Modern living is often complicated by the various demands arising from work, school and family which means that it is more important than ever to have flexibility and choices available for commuting and traveling. At Hacienda, over a dozen different commuting options and services intersect with the businesses and residences who make Hacienda their home. Moreover, Hacienda has actively cultivated new and innovative means of mobility as part of a nationally recognized program of commute benefits which both provides programs to reduce the cost of commuting and makes a variety of alternatives more readily available to our employees and residents.
While this is great news for commuters in terms of providing real choices in how they commute, navigating these selections to come up with an optimal plan can be challenging at best. Home and work schedules vary as do the day-to-day demands of life. The result being that, more and more, there is not one solution that addresses an individual's commuting need and each solution may need to be applied differently over the course of days, weeks and months.
So, if you are coming to work in Hacienda or if you live in Hacienda and travel elsewhere for employment, what to do? Hacienda's response is a suite of commuting resources that focus on providing commuting choices and incentives, as well as tools to help create informed decisions about a commute to fit each individual's needs.
Hacienda is served by four separate corridors and each of these has its own distinct set of commuting alternatives. Generally marked by the intersection of Interstate 580 and Interstate 680, these four corridors are the primary paths of travel for people commuting to and from Hacienda. A wide variety of services and programs have emerged over the years to help provide choice in commuting in each of these areas. Hacienda has worked with the various agencies and organizations which provide these programs and services to help create incentives for their use as a means of making people's commutes faster and more cost effective.
Hacienda's Special Offers program provides a wide range of benefits for the people who work and live in the development. Because commuting is such a key part of life at Hacienda, every effort has been made to assemble a wide variety of incentives and discounts so that the burden of commuting is made easier. Here is a sample of the Commute Special Offers available (NOTE: you must have a current and active Employee or Resident user account on the Hacienda web site in order to be able to redeem these offers):
Free Wheels Eco Pass - get your special Hacienda pass that allows travel in and around the Tri-Valley for free at any time, as well as on the Interstate 680 express bus, shuttles to and from BART and ACE and special school services
ACE Trial Ride - try a free ride on the ACE commuter rail system
BART Trial Ride - try a free ride on BART to its station in Hacienda
Commuter Benefit Solutions - receive a special discount implementing the Commuter Choice Tax Benefit
County Connection Trial Ride - try a free ride on County Connection services
Guaranteed Ride Home - get a free ride home in an emergency for those days when you go to work by means other than driving alone
MAX Trial Ride - try a free ride on the MAX express bus from Modesto to Hacienda
San Joaquin Regional Transit District Trial Ride - try a free ride on SJRTD services between San Joaquin County and Hacienda
SCOOP Trial Ride - receive a discount on the SCOOP rideshare system
Hacienda's Commuter Resource Center allows you to plan your commute trip using a variety of modes. Details on commute options available to you based on your unique commuting needs are right at your fingertips. Whether you are traveling to Hacienda for work or from Hacienda as a resident to another destination, this special online tool, which can be found at www.hacienda.org/commuterresourcecenter, can help. Not only does the Commuter Resource Center combine the latest information about commute modes available, it will also tell you about the different programs you can take advantage of to help make your commute more efficient, more productive and less expensive. Our new cost calculator now gives you the ability to compare commute choices to better understand both the time and expense elements of using different ways to get to and from Hacienda.
The Commuter Resource Center is actually three tools in one. To access them, simply visit the Commuter Resource Center at: www.hacienda.org/commuterresourcecenter. From there:
Basic Trip Planning - Simply enter your starting and ending locations in the tool. Once entered, you will be able to select from among four options allowing you to see available choices to help you determine the best route from Point A to Point B: driving, using transit, biking and walking. Within each mode, different variations will also be shown if there is more than one option to consider. In addition, special regional travel alerts are available at the bottom of the page which will also appear on the map of your travel plan.
