The catalyst to develop CalVans occurred when a government employee who was living in Visalia and traveling to Corcoran learned that Caltrans was pulling the van they had been providing for her commute. The state employee reached out to Kings Area Rural Transit (KART) to request assistance with her transportation needs.
The Board discussed the possibility of acquiring a van for her and her coworkers, and approved the purchase with one condition: all costs to use the van would have to be recouped from those participating in the vanpool. The endeavor proved both self-sustaining and successful.
The project, which began in 2001 with one van, expanded well beyond the boundaries of Kings County, and became known as CalVans. Today, CalVans has grown to include hundreds of vanpools tailored to meet the needs not only of government employees, but also student populations and commuters working in a variety of California industries.