Vanpool drivers volunteer their services and in exchange get a number of benefits, including a fee reduction and a mileage allotment for limited personal use of the van. The mileage allotment allows drivers to run personal errands during the work day, with a few restrictions. Drivers can be a Primary, Co-Driver or Back-up Driver and receive a reduction in their monthly vanpool fares; primary drivers do not pay a monthly fee, co-drivers split a regular monthly fee, and back up drivers receive a 25% discount on the regular monthly fee.
Driver Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to become a vanpool driver a person must have all of the following:
A minimum of 5 years of general driving experience; have no at-fault accidents in the 3 years prior to assuming driver responsibilities and not more than one during any 3-year period while performing vanpool driver responsibilities; have no more than 1 moving violation in the 3 years prior to assuming driver responsibilities and not more than 2 during any 3-year period while performing vanpool driver responsibilities; have no Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses in the 5 years prior to assuming driver responsibilities or while performing vanpool driver responsibilities; have no disqualifying action taken against his/her driving license or certificate i.e., Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) suspension or revocation at any time.
Driver Duties and Responsibilities
Vanpool drivers are responsible for all of the following:
Ensure daily operation of the vanpool with the assistance of back-up drivers according to the University annual calendar; completing a daily safety check before operating the van; always using seatbelts when operating the van and advising all passengers to use seatbelts; maintaining a list of all passengers and only allowing passengers who have paid and have clearance from the vanpool coordinator to ride; keeping a daily log of riders, mileage and other records as required by the University; providing a secure (preferably off-street) overnight parking place for the van; locking and removing keys when the van is unattended; taking the van to Fleet Services weekly to be fueled; submitting a mileage log and daily passenger ridership roster from previous month to the vanpool coordinator by the tenth day of the month; scheduling and making van available for monthly cleaning.
Other duties include: taking the van to Fleet Services every 6000 miles for preventative maintenance; taking the van to Fleet Services immediately for safety related issues or for any mechanical problems; contacting passengers and the vanpool coordinator as soon as possible in case of any break in vanpool service; attending driver meetings as scheduled; training passengers on use of the bike rack and ensure that racks are secure before the van is in motion (note: driver is not responsible for loading or unloading passenger bikes).
Vanpool Driver Training Requirements
Initial Training is for new vanpool drivers and requires a time commitment of approximately 4 to 5 hours. Each potential driver or back-up driver is required to successfully complete the vanpoool driver application and training process including all of the following: filling out all required paperwork; obtaining and submitting a current Department of Motor Vehicles driver's record report; reading the Class C Driver's Handbook and selected sections of the Commercial Driver's Handbook; taking an at-home or in-your-office open book test consisting of 50 questions.
Candidates must also get a medical exam where a medical professional completes the Medical Examination Report DL 51 to certify that a person meets the medical standards to operate a commercial motor vehicle. TAPS supplies a recharge form to pay for exams done at Doctors On Duty. Each completed medical exam certification is valid for 2 years.
Candidates must also schedule and complete a training session with the TAPS Trainer. The driver training takes a minimum of 2 hours (maximum of 3 hours); can be done is one session or split into two sessions. Training sessions consist of instruction in vehicle checkout/components and defensive driving (1 hour), skills assessment and training in vehicle manuevering including backing, alley dock, forward stop, and measured right turn (1/2 hour), and driving in a variety of locations that include on-campus, Westside Santa Cruz, in town, on highway, and mountain driving (1+ hour). This training is done in the same type of vehicle the driver will be driving as a vanpool driver.
When a potential driver is unable to demonstrate competency after 3 hours of training TAPS will conduct additional training after which TAPS may determine that the candidate is ineligible to become a vanpool driver.
Refresher Training Requirements
During the year that a driver's Medical Exam is due (once every 2 years) the driver is required to watch a one-hour take-home video, and respond to a series of written questions. During the alternate year the driver must participate in a one-hour group training session that is held on campus. Safety techniques and program issues that have come up during the year are presented and discussed; the one-hour refresher training may include presentations from Risk Services and Campus Police. These in-person sessions are offered at least twice yearly.