Pierce County is coordinating an In Motion program to inform Puyallup locals about new methods of transportation, including riding the bus, carpooling, biking and walking.
The program consists of a team of travel advisors that will visit around 5,000 Puyallup residents at their doorsteps. There will be one team leader and six to eight travel advisors.
The team will be equipped with uniforms and identifications as well as transit schedules, neighborhood maps, tote bags and two-week trial transit passes as incentives for participants.
The (Washington) State Department of Transportation was awarded federal clean air grant funds, and Pierce County was one of the recipients of that grant, said Debbie Germer, Pierce County transportation planner who is the In Motion project lead.
“We’ve been paying attention to King County Metro and they’ve had several In Motion programs,” Germer said.
Similar In Motion programs have had similar success, but Puyallup’s is the first that uses the concept of travel advisors visiting door to door.
Our goal for the outcome of the project is that residents will be more informed about various travel options.
Katie Baker, senior planner
The team hopes the program will bring a more personal approach for travel education, but also wants to help residents with their specific transportation schedule, whether it’s a work trip or a personal trip, a short commute or a long one.
“This (program) is looking at how residents get around town locally, not just how to get to work,” Germer said. “It’s providing residents an opportunity to explore different ways of travel for all types of trips.”
For short trips, the team can help set up a walking or biking commute. For longer trips, there’s carpooling, train or bus transit strategies to take advantage of.
“Our goal for the outcome of the project is that residents will be more informed about various travel options,” said Katie Baker, Puyallup’s senior planner. “We hope to see a shift and that people will choose to ride their bikes to the library instead of drive their car.”
Benefits of alternative transportation can help reduce negative environmental effects, traffic congestion and can help people be more active, said Baker.
Similar projects have seen a 5- to 15-percent reduction of non-drive alone travel options, and the Puyallup In Motion team hopes to reach the same.
The neighborhood outreach plan started Aug. 16, with the first week consisting of training the advisors for their visits. The team will leave a door hanger with contact information for households that are not available. Advisors will never ask to enter a resident’s household.
The team will continue vising houses until Oct. 15. For more information and a map of the project’s survey area, visit cityofpuyallup.org/1116/Puyallup-In-Motion.