Pierce Transit celebrates return to Commerce Street

As part of its campaign, Pierce Transit is offering downtown employees a chance to ride the bus for free.

Pierce Transit is celebrating the return to its permanent downtown Tacoma transit facility on Commerce Street with a special invitation to downtown Tacoma employees to try the bus for two weeks – absolutely free.

This is part of Pierce Transit’s campaign to invite downtown riders to return to using the bus after a year of relocation, or to give it a try for the first time.

Downtown Tacoma employers have agreed to distribute a two-week pass to their employees and encourage them to give public transportation – which decreases traffic congestion and parking problems, helps commuters avoid the high price of gasoline, parking garage fees and parking tickets – a try from April 16 to April 30.

If you are a member of a business or company that would be interested in this promotion, please call Sharon Stockwell, Employer Services Coordinator, at 253/581-8112.

“For people who haven’t ridden the bus lately, or have never tried the bus, this will give them the opportunity to experience first-hand how convenient, economical, safe, and comfortable riding the bus can be,” said Don S. Monroe, CEO of Pierce Transit. “This is also an opportunity to see the improvements that have been made on Commerce Street.”

Pierce Transit took a one-year absence from its Commerce Street location to accommodate laying the rails for the Sound Transit Link Light Rail project.
During that time Pierce Transit made improvements to the transit facility with the goal of improving downtown bus service.

Riders will notice new easy-to-read zone signs that include route numbers and destinations, brighter lighting, and a remodeled Bus Shop and restrooms.
To speed passenger loading and unloading, bus zone space was increased allowing four additional buses to be curbside at any one time. This will lessen traffic congestion, and reduce the overall time the bus stays at the transit facility.

There are 27 routes that use designated zones along Commerce Street between South 9th and South 13th. More than 1,300 buses come and go through the transit facility each weekday, carrying passengers to locations throughout Pierce County and beyond; including North Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Olympia, Federal Way and Seattle.

Previous “Free-Ride” promotions like this one have proven to be successful in increasing the number of regular transit riders.

In December of last year, Pierce Transit promoted the “Ride the bus free every Sunday in December” campaign. Numbers indicate that Pierce Transit experienced a 29 percent increase in riders compared to normal Sunday service levels. Average December Sunday boardings totaled 15,872, up 3,603 boardings from preceding months’ Sunday averages of 12,269.

Past experience indicates that a number of those riders were first-time users and that they will continue to use the bus on a regular basis.

To find out more about Pierce Transit local routes and schedules by calling a customer services representative at 253/581-8000, available Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit their Website at www.piercetransit.org, stop by a Bus Shop, or pick up a schedule book from a transit center or Pierce Transit bus operator.

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