Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Commute Trip Reduction News
Downtown: On the Go! – Reinvent Your Commute

The Chamber is proud to partner with the City of Tacoma, Pierce Transit, and Pierce County to be a resource for your downtown business and employees' transportation needs, and to promote transportation efficiency and economic vibrancy downtown. This monthly newsletter keeps you informed of our efforts, how we can assist you, and ways you can be involved.

For information or questions about the Chamber’s Commute Trip Reduction efforts, contact Jessica Holden at 253-627-2175 or jessicah@tacomachamber.org.

Be sure to check out the winners of this month's Chamber Commute Rewards program and find out how you and your employees can enter to win great prizes!

Upcoming Events
RESCHEDULED! Downtown Commuter Social: February 12, 5:30-7 pm – Due to weather, we postponed this event originally scheduled for December. Join us at The Hub Restaurant to socialize with other downtown commuters and sample their tasty appetizers as our way of saying “thanks!” for your smart commuting. Please let Jessica know if you plan to attend.

Mini-Grant Recipients
In December we announced the availability of funds to help start or improve an employer transportation program. Three downtown businesses received these mini-grants to help them build their employer transportation programs. Here are snapshots of what they are doing.

Would your business like a little help getting started? Funds are still available! Contact us if you are interested.

Courtyard by Marriott
With a staff of more than 100 employees and limited parking, the Marriott staff already has quite a few dedicated bicyclists and bus riders. Transportation Specialist Rijya York is using their funds for monthly prizes and incentives to support employees who use commute options and encourage others to give them a try. Employees log their trips on the Piercetrips.com calendar, so Rijya is able to conduct all of their drawings from the comfort of her own computer. Rijya has also met with Pierce Transit to learn about the resources they provide and is partnering with their Relax Rewards program.

United Way of Pierce County
After surveying employees, Transportation Specialist Breanne Compton learned that United Way staff would be more inclined to use public transit if bus passes could simply be picked up at their work place. United Way plans to use their funds from the Chamber to help subsidize transit passes for their employees, as well as conduct raffles and prize drawings for staff who use PierceTrips.com to log their commutes. Breanne will be providing free bus tickets to new transit riders at staff meetings, and they are working with Pierce Transit to facilitate ridesharing. They will also be installing a bike rack outside their building this month – just in time for spring!

The YWCA started an employer transportation program this fall but with a little financial help they were able to get things moving even more. Transportation Specialist Donna Levin applied for a mini-grant to provide a monthly bus pass to an employee who pledges to take the bus at least twice a week, as well as monthly incentives and a grand prize in June. They are also promoting ridesharing by offering a reserved parking space for approved carpools. The YWCA partners with Pierce Transit's Emergency Ride Home and Relax Rewards programs.

Downtown: On the Go! Transportation Partnership
Last month, downtown business leaders formed this partnership to develop and implement solutions to parking and transportation challenges downtown. The group will meet during the next six months and commit to internal policy changes to decrease single occupancy commute trips. They will assist in developing tools, resources and products for downtown businesses and commuters, provide a better understanding of downtown commute routes, and explore the potential of an ongoing partnership to continue coordinating activities and programs and services.

Watch for more news from this exciting partnership!

FREE! February Bus Passes
Are you or your employees interested in trying out the bus this month – for free? The Chamber is excited to offer prospective bus riders a monthly Puget Pass. Please contact Jessica at the Chamber if you are interested.

Are YOU signed up for PierceTrips.com?
If you ever carpool, vanpool, take the bus, walk, or bike to work - even occasionally - you should check out the trip-tracking calendar. It calculates your pollution and cost savings and enters you into great prize drawings. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and fill out the calendar. And if you’re thinking about leaving your car at home (or sharing it with others), piercetrips.com is a great place to learn about your commute options!

December Chamber Commute Rewards Prize Winners
Downtown Chamber commuters who log their trips on PierceTrips.com are automatically entered to win great prizes each month. In January, commuters who logged at least SIX smart commutes (biking, walking, ridesharing, or transit) were eligible!

In February, downtown employees who log at least SIX non-drive alone commute trips will be eligible.

$100.00 Gift Certificate to Merende Restaurant: Kathy Weller, Brown and Brown Insurance

$20.00 Gift Certificate to Puget Sound Pizza: Cathy Weisenbach, Courtyard Marriott & Jesse Chavez, Prium Companies

$20.00 Gift Certificate to Meta Books: Joan Rucker, American Cancer Society & April keys, Courtyard by Marriott

For more information or help using PierceTrips.com, please contact us or visit www.piercetrips.com.

*Special January Drawing!*
Downtown commuters who logged at least ten bus commutes on PierceTrips.com in January were entered to win one of ten FREE February Puget Passes. Congratulations to these winners as well!

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