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How to Participate in a Vanpool

Find out if a vanpool is right for you and how you can participate.

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Who's eligible?

Faculty, staff, and students from UCSD, Scripps, Salk Institute, and VA Hospital can participate in the vanpool program.

UCSD nonaffiliates participate at a higher rate and do not receive all incentives. They must have medical insurance and cannot become van drivers. Call the vanpool coordinator, (858) 534-0883, for details.

What are the incentives?

  • Free trial period: Ride 1 week free on established vanpools (space available), or 2 weeks free when forming a new vanpool.
  • Save time: Vanpools use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
  • Save money: Decrease gas and vehicle maintenance costs. Eliminate parking costs.
  • Park free when necessary: UCSD members can get an Occasional Use permit for 10 free days of parking per quarter.
  • Emergency rides home: Register in advance for Guaranteed Ride Home, a SANDAG program that provides rides in case of illness, unscheduled overtime, or family emergencies. Registered users, dial 511 when you need a ride.
  • Drive shared vehicles with Zipcar (when you meet UCSD eligibility requirements).

Incentives are subject to limitations. Read below for guidelines or contact Commute Solutions with questions.

How does a vanpool work?

  • Vanpool groups determine their own commuting schedule.
  • Each has a primary and backup driver. They usually ride free or at a reduced price, depending on their arrangement.
  • Riders board their vanpool at a predesignated time and location.
  • Vanpools drop off riders at locations near their offices.

What does it cost?

  • Routes and rates appear below. Monthly fees vary with the distance each vanpool must travel between the neighborhood of origin and campus or the Hillcrest Medical Center. Pickup and drop-off times and locations for each van varies based on riders. Email vanpools@ucsd.edu for details.
  • Affiliate rates are subsidized by Transportation Services. Eligible non-UCSD affiliates should expect to pay a higher fare.
  • Paying monthly fees:
    • Eligible faculty and staff pay monthly fees through payroll deduction.
    • Students pay each quarter in advance with cash or check (payable to UC Regents).
    • Non-UCSD affiliates pay monthly with cash or check (payable to UC Regents).
Route Monthly Rate





Chula Vista (5 vans)

$95.50 to $99.50

Chula Vista to Hillcrest Medical Center (2 vans)


City Heights (4 vans)


East San Diego (3 vans)



$99.50 plus $10 SBX

El Cajon




Escondido (3 vans)


Imperial Beach


Lemon Grove


Mira Mesa (2 vans)


National City (7 vans)

$85.50 to $95.50



Penasquitos (3 vans)


Poway (2 vans)




Rancho Bernardo (2 vans)


Rancho San Diego (2 vans)


Sabre Springs


Sabre Springs to Hillcrest Medical Center


San Ysidro




South Bay (2 vans)


Spring Valley (2 vans)

$89.50 to $94.50

Temecula/Murrieta (6 vans)


How do I participate?

Find or form a vanpool that’s right for you: Check the vanpool route spreadsheet (Excel) for an existing route.
  • Arrange with the vanpool coordinator to ride free for 5 days.
  • To join, complete a Vanpool Program Authorization of Payroll Deduction form (PDF) or request a form by:
  • Include a check or money order payable to UC Regents with your form, covering vanpool fees prior to activation of payroll deductions. The vanpool coordinator calculates the initial payment based on your start date. Write your driver’s license or employee number on your check.
  • Submit your completed form and payment:
    • By mail: Vanpool coordinator, Mail Code 0011, or
    • In person: Commute Solutions desk, campus parking office (hours, map)
  • Pick up your complimentary Occasional Use parking permit at the campus or Hillcrest parking office. (Undergraduate and Extension students must do so within the first 6 weeks of the quarter only.) You will need:
    • Valid UCSD ID
    • Proof of current vehicle registration for up to 3 vehicles. (Vehicles must be registered to you or a family member at a single address.)
    Subsequent permits will be given to your vanpool driver for distribution.
  • If there’s no suitable vanpool for you, find other UCSD affiliates and form a new vanpool. Use UCSD’s ride-matching service and contact the vanpool coordinator for the next step.

What do I need to know about my Occasional Use permit?

Occasional Use permits issued by Commute Solutions:

  • Are used in the same way as those purchased from the parking office. Review How to Display Your Parking Permit.
  • Are nontransferable. Only the member who is issued the permit can use it. The permit cannot be shared, sold, or given away.
  • Are only valid in designated spaces, and not valid in reserved carpool spaces. For accepted spaces, read Where and When to Park.
  • Allow parking for the vehicle(s) officially documented on the permit only. To add a vehicle, bring your registration to Commute Solutions.
  • Expire at the end of each quarter, with no carryover of unused parking

Note: Violation of these policies may result in:

  • Parking citations
  • 6-month suspension from the Vanpool Club
  • Ineligibility to participate in any Commute Solutions programs for up to 6 months

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Tell us how we're doing. If you have ideas for improving Transportation Services, please e-mail them to TellTPS@ucsd.edu.

Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/vanpool