- Getting Around
Spring 2015 Vanpool Newsletter
Meet Vanessa, our new Vanpool Assistant Custodian. She was hired in December of 2014, and her duties include (other than lifesaver extraordinaire) washing, vacuuming and fueling the spare van fleet. She also ensures your spare vans are stocked with all the right supplies, and helps with office tasks as available. Vanessa is dedicated to making our vanpool service run smoother – and she definitely succeeds!
Vanessa is also a very kind and compassionate person. She devotes her free time to her family and volunteering at JBLM (where her spouse works).
If you happen to do a van swap between 7-10am, you may see Vanessa working in our lot. Please join us in welcoming her to the team!
How does your commute compare?
Thank you for completing our Commute Times Audit. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires this data for the National Transit Database (NTD), and these stats help with annual reporting requirements for the transit industry nationally.
Curious about how your commute compares to other Pierce Transit vanpools? Here are a few highlights from the 2014 audit:
Highest round trip miles traveled: 158 miles
Average round trip miles traveled: 64 miles
Longest round trip commute time: 2 hours
Average round trip commute time: 54 minutes
Thanks again – we appreciate you helping us comply with this requirement.
WELCOME our newest vanpool groups!
Here are the latest smart commuters to form new Pierce Transit vanpools. These folks join the ranks of many others and are now saving money on their commute, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and improving the environment.
|1762||VA Medical Center, Seattle||Lakewood||0800-1630|
|1766||Madigan Army Medical Center||Olympia||0730-1600|
|1768||Western State Hospital||Gig Harbor||0730-1600|
|1770||Boeing, Garden Plaza, Renton||Lake Tapps||0600-1430|
|1771||Madigan Army Medical Center||Puyallup||0700-1600|
|1773||TSA - SeaTac Airport||Tacoma||0345-1215|
|1774||Puget Sound Naval Shipyard||Tacoma||0630-1600|
|1775||Puget Sound Naval Shipyard||Lakewood||0720-1602|
|1776||State Farm, Tacoma||Belfair||0630-1530|
|1777||Army Reserve Command||Tacoma||0700-1530|
Incentives Now on the Web
We are excited to announce the addition of our new Incentives page on our website! Check out the details on how you can qualify for our Safe Driver incentive (through March 31): HERE
And here’s a sneak peek of our upcoming First Month Free incentive:
Spring Incentive – First Month FREE!
Excellent news: Pierce Transit Vanpool is offering, for the first time ever, a First Month Free incentive: New vanpool groups starting operation April 1 – July 1 pay ZERO vanpool fare for the first month of operation. OR, choose a $100 gift card instead – rider’s choice.
Here are some frequently-asked questions (and answers!) about this incentive . . .
Q:I’m already on a vanpool. What’s in it for me?
A: Be a recruiter! Recruiters cash in as well and will receive a $25 gift card for each monthly rider referred to a new group (maximum reward is $125). To be eligible for the recruiter reward, your recruit must be a monthly rider in the group’s first month of operation.
Q: I’m a current PT vanpooler but my work hours are changing and I want to start a new group. How can I qualify for First Month Free?
A: We will form First Month Free vanpools according to our usual rules for new formations: 1. Before forming a new group, we’ll first ensure that you can’t be served by an existing Pierce Transit vanpool. 2. Formation of the new group must not cause disbandment of an existing Pierce Transit vanpool.
Q: How can I qualify as a recruiter?
A: Recruiter name must be reported at the time the new rider joins. Have your new recruit(s) write, “Referred by: Your Name” on their participant agreement.
Find this and other vanpool incentives on the Pierce Transit website. And as always, log your smart commute trips at PierceTrips.com (Pierce County employers) and RideshareOnline.com to be eligible for even more rewards.
12th Man appreciation winners
Football season is over and we are left feeling a little, well…deflated. But the Hawks had an outstanding year and we still have something to cheer about…for instance, PT Vanpool’s 12th Fan Appreciation Drawing! We figure if you’ve vanpooled a year or more, vanpooling is a healthy habit in your life (healthy for you, your wallet, and the environment), and that deserves a little somethin’.
