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Vantage Newsletter Archive

Tell us about it
Wanna win a $25 gift card?  Send us a 100+ word story about your vanpool experience and we’ll enter you in a drawing for one of 20 - $25 gift cards!  Talk about easy money! Send us a picture to go along with the story, and we’ll enter you twice.

Got writer's block?  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • How long have you been vanpooling?  Why do you vanpool?
  • Tell us about your craziest commute day ever.
  • Have you ever calculated how much you save by commuting on the vanpool?  What have you used the savings for?
  • Describe the relationships you have with your fellow vanpool riders.
  • Do you and the other members of your van get together for picnics or other outings?

Email your stories to bdavis@piercetransit.org or lcunningham@piercetransit.org. Or send stories to Pierce Transit,  Attn: VantagePoint Newsletter-Vanpool, PO Box 99070, Lakewood, WA 98496-0070.  Stories must be received by Friday, October 17.


Pleased to report
pleased to report In case you haven’t heard the good news…Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners resolved to maintain the current vanpool service area, which is countywide.  We are very happy to continue serving vanpools that start or end in Pierce County! In addition, several months ago, the board asked staff to research the costs of contracting vanpool services. Based on the results of the study, it was determined that Pierce Transit will continue providing vanpool services in house. 


SR 167 HOT lanes - changes
This summer, WSDOT is getting rid of the double white lines on SR 167 HOT lanes and replacing them with a single white line. Drivers will be able to enter and exit the HOT lanes nearly anywhere along the corridor.  Follow this link for details: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/SR167HotLanes/access.htm


Tacoma Dome Station – access change
You may have noticed Pierce Transit recently closed the easternmost gate at Tacoma Dome Station (on East G Street). The gate will remain closed at all times, except during special events. The East G Street bus bay expansion project, scheduled for Spring 2015 completion, will introduce additional bus and pedestrian traffic on the east side of TDS.  This change will improve pedestrian and vehicular safety and decrease non-commuter walk-through traffic.


Keep your cash, pay online
keep your cash pay online By popular demand, we now offer an online payment option for any and all of your vanpool payments, including fares, tolls and personal use payments. It just takes a debit or credit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo.  Also, to more efficiently process checks, vouchers, cashier’s checks and money orders, we recently upgraded to an electronic deposit system.  The new system does not process cash; instead, please pay online at https://www.piercetransit.org/pay-for-fare/.  It’s quick and easy, and there are no added fees.


Bookkeepers: If you receive cash payments, please DO NOT SEND CASH in the mail!  Write a receipt and hand deliver any cash payments to Pierce Transit.

Bookkeeper bits
Want to earn brownie points for being a top notch bookkeeper? Here are some tips and reminders to help you be the bookkeeper of our dreams:

  • Individual payments are due to you, or to Pierce Transit online, before the 1st of each month. Please hold riders on your van accountable for paying on time. This makes things run more smoothly for everyone!
  • Reports and payments  must reach Pierce Transit by the 10th of each month; receiving reports even earlier helps us manage the high volume of reports we receive and allows us to follow up quickly on any questions or discrepancies we come across.
  • All checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks must be payable to Pierce Transit (not Pierce County Transit, etc.).
  • Please do not staple or fold checks, vouchers, etc. This can affect timely processing of payments.
  • Remove voucher stubs before sending to us; these are for the payor’s records.

Thank you for all you do!  We appreciate you and the time you dedicate to the smooth operation of your vanpool!


Driver reminders
Accident Reporting Citations and accidents: Please report any citation or accident to your vanpool coordinator immediately, whether received in the vanpool van, your personal vehicle, or any other vehicle you drive. We monitor driving activity for all vanpool drivers and receive notification of new infractions… but we prefer to hear it from you first!

Accident reporting: You already know accidents are a hassle, not to mention the resulting paperwork.  Please complete your accident report as soon as possible after the event to ensure that you remember as many details as possible.  After all, more detailed information is always better!
 
It is the responsibility of the driver at the time of the accident to submit the following to Pierce Transit, within 24 hours of the event:

  1. A completed Pierce Transit Vanpool Traffic Collision Report.  Please complete the entire report, both sides.  Hard copy forms are in the accident pouch in the van to get things started. The form is also available online.
  2. Digital pictures of the van and any object(s) the van came into contact with.  Take no photos of injured persons, please. Some vans still have the disposable camera, but if you have a cell phone or digital camera – they produce the best pictures and there is no development time.  Instructions for taking the photos are in the accident kit in the van. Please take time to review and become familiar with the process.
  3. Courtesy cards from witnesses, those on the van at the time, and bystanders.  These are very important to us so please enlist witnesses to jot down what they saw, heard, etc. 

Note: The driver at the time of the accident needs to complete the State of Washington Motor Vehicle Collision Reportand send it directly to the State of Washington within 4 days.  This is required when there was bodily injury or $700+ in property damage to any one person’s property. These days, you can bet that will be more often than not. Also, please send a copy of the report to Pierce Transit. If this form is not in the accident kit, you can pick one up at any WA State Patrol office, or complete it online at http://www.wsp.wa.gov.   If a law enforcement officer investigates the collision, you don’t need to complete a WA State collision report. The investigating officer will file one.

Thank you for all your help in the accident investigation process!  Remember, you are our eyes and ears out there!


Vanpool winners!

Relax Rewards: Congratulations to Pierce Transit vanpoolers who won gift cards in the 2nd Quarter Relax Rewards drawing:

  • Sherri Cooney-Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, $50
  • Keith Manley-Madigan Health Care System, $50
  • Sue Martin-Propel Insurance, $25
  • John Pigott-Port of Tacoma, $50
  • Marilyn Reid-Regence/Cambia Health Solutions, $100

Summer Smart Commute Rewards: Congratulations to Pierce Transit vanpooler, Terren Otis (DSHS), who won a $100 Sports Authority gift card during the Summer Smart Commute rewards promotion, which ran from July 1 – 31.

PierceTrips is excited to launch their revamped website! Check out the new site and learn more about PierceTrips by clicking here.

© 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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