Vanpool Vantage Newsletter

May - June 2013

 
Farewell to a Friend

The Pierce Transit Vanpool team lost a dear friend on April 30, 2013 when Automotive Technician Dan Sciacqua passed away peacefully in his home. Dan was part of a vanpool maintenance team who we daresay is one of the best around.

Dan LOVED (and collected) cars – his favorite was his '69 El Camino SS 396. He and his wife, Dixie (also a PT employee), enjoyed vacations at car shows and races, most recently the March NASCAR races in Las Vegas. Dan made his passion his livelihood by working as a PT vanpool mechanic for the past 32 years. He loved to explain the workings and features of the different vehicles, and always had a fun story to share. He also loved our crazy vanpool incentive programs back in the day – some vanpool veterans may remember his favorite, involving "Vanna Poola White".

Dan was a kind, outgoing person, always positive. He maintained an upbeat, selfless attitude even during his toughest last days, kiddingly referring to himself as a "short-timer" and asking others to please take care of Dixie.

We will miss you, Dan the Man.



Vantage Newsletter is hereNew Newsletter Format

We're pleased to present our cool new ONLINE Vantage Point newsletter! Current vanpool customers are already signed up – no need to subscribe. New vanpoolers may subscribe on the main Vanpool page of our website.

The newsletter will continue to be our main venue for communicating key information to our customers, including important updates, changes to our program, etc. Please enjoy the updated format. We'd love to hear your thoughts about our new look!


Online Payment is Here!

You may have noticed a new, much-requested feature on our new website . . . ONLINE vanpool payments! You asked for it, and we are delivering.

We're introducing this exciting new feature with a "soft" rollout in June – by inviting a few groups to pay their June fares online, ask questions, and provide feedback. We'll then use that info to finish up our Q&A and instructions for all vanpool customers.

All groups are invited to participate in online payment starting in July. Instructions and procedures will be provided to all groups in mid-June.

If your group has a burning desire to be part of the soft rollout in June, please contact your vanpool coordinator.

Thanks for your cooperation!


New Vanpool Fare Charts Available

Pierce Transit vanpool fares increased on May 1. You'll find the new fare charts on our website under Vanpool Fares, or just click here. Note: Toll fees are found at the bottom of the chart. They are payable with monthly vanpool fares, which are due in Pierce Transit's offices between the 1st and 10th of each month.


May is Bike Month

National Bike Month is a chance to celebrate traveling on two wheels and the many reasons we ride. Whether you bike to save money or time, to preserve your health or the environment, to explore your community or get to your destination, get involved in Bike Month.

The 2013 Bike Commuter Challenge is in full swing (May 1-31), and there are still plenty of opportunities to get out and ride! Sign up as a team or as an individual at PierceTrips.com. Log at least five days in May and you could win an overnight getaway to Portland with travel on Amtrak! Other prizes include gift certificates to Tacoma Bike, bike tune-ups, and team pizza parties. To participate, your place of employment must be located in Pierce County.

Bike to Work Week is May 13-17. Shake up your commute and consider riding your bike to catch the vanpool – vanpoolers may equip vans with bike racks that do not alter the structure of the vehicle, i.e., no bolts or screws. Contact your PT vanpool coordinator with any questions.

For a complete list of 2013 Bike Month events, check out PierceTrips.com, KingCounty.gov, and IntercityTransit.com.


May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

The start of spring is a sign to every motorcyclist that riding season is here. Especially in the Northwest where few motorcyclists ride during fall and winter months, now is the time you'll see an increase in the number of motorcycles on the streets and highways.

Vanpool drivers, please remember that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to crashes than other drivers. Help keep everyone safe by following these safety tips:

  • Respect motorcyclists' space in traffic. Remember, motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as any other motor vehicle on the roadway – give a motorcycle the full lane width – never try to share a lane, and allow at least four seconds' following distance.
  • Be extra cautious at intersections. Most crashes occur when a motorist fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle. Look left-right-left before turning.
  • Consciously watch out for small hazards (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles) in addition to larger hazards (cars, trucks, buses). Riders can be difficult to see on busy roads because of their smaller size and profile. Visibility is among one of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes each year.
  • Lean forward in your seat to check side mirrors before changing lanes to help eliminate blind spots.

Thanks for doing your part to safely share the road with motorcycles, and for being extra alert and cautious when they are nearby.


Vanpool Tidbits
  • Vanpoolers, please be sure to help keep the van clean and neat. Discard trash and recyclable items before bringing the van to Pierce Transit for service. We have limited dumpster/recycle space. Thank you!
  • Vanpool bookkeepers: Thanks for so efficiently submitting new participant agreements as new riders join your groups! If a new rider's employer subsidizes vanpool fares via ORCA Passport, please remember to also submit a copy of the rider's employer-provided ORCA card. Thanks.

Today's environmental tip from AIRNow:

During hot weather, don't top off your gas tank. Refuel your vehicle in the early morning or in the evening when it's cooler. A small fuel spill may not seem like much, but every spill evaporates and adds to air pollution, and fuel pumps with vapor recovery systems can feed a spill back into their tanks – after you've already paid for it. So, in hot weather – don't top off!

For more information: www.epa.gov/donttopoff/
Podcast: www.epa.gov/earthday/podcasts


Summer Ferry Rates

Washington State Ferries' peak season began Wednesday, May 1, with an additional 25 percent surcharge applied to full fare vehicle/driver tickets (35 percent on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands routes). Summer parking rates at Anacortes also went into effect on May 1.

Peak-season rates are unchanged from 2012. The surcharge does not affect passenger fares or frequent user multi-ride fares.

© 2016 Pierce Transit, All Rights Reserved. Site Design and Development by SiteCrafting.

Trip Planner Help

Trip Planner Tips - Entering Locations

To create a trip plan you need to enter both a starting location (origin) and an ending location (destination). For information about stops, schedules, or service at a specific location, you only need to enter one location.

The Trip Planner recognizes most street intersections and addresses as well as many landmarks in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties. If what you entered is not immediately recognized, the Trip Planner will offer you a list of options. You can choose one of the options, but if your intended location is not there, select the "Revise Original Entries" link to return to the entry page and change the entries you have already made.

Addresses

  • You don't need to type in the city along with the address. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type 110 Jones instead of 110 Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 1000 Main instead of 1000 S Main. But type 1000 West Viewmont for 1000 West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets and addresses are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby location, such as an intersection or a landmark.
  • You should not enter the suite number or apartment number.  Just the house number and street name (Example: type in 401 Broadway instead of 401 Broadway Avenue Suite 800).

Intersections

  • The "&" symbol is the only character used between two street names to show an intersection. (Examples: 1st & B, James & Madison)
  • You don't need to type in the city. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type Conifer & Jones instead of Conifer Circle & Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 3rd & Main instead of 3rd S & S Main. But type 34th & West Viewmont for 34th W & West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby intersection or a landmark.

Landmarks

Government Sites: Pierce County Health Dept, Pierce Co Sheriffs Office, Tacoma City Hall

Major Commercial Sites: Tacoma Mall, Sheraton Hotel

Transportation Facilities: Sea-Tac Airport, Greyhound Bus Depot

Schools & Colleges: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Community College

Sports & Leisure: Cheney Stadium, Pt Defiance Zoo

Medical Facilities: Group Health, Tacoma General Hospital


 

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