Pierce Transit to restore 35,000 service hours

Pierce Transit spent most of 2016 conducting a comprehensive analysis of its existing bus service and gathering the public’s ideas for improvements and efficiencies via open houses and online. Of the nearly 1,000 responses received, the two most-requested improvements were increased frequency (having the bus arrive more often) and a longer span of service on weekdays.

Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners recently voted unanimously in favor of implementing a more efficient routing plan that will deliver on the requested increases in frequency and span of service on many routes. Under the new plan, which will be implemented March 12, 2017, riders will experience more frequent bus service, including 30-minute peak and mid-day service on all urban routes except the Route 13, and more frequent service on many non-urban routes.

Riders will also benefit from having service later in the evening on weekdays, with nearly all urban routes and some non-urban routes having service until 10 p.m.

The restructured system will also deliver more direct bus routes with faster service between locations, and fewer overlapping routes along the same path.

During the public comment period on the proposed route restructure, almost one-quarter of the comments received addressed the possible elimination of the Route 13, which runs from the Tacoma Dome Station through downtown Tacoma and Old Town, and on to Proctor. The Pierce Transit Board elected to retain Route 13, which will run on weekdays with hourly service. This will continue bus service in Old Town, which was a focal point for many respondents.

In addition to retaining the Route 13, the adopted plan includes a few minor changes from the “Alternative 2” plan as originally proposed, including:

Continuing Route 3 to the Tacoma Mall to address ADA access concerns at 48th St. and Pine/Oakes;

Inverting Routes 3 and 4 to serve the SR-512 Park & Ride, and making minor adjustments that allow for safe bus turning movements.

The adopted plan also supports a new partnership with Go Transit, a Joint Base Lewis-McChord service funded through a partnership between Pierce County and JBLM. Go Transit’s routes currently operate primarily on base to provide direct connections to work stations, medical areas, shopping and life-need sites. If approved, the new service, funded in part by Pierce Transit, would transport people on and off base to provide connections with Pierce Transit service at the SR-512 Park & Ride, the Lakewood Sounder Station, and the Lakewood Transit Center. This represents a higher level of service than what is currently available on Pierce Transit’s Route 300.

For more information visit online: www.piercetransit.org/route-analysis-moving-forward

– Pierce Transit