The vanpool is the closest thing to having a chauffeur drive you to work. It does require some compromise. Although the van gets about 15 mpg, if you multiply that by an average of 10 passengers, that is 150 passenger/mpg. That is pretty good mileage. Especially when someone else is paying for the gas.
The "Transit Subsidy Program" (TranBen and Smart Commuter Cards for our purposes) is a program mandated by former president Bill Clinton. TranBen are for vanpools and Smart Commuter Cards are for trains, buses and metro system riders. The program mandates that federal agencies in the Washington Metropolitan Area establish a subsidy program to support alternate methods of commuting. The TranBen are distributed on a quarterly basis. An agent of the Department of Transportation comes here to issue the vouchers. The normal practice is that they will be set up in Building 60-Atrium for a four hour period, twice per calendar quarter. The first time is for normal pick-up and the second time is for make-up. Each participant must come to Building 60 and collect their subsidy. Normally, the vanpool rider will pass the entire three months worth of vouchers over to the treasurer of their vanpool.