To the editor:
The article in the Lawrence Journal-World (Aug. 20) briefly mentioned the state van pool program. I would like to expand on that.
If you commute to Topeka from Lawrence, you know how much gas prices are at the pump. There are misconceptions that 1) the van pool is free and 2) only the state employees can ride it. Neither one are correct. From its inception, the van pool has always been self-supported by its riders. The mileage rates the riders pay are determined by the Department of Administration (DoA).
It is true that to start and maintain a van pool, you need a certain number of state-employed riders. However, once the van pool is established, the remaining spots can be filled by anyone. Every van has its permanent riders but every van also has room for standby riders. As a standby, you will fill the seat of a permanent rider who is not on the van for that day and believe me, the chances of finding a space in the van are very good.
Currently, there are eight vans that make the daily trip from Lawrence to Topeka. The trick is to find one that matches your time schedule and office location. The list of the state van pool coordinators is available through DoA.