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NEW VANPOOL FARES & PART-TIME RIDER SERVICE

As part of our ongoing effort to improve our commuter experience, we introduced a new flat rate fare and part-time rider service for our vanpool program in May 2022.

NEW FARE MODEL
The new fares are based exclusively on the daily round trip commute miles of the vehicle. This means Pierce Transit vanpool commuters now have a simple, predictable, and consistent fare each month, regardless of how many people are in a vanpool group or how many days per week they commute.

Daily Round Trip Miles (Vehicle)

Monthly Vanpool Fare Per Rider

< 50

$100

51-75

$125

76-100

$150

101-125

$175

126-150

$200

151+

$225

 

Why did Pierce Transit change vanpool fares?
As you may have noticed, the old vanpool fares were complicated and required a lot of ongoing adjustments each month. They were calculated using three variables: daily round trip miles, group size, and number of commute days. This translated to 420 different fares with over 2,000 possible fare combinations.

To eliminate ongoing adjustments and provide commuters with a predictable and consistent vanpool fare each month, we decided to simplify our fares and move away from a system that was more complicated than it needed to be.

Why do this now?
There are enough things to worry about these days. A fluctuating vanpool fare shouldn’t be one of them. Our goal is to make our commuter experience the best in the business. A simplified flat rate fare is another step in that direction.

The last time we made changes to our vanpool fares was back in 2013. A lot has changed since then. We believe now is the right time to make the transition to a system that provides commuters with increased stability and consistency.

A predictable monthly fare is especially important to our commuters who take advantage of commute subsidies offered by their employer as they often must identify what their vanpool fare is going to be months in advance when submitting subsidy elections.

Did this change the vanpool service?
There are no service changes resulting from the transition to the new flat rate fares. The new fares continue to cover all commuter expenses for participation in the vanpool program, including fuel, maintenance, cleaning, and insurance. Primary drivers continue to have their fare fully subsidized in groups with six or more full-time participants.

PART-TIME RIDER SERVICE

As part of the transition to flat rate fares, we introduced a permanent part-time rider service. This is designed to allow hybrid commuters with a consistent in-office work schedule the ability to join a vanpool group. Part-time riders pay a daily rate based on the daily round trip commute miles of the vehicle.

Daily Round Trip Miles (Vehicle)

Daily Fare Per Rider

< 100

$15

100 +

$20

 

Part-time riders are attached to a full-time commuter vanpool group consisting of three or more full-time participants. They will also receive a fare statement each month like those received by full-time riders. There is no required minimum number of commute days each month for part-time riders. For example, a part-time rider could vanpool as little as one day per month. There is also no maximum number of commute days for part-time riders, however, if part-time riders commute frequently enough it would be advantageous to join as a full-time rider and pay a monthly fare.

Later this year, we are also launching a flexible daily rider service that will allow commuters with a fluctuating in-office work schedule to reserve open seats on qualifying vanpool groups. This will include an online reservation, notification, and payment processing interface at PTVanpool.com. It is anticipated that the flexible daily rider service will launch sometime in the third quarter of 2022.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach out to us at Vanpool@PierceTransit.org or 253.581.8000 (option 3, then 2).

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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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