Changes to Pierce Transit, Sound Transit in May and June

Reduced fare options will accompany June 1 reintroduction of fares on Link and Sounder

Reduced fare options will accompany June 1 reintroduction of fares on Link and Sounder

Recovery Fares to be offered through June 30 during promotion of ORCA LIFT to riders experiencing financial hardships; campaign will emphasize face coverings directive

Effective June 1, Sound Transit will offer temporarily reduced Recovery Fares in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 as the agency re-introduces fares on Link light rail and Sounder. Service on Link will also increase at the same time, with trains running every 20 minutes during the day until after the p.m. peak. Link will continue to run every 30 minutes during evenings and on weekends.

The Recovery Fares come as the region prepares for the next phases of recovery and the expected gradual return of riders. The fare of $1 on Link and $2 on Sounder will be available from ticket vending machines through June 30. During this period, Sound Transit will redouble its promotion of ORCA Lift, a reduced-fare program that gives income-qualified riders discounts of up to 66% on Sound Transit and other regional agencies’ services. Passengers can now qualify apply for ORCA Lift online or over the phone without having to visit a processing site.

In addition to ticket vending machines, Recovery Fare tickets will be available on a contact-free basis through the Transit GO Ticket app. ORCA cards will continue to be charged full fare and can be used for transfers, while Recovery Fare paper tickets and Transit GO tickets cannot be used for transfers.

All transit staff will continue to wear face masks, and all Sound Transit passengers will be directed to wear face coverings consistent with expanded public health directives. Under current health directives customers are reminded to limit travel to essential trips. Riders should also follow social distancing and other critical health guidelines to protect the community. Sound Transit will continue expanded disinfecting of transit vehicles and facilities, with particular emphasis on ticket vending machines and other high-touch areas including hand rails.

Beyond providing money to support transit operations, the resumption of fares will also allow Sound Transit to increase safety and security for essential riders. The agency saw a dramatic increase in unsanitary conditions, rider complaints and incidents of vandalism after fares were temporarily suspended in March. The issues have been associated in part with riders taking repetitive trips without apparent destinations.

For now ST Express buses will continue to remain fare-free on a temporary basis to enable rear-door boarding to protect bus operators. By contrast, rail operators are protected in their own compartments. Even so, seats outside those enclosed compartments will continue to be cordoned off as an extra safety measure.

Beginning Tuesday, May 19, fare enforcement officers began educating riders about the resumption of fares, including the Temporary Recovery Fare, and providing information about ORCA Lift. Once fares resume, fare enforcement officers will follow social distancing guidelines and request that riders show an ORCA card, a Transit GO Ticket app activated ticket, or a ticket as proof of payment.

The Sounder reductions that have been in effect will continue at this time. Sounder South weekday service is reduced to seven round trips. The cancelled northbound trips are the 1502, 1506, 1508 and 1518 departures from Lakewood, and the 1516 and 1522 departures from Tacoma. The canceled southbound trips are the 1503, 1505, 1509, 1517, 1519, and 1523 departures from Seattle.

Sounder North weekday service remains reduced from four round trips to two round trips, with cancellation of the 1701 and 1705 departures from Everett and the 1700 and 1704 departures from Seattle.

Riders will find more information on the specific trips cancelled at https://www.soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/changes-affect-my-ride/reduced-service and via rider alerts, which they can sign up to receive electronically.

During the COVID-19 response riders should take into account that electronic resources such as Google maps, One Bus Away and other applications and websites may not have accurate information for all trips, including service reductions affecting other agencies.

Sound Transit remains committed to working closely with its partners to continue serving the public. Efforts will continue to prioritize serving riders who depend on Sound Transit’s services, including seniors, people with disabilities, Title VI protected populations (race, color, national origin), low-income and limited-English-proficiency populations. To the greatest extent possible, we will continue to run trains and buses at our earliest and latest normal weekday hours. At this time normal service will continue on Tacoma Link.

Riders should sign up for rider alerts to ensure that they receive up-to-date information about service changes, or visit www.soundtransit.org. The language line 1-800-823-9230 is available to provide translation assistance for limited English proficiency persons.

– Sound Transit

Changes coming to Pierce Transit service in May and June

Pierce Transit is making several changes to its service in May and June. Details are outlined below; they are also available at PierceTransit.org.

Starting Sunday, May 24, Pierce Transit restored some of the bus service that has been recently reduced as a result of the pandemic:

Routes 1, 2, 48, 54, 500 – Weekdays on normal schedule (Route 1 with enhanced service).

Routes 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 28, 41, 42, 45, 52, 53, 55, 57, 100, 202, 206, 212, 214, 400, 402, 409, 501 – On weekdays the bus will only arrive as often as it would on Saturdays, but the schedule will have typical weekday morning start/evening end times.

Route 63 – On weekdays, running on a modified schedule with reduced trips.

