Faculty/Staff Commuting Options

Faculty and staff: Let us help you plan your commute to and from work. We’ll help you take advantage of subsidies that encourage the use of alternative transportation, and we’ll help you customize your route.

Commute Trip Reduction Incentives

SPU Employee ORCA Card

The ORCA card reflects SPU’s efforts to strongly encourage and subsidize employee use of transit and other commute reduction strategies. ORCA cards are available to all regular, full-time University employees (at least .8 FTE or 32 hours a week) who do not live on campus and who utilize an alternative form of transportation at least three days a week. This card provides unlimited access to Sound, Community, Metro, Kitsap, Everett, and Pierce Transit bus services as well as to the Sounder Train from Tacoma to Everett and the Link Light Rail. An annual fee of $25 will be charged as a one-time payroll deduction transaction.

2021-2022 ORCA cards are now available for employees.

Employees with an existing ORCA card can re-enroll by completing the online CTR Participation Agreement Form.  

If you are enrolling in the program for the first time, or need a replacement ORCA card, you can pick a new one up at the Office of Safety and Security any weekday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. after submitting the online CTR Participation Agreement Form. Once your form is processed, the one-time annual fee will be deducted from your paycheck.

We realize that many employees’ work arrangements and commuting practices may look different this year.  If you choose to wait to renew or acquire an ORCA card, please plan to contact the Office of Safety and Security with ample time before you need the card to allow for processing of the necessary forms.

If you have any questions regarding the ORCA card or SPU’s Commute Trip Reduction program, or if you would like more information on developing an alternative commute, contact the Transportation Manager at Transportation@spu.edu or 206-281-2821.

Alternative Transportation Options

The following are the various Commute Trip Reduction options that we are offering this year to all regular, full-time University employees (at least .8 FTE or 32 hours a week), who do not live on campus and who utilize an alternative form of transportation at least three days a week:

  • ORCA card: With the SPU ORCA card you receive unlimited access to Sound, Community, Metro, Kitsap, Everett, and Pierce Transit bus service as well as to the Sounder Train from Tacoma to Everett and the Link Light Rail. A bus or connector van can complete your commute from King Street Station to the SPU campus.
  • VanPool: 100% of the monthly fare will be covered through your ORCA card for Community, Kitsap, Metro, and Pierce Transit vanpool vans. Also, riders qualify for five single-day parking passes each quarter for days when they drive alone.
  • VanShare: Metro VanShare provides a van to groups of five or more SPU community commuters connecting them to buses, trains, or ferries at no cost to eligible SPU employees. The University will also provide five single-day parking passes per person each quarter for days when they drive alone.
  • Carpool: A two-person SPU community rider carpool receives a reserved carpool parking space at half the cost of the annual parking fee. A reserved parking space is free to carpools of three or more people. 
  • Ferry: The University will provide a subsidy of up to $35 per month, if you carpool, walk, or bike onto the ferry. Public transit, a vanpool, or a vanshare can complete your commute to SPU.
  • Bicycling/walking: Many University employees live within bicycling and walking distance of campus. To encourage this type of commuting, the University offers free lockers and access to showers at Royal Brougham Pavilion for those full-time employees who will be biking or walking to work at least three days per week. Bikers are encouraged to use Bike Index, an online searchable database that is used to identify stolen bikes and assist police with the recovery of stolen property. Users can register their bike for free at www.bikeindex.org
  • Zipcar: Zipcar is a car-sharing company that rents cars by the hour. SPU faculty and staff that routinely bicycle, walk, bus, or carpool to work may use the campus Zipcars for free for up to 12 hours per month to run personal errands of 2 hours or less during the workday. 
  • Guaranteed Ride Home: SPU offers emergency taxi service to commuters arriving at work by an alternative mode (bus, carpool, vanshare/pool, bicycle or walking). You can use the service up to eight times per calendar year. Rides are limited to 60 miles one-way. If you require this service, please contact the transportation manager at 206-281-2911.
  • Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles: Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have been installed at the Ross Lot, Dravus Lot, and Otto Miller Hall South Lot. As these stations are located in campus parking lots, a valid parking permit is required to use them. EV drivers may use the charging stations as available or reserve specific charging times using ChargePoint’s website or mobile app. Charging is priced accordingly: $1.00 / hour for the first four hours and $2.00 / hour thereafter. The E-charge stations have a 4 hour maximum parking limit, as they are meant to just charge your car, and then re-park your car in an appropriate applied-space area. Follow these instructions on how to set up a ChargePoint account and use SPU's charging stations
The Loop

Find Your Way

Get directions to SPU, and find your way once you’re here with the campus map and campus accessibility map.

Benefits of riding in a vanpool/vanshare

  • Save money! — you don’t pay for gas, tolls, campus parking, or maintenance
  • Find community — get to know other SPU employees from various offices around campus
  • Get home faster­ — carpool lanes really do make a difference
  • Less stress — let someone else do the driving 
  • Have a consistent schedule — no more working later than planned
  • Save on wear and tear on your car — fewer miles means more value in your car
  • Less pollution — fewer cars on the road means less CO2 in the air. It’s just better for our environment!