Customized Trip Creation and Trip Comparisons - If your travel plan includes more than one stop, you can create a master travel plan by adding trip segments to the My Trip planner. To do this, simply select '+ADD ROUTE TO TRIP PLANNER' and your selected trip will by added to the My Trip panel. The Trip Planner will then clear and allow you to add a new trip segment. You can add as many travel segments to the My Trip panel as you like using your preferred mode for each segment. You can also use the My Trip planner to compare different ways of getting from Point A to Point B. To do this, enter the origin and destination in the Trip Planner pane, select a mode and the preferred option for that mode, and then select '+ADD ROUTE TO TRIP PLANNER'. The Trip Planner pane will clear and you can re-enter the same origin and destination but with a different mode and preferred option. Selecting '+ADD ROUTE TO TRIP PLANNER' will now add this new segment to the My Trip pane so that you can compare the time and cost involved with each option. This can be done for as many options as you would like to evaluate. Please note that trip costs are estimated based on the best available information for usage, fares and typical travel but may not reflect transfer discounts, special pricing, corridor surcharges or other unique components related to a particular location or service.
Tips and Benefits - You can learn more about your travel options by visiting the Tips & Benefits panel. This special view allows you to see incentive programs and benefits, many of which are offered to Hacienda employees and residents through Hacienda's Special Offers program, that you may want to consider as you plan and think about your commute. Information will appear that is specific to your origin and destination. Please note that, in order to access commute benefits available under Hacienda's Special Offers program, employees and residents will need a current, active account; details on which appear below.
Ridesharing has been a popular mode of travel at Hacienda for over three decades. Whether carpooling or vanpooling, routinely or on demand, finding someone to help share your commute has many advantages. National studies place the cost of driving at over $0.60 a mile based on 15,000 miles of annual travel. Sharing your ride immediately reduces this expense. In addition, shared ride vehicles travel for free in the region's ever-expanding network of express lanes with a FastTrak Flex toll tag. This means a shared ride can be a very fast and cheap alternative.
Hacienda is now introducing its own system to help facilitate ridematching exclusively between Hacienda employees and residents. A new component has been added to our web site to allow employees and residents to post information about where they work and where they live, along with their work schedules, and then share this information with other employees and residents to see if a good rideshare opportunity is available.
With your Employee or Resident user account created you can visit the Commuting section of the Account Manager to participate in the rideshare system. Here is how it works:
On the Commute page, enter any missing information on your home and work profiles. Then, provide the details of your daily commute. Choose which pieces of information you wish to be visible to other Hacienda employees and residents. Finally, determine whether you want matches close to home or work, how far away they can be and whether you are interested in being a rideshare driver, rider or both. Once this is finished select 'Submit Commute Profile Changes'.
With your commute profile information entered, you can now request commute matches based on your profile by selecting 'Search'. The Hacienda rideshare system will match you based on your physical proximity to other commuters. You will then want to check the schedules of the resulting matches to make sure that they are workable with your own. For those search results that produce a match that you wish to contact, simply select 'Request Connection' at which point the person matched will receive a note indicating your interest.
Commuters that you are either attempting to connect with or who have accepted requests are shown in the Connections section. Once you are connected with another commuter all that remains is for you to contact one another and make your ride arrangements directly. These can also be removed when they are no longer valid.
The success of ridesharing is entirely based on the quality of the underlying information. In order to be successful, the system needs to have a large reservoir of data incorporated so that there are plenty of match opportunities when someone makes a request. As this is a new program and the base of data is just getting established, we hope that users will check back regularly as the system grows and the number of people interested in sharing rides increases. Toward that end, we hope that you will log in and submit your information if you are interested in participating. We further hope that you will pass this information along and help let other Hacienda employees and residents know about this new tool and encourage them to participate. Be sure to stay tuned for updates as new phases of this program are already being planned including connections to other ridesharing agencies and systems.
Managing your commute has never been easier thanks to a variety of great commute options and assistance available to help determine the best ways to package your choices. Be sure to visit the pages on our site to learn about these resources or contact our office directly for personalized help with our commute experts.