Route 497 – On weekdays, running on a modified schedule with reduced trips to align with the Sound Transit Sounder schedule.

Routes 13, 102, 425 – Service discontinued until further notice.

Beginning May 20, customers may download new schedules via a digital Routes and Schedules book at PierceTransit.org/pierce-transit-routes. Updated timetables will be available at that website May 24.

This new level of service is expected to run through September 19, 2020.

Starting Sunday, June 14, Pierce Transit will reinstate fares for buses and SHUTTLE paratransit vehicles.

Passengers will begin boarding from the front doors.

The agency is installing clear barriers around the operator area to protect drivers, and customer social distancing on buses will remain by marking off some seats and allowing only 15 passengers on a bus. Follow-behind buses are already running on busy routes to pick up extra passengers.

For those experiencing financial hardship who are essential workers or need to take an essential trip, Pierce Transit works with many social service agencies around the area to provide reduced-price tickets that they make available for free to clients. Pierce Transit is committed to ensuring that essential workers and those who need to make an essential trip, and cannot afford a bus pass, will be able to reach their destination.

To assist customers wishing to purchase fares in advance of June 14, The Bus Shop customer service lobby at Tacoma Dome Station has reopened with limited hours and new social distancing requirements in place. Hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., until further notice. To maintain social distancing, only two customers will be allowed to enter The Bus Shop lobby at a time. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or other face covering.

Customer phone assistance remains open by calling 253.581.8000, Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Customers may purchase Pierce Transit tickets and passes through the Hopthru app.

ORCA customers can call 888.889.6368, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to get assistance. ORCA retail outlets are available; visit PierceTransit.org/orca-outlets for Pierce County locations, hours and forms of payment. ORCA Ticket Vending Machines will be back online June 1 – visit www.orcacard.com for locations.

Bus locator assistance:

PierceTransit.org/Change updated schedules on each route page

Text 253.533.7084, enter bus stop number found on pole

Use a bus locator app, like Transit or One Bus Away

– Pierce Transit

Some service to be restored on ST Express routes serving Pierce County, Service levels to ramp back up beginning May 24

With greater staffing availability to operate service, Sound Transit increased service on ST Express routes operated by Pierce Transit starting Monday, May 24. The new level of service is expected to run through Sept. 19.

For now ST Express buses will continue to remain fare-free on a temporary basis to enable rear-door boarding to protect bus operators. Sound Transit previously announced the reintroduction of fares on Link light rail and Sounder effective June 1 with special Recovery Fares available from ticket vending machines through June 30 and improved Link train frequencies.

All Sound Transit passengers are directed to wear face coverings consistent with expanded public health directives. Under current health directives customers are reminded to limit travel to essential trips. Riders should also follow social distancing and other critical health guidelines to protect the community.

The changes to ST Express routes operated by Pierce Transit are as follows:

· Routes 560, 574, 577, and 594 will return to full weekday service

· Route 578 will return to full weekday service, along with additional trips during the p.m. peak to account for reduced Sounder South service

· Routes 566, 586, 590, and 592 will return to most weekday service

· Route 595 will return to some weekday service

· Routes 580 and 596 will have service correspond to the reduced Sounder Schedule

· Routes 544 and 567 remain temporarily canceled

Previously announced service reductions will remain in effect on other ST Express routes while Sound Transit works with its operating partners on plans for future improvements.

ST Express routes operated by King County Metro

Routes 522 and 545 are operating on a reduced schedule with cuts to some trips. Route 554 is operating with close to full service with only two trips reduced. ST Express route 542 is operating with 17 fewer trips, and route 550 is operating with 12 fewer trips. Routes 541, 555 and 556 have been temporarily canceled.

ST Express routes operated by Community Transit

Routes 510, 511, 512, 513, 532 and 535 are running on a reduced weekday schedule that preserves the overall span of service but at a reduced frequency for select trips.

Riders will find more information on the specific trips cancelled at https://www.soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/changes-affect-my-ride/reduced-service and via rider alerts, which they can sign up to receive electronically.

During the COVID-19 response riders should take into account that electronic resources such as Google maps, One Bus Away and other applications and websites may not have accurate information for all trips, including service reductions affecting other agencies.

Sound Transit remains committed to working closely with its partners to continue serving the public. Efforts will continue to prioritize serving riders who depend on Sound Transit’s services, including seniors, people with disabilities, Title VI protected populations (race, color, national origin), low-income and limited-English-proficiency populations. To the greatest extent possible, we will continue to run trains and buses at our earliest and latest normal weekday hours. At this time normal service will continue on Tacoma Link.

Riders should sign up for rider alerts to ensure that they receive up-to-date information about service changes, or visit www.soundtransit.org. The language line 1-800-823-9230 is available to provide translation assistance for limited English proficiency persons.

– Sound Transit

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