When Philip Rannis joined a vanpool, little did he know that he was about to get a whole new life.
And a new wife.
In February 2002, he joined a vanpool sponsored by his employer. And just recently, in December 2013, Philip and his wife, Krisy, celebrated their 10-year anniversary.
It all started innocently enough. Philip and Krisy were co-workers who occasionally saw each other in the hallway and break room. Krisy commuted to work using the convenient company vanpool. And when she found out Philip lived near her, she asked him to share the ride.
“At first I was hesitant because I did not want to be without my car at work. After I thought about it, I decided to give it a try,” said Philip. “Worst case scenario: I would have to spend more time with Krisy in the van as we sat in traffic.”
Before their courtship began in February 2003, Philip and Krisy rode together for a year each workday from their homes in Ontario to their workplace in Brea, a 40-mile round-trip commute that took approximately 90 minutes. “It gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better,” said Philip.
They married 10 months later in December 2003 and now have seven children between them with one grandchild and another on the way. Shortly after their marriage, Krisy and Philip decided it was in the best interest of their growing family for Krisy to stay home with the children. Philip still shares the ride with the vanpool each day, though now that his employer has moved to Irvine his commute is 78 miles round trip.
How much did the vanpool contribute to their relationship? “I cannot say the vanpool was the deciding factor but it certainly did not hurt,” said Philip. “If anyone else had asked me to join their vanpool, I probably would have said no. Then I would have missed out on all the benefits.”
Vanpooling is a stress-free way to get to and from work while helping the environment and saving money. The group shares a commute and all the costs of driving while relaxing or catching up on work and reading. To defray the costs and encourage participation, OCTA provides a $400 monthly subsidy per van. There are currently more than 450 vans in the program.
Individual participants can realize significant savings on gas and vehicle maintenance compared to driving alone. In his 11 years of vanpooling, Philip estimates that he’s saved approximately $300 each month!
There are other benefits for vanpool drivers. Before joining the vanpool, one of Philip’s biggest concerns was being at work without his car. As a driver, however, he can drive the van if he needs to run an errand during work hours.
Joining a vanpool may not lead to a life-long partnership, but it can result in a more pleasant, money-saving commute. Visit octa.net/vanpool to learn more and see if vanpooling could work for you.