce Transit, Spokane Transit, Snohomish Transit, Kitsap Transit) and follow up as quickly as possible with the other transit agencies. Most of the transit agencies are small, which may mean contracts move swiftly or slowly depending on their administrative capacity.

Where are vanpools not available and why?

This benefit is available in the state of Washington where a public transit vanpool provider offers a vanpool service, but some rural areas lack a provider. Lack of provider in a region does not disqualify a rider from claiming a vanpool benefit. If a rider identifies a vanpool that meets a transit agency’s ridership requirements, the transit agency has discretion for providing a vanpool service that exceeds its traditional service area.

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