Commute Smart Options

Ready to save time and money with a Smart Commute?
PLU offers lots of options:

Driving Alone
Riding the Bus
Carpooling and Vanpooling
Compressed Work Week and Working from Home

How Much Can You Save?

If you drive alone, the commute cost calculator can show you how much money you spend on your commute and the savings other commute options could offer.

Driving Alone

Employees who regularly choose a Commute Smart option can still drive alone to work a few days a month when they need to take care of outside business, personal errands, or other side trips. Driving alone every day, however, can be hard on your pocketbook and the environment. Use the commute cost calculator to see the impact!

Riding the Bus

With local bus routes that include direct service to PLU, it’s easier than ever to catch the bus to campus. The bus can be a great option for employees whose home is near a bus stop or a convenient Park and Ride. Below are some helpful links for those who are interested in, or who are currently riding the bus.

PLU’s Transit Benefit
Complete details on how to receive PLU’s generous regional ORCA pass for employees or subsidized monthly passes for eligible commuter students.

Pierce Transit Website
Online trip planning, real time bus information, route information, rider alerts, and more from Pierce County’s comprehensive local bus service. If you’ve never ridden the bus, there’s also a first-time users guide.

Park and Ride Lots
A comprehensive list of Puget Sound Park and Ride lots. Park your car for free and save wear and tear on your car by riding the bus to work.

Carpooling and Vanpooling

Carpooling and vanpooling are smart ways to share your ride and your commute expenses. A carpool is a group of two or more persons who share the ride to work. Because a carpool can operate every workday, or only on certain days, it is one of the most flexible and convenient ways to commute.

A vanpool is a prearranged group of five to fifteen people who share their commute to and from work or school. The group enjoys a low monthly fare and a comfortable commute in an 8, 12, or 15-car passenger vanpool vehicle. Riding in a vanpool allows you to save wear and tear on your own vehicle, and can offer great cost savings.

PLU Carpooling Regulations
Regulations and form for becoming a registered carpool at PLU.

PLU faculty and staff can network to arrange their own carpools/vanpools to and from campus, or anywhere else for that matter. Share the cost of commuting while meeting people. Visit or contact the University Transportation Coordinator for more information.


Simply put, bicycling and walking are the most inexpensive and efficient forms of transportation for short trips to work. To support our “non-pollute” commuters, PLU offers convenient campus bike racks and lockers, as well as showers and clothing lockers (located in the gym on lower campus).

If your commute is too long to bicycle the entire way, some portion of your trip could be combined with transit. For example, some employees ride their bikes from home to a Park and Ride or a bus stop, then take the bus. All Pierce Transit buses are equipped with bike racks.

Below are some helpful links for Bicycle Commuting:

Paul Dorn’s Bike Commuting Tips
Complete advice on bike commuter essentials, such as re-examining your route, safely sharing the road, and more.

Bicycle Maps
Find bike maps for Pierce, King, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston Counties. Explore local trails and lower-traffic roads that will make your bicycle commute a breeze.

PLU Bicycle Rack and Locker Locations
Utilize the the security offered at PLU during your bicycle commuting experience.

Tacoma Wheelman’s Bicycle Club
Getting into biking? Join the Wheelmen for one of their weekend rides.

Bicycle Alliance of Washington
The Bicycle Alliance advocates for bicyclists and promotes cycling to build a bicycle-friendly Washington.

Compressed Work Week and Working from Home

Compressed work weeks reduce the number of days an employee works in a given period. With a compressed work week, the total number of hours an employee works does not change–only the way his or her hours are scheduled. For instance, one of the most common forms of a compressed work week is the 4/10 schedule, where forty hours are worked in four 10-hour days, thus reducing the employee’s commute trips by 20%. Compressed work weeks must be approved through one’s supervisor and Human Resources.

Working from home, or teleworking, may provide benefits such as improved productivity, improved morale, and reduced absenteeism. However, it’s not for everyone. Employees who work from home must be self-motivated, results-oriented, and able to work independently. As with compressed work weeks, work from home arrangements must be approved through one’s supervisor and Human Resources.