METRO STAR Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a STAR vanpool?
A: A star vanpool is a group of five to fifteen commuters who save money, time and stress by sharing a ride to work in a van.
Q: I don’t live inside the METRO service area. Can I join a vanpool?
A: Yes. STAR serves an eight county region: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller, and Harris.
Q: What if I don’t know 5-15 people who live and work in my area and share the same work hours.
A: Once you fill out the STAR registration, we’ll match you with commuters who share similar travel patterns.
Q: Does the van go to individuals’ houses to pick them up?
A: No, vanpoolers meet in a designated, central location where their cars will be left during the day while the van is in use.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: The cost is calculated according to mileage; the number of riders and the size of the van (minivan to 15-passenger van) the monthly operating cost of the van is divided amongst the riders. The average cost per passenger is $6 to $8 a day. Many employers offer a transit benefit that lowers the cost.
Q: I drive alone and spend less than $70 a month on gas. Are there really any savings for me?
A: Vanpooling not only saves money on gas, it saves wear and tear on your car and reduces routine maintenance costs. Plus, you can save time by using the HOV lanes.
Q: Who will drive the van, and where will we meet?
A: One or more approved volunteers from the group will drive the van. This way, the van stays in possession of the group at all times. Once the group is formed, STAR will work with you to find a convenient central location for all the vanpoolers to meet.
Q: Who keeps the van when it is not in use?
A: Each group decides where the van will be kept. Sometimes, the driver may keep the van for limited personal use.
Q: How do I join a vanpool?
A: Email us at STAR@ridemetro.org or call 713-224-7433.
Q: Who collects the money?
A: You can enjoy the convenience of easy online payments through our online billing system.
Q: What if I have to leave work early? Or stay late?
A: METRO STAR offers an Emergency Ride Home program in case you have an unforeseen emergency, and have to leave work early or stay late.
Q: What if I’m in a vanpool and then decide it’s not for me?
A: Vanpooling is a month-to-month commitment. There are no long-term obligations.