Commute Stories: Vanpool

February 26, 2019

Meet Debi from Long Beach

Sometimes, it’s hard to know if ridesharing is a good fit. To help you decide, we asked our Irvine Spectrum area commuters to share their stories with us. This week, get a feel for what it’s like to vanpool to work from Long Beach to Irvine with Debi from Capital Group.

Tell Us About Your Long Beach Vanpool Commute: 

Our vanpool has 8 riders in it. We meet up at a central location in a large parking lot strip mall with security. It is quick access to the 405 freeway. Our commuters are from the Long Beach, Seal Beach, Rossmoor and Lakewood areas. We have a Ford Expedition for our commute which makes for a very comfortable ride. Going home, we typically take side streets to the 55 and catch the 22 home as the carpool lanes flow much better than carpool lane going home on the 405.

What’s the Best Part of Your Commute:

I purchased a car recently and worried about the wear and tear for my warranty. Now that I’ve been in a vanpool, it’s almost like I don’t need a second car anymore. My ride to our pickup location is 5 minutes away. The people in our vanpool have become good friends. I don’t have to deal with the heavy traffic on our 25 mile commute. Also, knowing that we always have a way to get to and from work, even with car troubles is a huge load off my mind. It has saved me money, time and my sanity. I’d be miserable without it.

Tips for People New to Vanpooling:

The only tip I would give is become a driver in your vanpool. Not all vanpools formed require all participants to be drivers, but it does help. (Drivers have use of the vehicle when it is not in use for the commute.)

Biggest Concern About Your Commute:

It does limit the ability to run out during lunch, but it’s never really been a problem because I am a driver. I can take the van if needed. Non-drivers are limited in the ability to run errands during the day.

Why Do You Vanpool: 

I love that it saves me time, money on car repairs, wear and tear and fuel. I love that when we have a full van, we have taken 7 cars off the freeway. That’s better for the environment. I love the friendships I’ve developed. I love the convenience of it. WIN, WIN, WIN!

Have You Used Our Emergency Ride Home Program:

Yes, it was seamless. I called in the morning, arrangements were made quickly and ride showed up as scheduled. Very courteous driver.

Anything Else You’d Like to Add:

This is the first time I’ve ever used a vanpool. For the first 3 years (at Capital Group), the ride to work was long, frustrating at times and added what felt like days to my commute time. Now I jump in our van, if I’m not the driver, I sit back and de-stress, share stories with my vanpool co-workers, sleep, catch up on personal emails, or play games on my phone. I’m a much happier person when I get to work and when I get home because my commute is enjoyable… yes ENJOYABLE!

Thanks for sharing, Debi!


If you’re interested in starting or joining a vanpool, contact Monica: to get your 2nd Month of Vanpool Free!

OCTA also provides subsidies for vanpooling you can use in addition to Spectrumotion’s services.