So for the 12 days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, we conducted a random drawing to reward 12 vanpoolers who’ve been with us for at least 12 months. Recipients of the appreciation rewards received a $25 gift code to the Seattle Seahawks Team Store.
But wait! There’s more! By popular demand, we ADDED an appreciation award for vanpoolers who have been our customers for 12+ YEARS. And we’re pleased to say there are more than 80 of you (of approximately 2,600 total current customers) who have indeed vanpooled with Pierce Transit for 12+ years! We did a random drawing of those. And the winner is….
Gloria Leary, who works at Puget Sound Energy! Gloria has been a Pierce Transit vanpooler since 2001, and we’re happy to say “thank you” by emailing her a $50 gift code to the Seattle Seahawks Team Store.
Thanks again for making Pierce Transit Vanpool a part of your daily routine!
Told ya cheering the Seahawks on to TWO consecutive Super Bowls wasn’t the only cool thing about the number 12…
What do fellow vanpoolers say about Pierce Transit?
It’s nice to be appreciated. It makes our day, so we’re sharing because we hope it makes you smile, too…
“I’m so thankful for Pierce Transit & my employer for the opportunity to vanpool since December 2000. Everyone at Pierce Transit is always kind, helpful and smiling. I’ve been a primary driver, bookkeeper & backup driver during my vanpool time, and appreciate being able to nap or check social media as a rider. I gave myself a raise when I moved from San Diego to the Seattle/Tacoma area by joining the vanpool. It’s saved me a ton of money over the years. Thank you for all you do!”
~ Rya C., Van #7161, State Farm, Dupont
To submit comments about vanpooling, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If and when the battery light in your van comes on, notify your vanpool coordinator. We need to know about it right away so we can schedule you to pick up a replacement van. We don’t want you to end up with a dead battery and then have to wait on us to bring you a new van. Notifying us immediately saves you time, and saves us time and money.
Lane change tips
Did you know that in 2014, your Pierce Transit vanpool team fielded 113 safety-related complaints? Many of those had to do with lane changes.
We realize that lane changes are sometimes necessary. Examples of appropriate reasons to change lanes include:
- Your lane is ending.
- You are preparing to exit the highway/freeway.
- You plan to turn at an upcoming intersection that requires you to be in another lane.
- You are approaching hazards or obstacles in your lane.
Making a safe and courteous lane change requires planning and awareness: Scan the road ahead and plan in advance. Notice what other drivers are doing. Watch out for: pedestrians about to step onto the road, other vehicles reducing speed, and drivers about to merge across your lane. Brake lights in front of you could indicate trouble ahead. Cars beginning to slow down will usually hit their brakes giving a vital warning to alert drivers behind. LEARN MORE
When changing lanes, use this simple five-step process recommended by our insurance carrier, Washington State Transit Insurance Pool (WSTIP):
- Use a four-second following distance (under good driving conditions)
- Signal 100 feet in advance
- Check your rearview mirror; lean forward to check side mirrors
- Look over your shoulder to ensure the lane you are merging in to is clear
- If it is safe, change lanes and re-establish your cushion of safety
It’s never worth weaving in and out of lanes or making an unsafe lane change to save a few seconds. Thanks for keeping safety first.
The term “aggressive driving” covers a range of unsafe driving behavior. Speeding, tailgating or passing on the shoulder, weaving in and out of traffic, refusing to allow others to pass or merge, running red lights, flashing high beams, or any combination of these activities generally are considered aggressive driving.
As a Pierce Transit vanpool driver, it is essential that you refrain from driving aggressively. But what if you witness someone else driving aggressively?
- Avoid eye contact
- Give the aggressive driver plenty of space
- Be patient and remain calm
- Ignore gestures and refuse to return them
- Never underestimate a driver’s capacity for anger
Aggressive driving – AAA video: HERE
Update your contact info online
You can now easily update your address, phone number, or email address with Pierce Transit! Just follow the link below, scroll to the bottom of the page, select your vanpool coordinator, and provide your updated information. Hit submit and that’s it! We will update our records with your new info. Learn More.