Vanpool Investment Program grants

WSDOT provides state funds through Vanpool Investment Program (VIP) grants to support vanpool programs at transit agencies across Washington. Transit agencies use these funds to expand vanpool fleets, replace aging vans and provide incentives to employers to increase vanpool ridership. The funding allows transit agencies to purchase vans with alternative fuel types, including low-emission plug-in hybrids and zero-emission all-electric vans.

Washington has the largest public vanpool fleet in the nation. Each workday, more than 18,000 commuters ride in more than 3,000 vanpools. These vanpools improve air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the number of cars on the road. This partnership between the state and transit agencies started in 2001 with 12 transit agencies and has since expanded to 22 transit agencies.

Available funding

WSDOT has $2 million in grant funding for the 2021-2023 biennium. This program is supported by state funding.

Match requirements

No match required.

Eligible applicants

All Washington state transit agencies are eligible to apply.

Eligible projects

The VIP capital grant program supports these types of projects:

  • Vehicle replacement and expansion
  • Incentives to promote vanpool ridesharing

Important dates

  • July 1, 2021: 2021-2023 biennium begins.
  • Oct. 1, 2021: Applications are available in the Grants Management System.
  • 3 p.m., Nov. 2, 2021: Applications are due in the Grants Management System.
  • November 2021: WSDOT evaluation panel reviews and scores applications.
  • December 2021: WSDOT sends award letters to grantees.
  • June 30, 2023: 2021-2023 biennium ends.

Award prioritization

Tier 1

WSDOT will prioritize VIP grant awards for:

  • Replacement van requests
  • Employer incentives

Evaluation criteria for replacement vans:

  • Must be beyond the Federal Transit Administration’s minimum useful life standards (i.e., four years or 100,000 miles).
  • Must be consistent with the applying agency’s transit development plan.

Transit agencies can apply for VIP incentives to increase or maintain employee vanpool participation. Transit agencies can distribute incentives through employers.

Tier 2

WSDOT will give vanpool fleet expansion requests the lowest priority.

Scoring criteria

The selection committee will evaluate application submittals in four categories.

  • Quality of application/application completeness
  • Demonstration of need
  • Readiness to proceed
  • Financial proposal

Application materials

For more information, contact Allyson Ruppenthal at allyson.ruppenthal@wsdot.wa.gov or 360-791-5613, or your local WSDOT Public Transportation community liaison.