By Karin J. MartinezJuly 11, 2019
CASERMA EDERLE, Vicenza, Italy - Individuals wanting to ride the Marco Polo Airport PCS/ETS shuttle bus must now request a seat in advance.
That is just one specification in a garrison policy that became effective last week, according to officials at the Central Processing Facility here.
The free shuttle bus is an extremely popular and useful mode of transportation for Soldiers, civilians and their families who need a ride to and from the airport. During peak permanent change of station (PCS) season, it can be nearly impossible to find a seat. Because of overcrowding, it became critical to create a clear policy to enforce the priority list, said Monika Bunch, director of human resources.
Garrison Commander Col. Erik M. Berdy signed the policy July 1, putting it into effect immediately.
"We hope that, by establishing a more clear policy, we will alleviate some of the overcrowding on the shuttle bus, ensuring that those personnel with the highest priority have a seat," Berdy said.
From now on, all service members, Department of Defense civilians and family members who wish to ride the shuttle are required to register at CPF, Building 393 on Caserma Ederle, when PCS'ing, ETS'ing (expiration of term of service) or retiring from the Vicenza Military Community.
Priority for riders is as follows:
(1) PCS/ETS/Retiring individuals and family members on orders;
(2) Emergency leave, with DA Form 31 or Emergency Visitation Travel (EVT) documentation;
(3) Temporary Duty/Renewal Agreement Travel (RAT) with DD Form 1610 or orders; and
(4) Leisure travel, also known as Space Available travel.
The policy states that registration can only take place during normal operating hours; there is no method to register outside of that time.
Priority 2-4 riders must go to CPF no more than 10 days in advance to fill out a request for seat(s), and then return to the CPF 48 hours before departure to see if a seat will be available.
When heading to the airport, riders who catch the bus on Caserma Del Din are not immune to being asked to leave the bus if there is no space; a Priority 1 rider from Caserma Ederle will have the advantage. Priority 2-4 riders who catch the bus at Del Din must exit the bus with their luggage upon arrival at Ederle to allow Priority 1 riders to embark. At that point, if space is available, Priority 2s from Del Din and Ederle will be allowed to embark; and then Priority 3 and 4 personnel in that order.
"It is imperative that riders who are Priority 2, 3 or 4 have a back-up transportation plan," Bunch emphasized. "The new policy will be enforced, and people can, and will, lose their seats if someone of higher priority needs to get on the bus."
Bus monitors will be on hand to enforce the priority of utilization. During peak season, block leave and four-day pass weekends, unit leadership is required to be present at bus stops to monitor service members.
The policy did not change in regard to pets.
As has been previously allowed, pet owners may bring their pets to ride on the shuttle, but pet carriers cannot be larger than 18" long, 11" wide and 11" high (46 cm X 28 cm X 28cm) to fit on or under the seats.
Italian law prohibits the transportation of live animals in the undercarriage of the bus, so personnel with large animals must make alternate arrangements.
Regular business hours at CPF are Monday through Friday, 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m., excluding federal and training holidays. Bus pick-up/drop-off locations are at the Del Din Shoppette, Ederle Inn, Davis Hall (the Army Community Service building), and Bldg. 8B on Olson Avenue.