What is Pierce Trips?
Pierce Trips is your one-stop center for commute options in Pierce County. At this web site you will discover new ways to commute to work or school, link to services to help with your commute decisions, and find information about providing a commute options program at your worksite.
What is the Pierce Trips Calendar?
The Pierce Trips Calendar is a way to track your commute trips. When you record your trips, you become more aware of your daily transportation choices and patterns. If you are looking for opportunities to use commute options more often, recording your trips can help you.
We'll also tell you how many vehicle miles you eliminated and how much air pollution you've prevented from being emitted. Plus, you show support for the program and help encourage others to take part.
Unless you opt-out when registering, the calendar is also used as the prize entry form for county and statewide promotions. Qualifying trips will be automatically entered into these various promotions. Through these promotions you may win prizes such as a vacation get-away or gift cards. Currently the Pierce Trips Calendar is the entry form for Relax Rewards, Wheel Options and Bike to Work.
Pierce Transit, Pierce County, and the City of Tacoma are not responsible for technical failures in entry transmission, or lost, late, misdirected, damaged, incomplete, illegible, or postage due entries. Entry constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use the winner's name, hometown, and any text submitted for the purposes of promotion on behalf of Pierce Trips. Pierce Trips reserves the right to request a short interview and picture from winners for the purposes of promotion on behalf of Pierce Trips.
I'm not interested in prizes or material rewards. How do I opt-out of the prize drawings?
When you register as a new user, you can select the opt-out box at the bottom of the page. If you are already registered, you can edit your registration information by clicking the “edit my personal data” link at the bottom of your calendar.
What counts as an alternative commute option to driving alone?
Any trip made by walking, bicycling, carpool, vanpool, train or bus that replaces a drive-alone vehicle trip. Also trips not made to the worksite because of the result of your compressed workweek schedule or teleworking. Trips can be recorded by anyone age 18 or older traveling to employment or school sites in Pierce County.
I used more than one mode, which one should I record?
Select the commute mode you used for the longest portion of your trip. To receive credit for using a commute mode other than driving alone, it needs to be at least 51% of your trip.
To count carpooling, you need to share the ride with at least one other person who is 16 years or older. Telework is working from home or a satellite office close to home and not making the trip into your worksite.
How do I count my Compressed Work Week Schedule
Track only the days that you have off from work because of a compressed work week schedule. For example if you work 4-10 hour days and take Friday off, because of your compressed schedule, then select only Friday as Compressed Work week day off (CW). This mode is not available to part-time work schedules.
Are other types of foot-powered transportation eligible under the "walking" category?
Yes, as long as it is a method of transportation where the foot is in contact with the ground, it is eligible in the "walking" category. This includes skateboards, jogging, rollerblading, and non-motorized scooters, as long as the trip replaces a drive-alone vehicle trip. It does not include Segways.
How do the Auto Fill features work on the Commute Calendar?
If you make the same trip weekly, every weekday, or every single day, you only have to enter the trip information one time. Then you can easily copy it to other days during the calendar month.
Click the calendar on a date you made the trip and enter the information about that trip. Check the appropriate Auto Fill box, and then click Submit Trip. You'll see the trip copied to other days on the calendar. To make adjustments to any of those days, click on the calendar and edit or delete the day's trip as needed.
Are there any tax consequences for being a prize winner?
As stated by the IRS, subject to certain exceptions, the cash value of prizes or awards won in a drawing, quiz show program, beauty contest, or other event, must be included on the tax return as taxable income. Taxpayers must also report the fair market value of merchandise or products won as a prize or award, as taxable income.
Pierce Trips and partnering organizations will comply with the IRS reporting requirements for prize winners. According to the 2008 IRS instructions, the organization must submit a Form 1099-MISC for any person receiving over $600 in prizes and awards. Recipients of prizes qualifying for a 1099-MISC must agree to provide the information necessary for the 1099-MISC in order to receive their prize; they should expect to receive their forms in time to file their appropriate tax returns.
What if I drive a hybrid vehicle?
If there is more than one person (16+ old) in the car for the commute, then the hybrid vehicle may count as a carpool. Driving alone in a hybrid vehicle may reduce fuel usage and emissions, but does not reduce traffic congestion. Therefore, driving alone in a hybrid vehicle is not an eligible non-drive alone commute trip.
Why are motorcycles not included as an alternative mode?
A goal of the program is to encourage transportation methods that reduce traffic congestion. Even given the relative size of a motorcycle to a car, they are still a vehicle using our roadways. We believe that the best way to encourage people to use fewer vehicles overall is to encourage walking, biking, ridesharing, or riding the bus or train.
Another goal of the program is to reduce air pollution. According to the EPA, current motorcycle engines pollute at a rate 90 times higher per mile than passenger cars or even a large sport utility vehicle. More information on this issue may be found through the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
A motorcycle qualifies as a carpool only if more than one person is riding the same cycle.
What if I use a scooter or power-assisted bicycle?
Power-assisted bicycles qualify as a bicycle. Motorized scooters of any type, whether meeting license requirements or not, count towards the program only when more than one person is sharing the commute, for the same reasons as listed above for motorcycles.
How did you calculate how much pollution I prevented and how much money I saved by using options other than driving alone?
We used information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emission Facts (PDF 120K) to calculate the average emissions and fuel consumption for passenger cars. The document also contains statistics for SUVs and light trucks.
We used AAA statistics on average gas prices in Washington State to calculate money saved. If prices change dramatically, we'll update the price used in our calculation.
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Who sponsors Pierce Trips?
Pierce Trips is a cooperative program sponsored by Pierce Transit, Pierce County and the City of Tacoma. Development of the site and calendar was paid through a federal grant.