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Accessible Services

Accessible Bus Fleet

All Pierce Transit buses are accessible for mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, electric scooters, and walkers.  Our operators are trained to assist disabled passengers boarding or exiting the vehicle.  Here are some tips when trying to board a bus:

  • Wait in line with the other passengers and inform the operator you wish to board the bus.
  • The operator will use the lift or ramp when necessary for boarding or exiting.  The total weight of a wheelchair and passenger cannot exceed 600 pounds on local service coaches.  Our cutaway fleet or SHUTTLE style vehicles can accommodate a combined total weight of up to 800 pounds.
  • Passengers using the lift or ramp may exit at any designated stop, unless the lift cannot be deployed or other conditions make the stop unsafe. 
  • All mobility devices should be properly stored, outside the aisle and in the securement area as necessary, for the safety of all passengers.

All Pierce Transit buses are designed to accommodate passengers unable to climb steps or who use mobility devices.  Buses have low floors or are equipped with a lift platform for easy boarding.  All buses have two locations for wheelchairs.  Customers who have difficulty climbing stairs can ask for the bus to “kneel”.  The front of the bus will lower to bring the step closer to curb level.

Our operators are trained to allow time for individuals with disabilities to be seated.

Lift/Ramp deployment

All Pierce Transit routes are accessible.  An accessible route is one on which Pierce Transit provides a ramp/lift equipped coach on all scheduled trips, and where as many bus stops as possible are designated and made safely accessible for customers.  Any customer may request to use the ramp/lift for boarding/deboarding at any stop. 

Accessible bus stops are marked with a wheelchair emblem on the bus stop sign.  If a bus stop sign does not have the emblem, it has been determined that the lift/ramp may be damaged if it is deployed there.  Operators are trained to inform the customer that they cannot deploy the lift there and to position the coach in a safe location using an eighty foot corridor, forty feet either side of the bus stop sign to consider seeking a feasible safe alternate location to deploy the lift/ramp.  If a safe location cannot be located the operator must contact the Communication Center for further instruction and inform the customer. 

Pierce Transit’s SHUTTLE program provides local bus transportation for individuals with disabilities who are unable to access our fixed route system.  Learn more about SHUTTLE.

Securement Areas

Pierce Transit requires that operators ask other passengers sitting the wheelchair securement area to move when a wheelchair passenger boards.  The operator will request other passengers give up their seats, but cannot force them to move.

Respirators or personal oxygen supply aids

Respirators or personal oxygen supply aids required by passengers are allowed on board the bus or SHUTTLE if the equipment can be safely transported and controlled during the trip.

Travel Training

Travel Training is a personal service geared toward your needs.  It is free and available to seniors and those with disabilities seeking independence by using transit.  After working with your personal Trainer, you will feel confident and comfortable riding the bus.  Public transportation is a safe, reliable, and economical way to get wherever you want to go!

Pierce Transit Travel Trainers are friendly and respectful.  They customize individual training sessions to fit your needs.  You’ll walk to your bus stop together, and review bus schedules and fares.  You will learn everything you want to know to make bus riding simple such as how to:

  • Plan your trip to specific destinations using the easiest and safest route
  • Read and understand route maps and schedules
  • Recognize bus numbers, stops, and landmarks
  • Travel to and from bus stops
  • Board the bus with a mobility device
  • Pay fares and purchase passes
  • Locate and transfer to other buses
  • Know where and how to safely cross the street
  • Travel independently and confidently by bus
  • Use stop request cards

To get signed up for free Travel Training call Customer Services at 253-581-8000 or TTY relay for hearing impaired: 711.  We will connect you with one of our Travel Trainers.

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Trip Planner Help

Trip Planner Tips - Entering Locations

To create a trip plan you need to enter both a starting location (origin) and an ending location (destination). For information about stops, schedules, or service at a specific location, you only need to enter one location.

The Trip Planner recognizes most street intersections and addresses as well as many landmarks in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties. If what you entered is not immediately recognized, the Trip Planner will offer you a list of options. You can choose one of the options, but if your intended location is not there, select the "Revise Original Entries" link to return to the entry page and change the entries you have already made.

Addresses

  • You don't need to type in the city along with the address. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type 110 Jones instead of 110 Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 1000 Main instead of 1000 S Main. But type 1000 West Viewmont for 1000 West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets and addresses are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby location, such as an intersection or a landmark.
  • You should not enter the suite number or apartment number.  Just the house number and street name (Example: type in 401 Broadway instead of 401 Broadway Avenue Suite 800).

Intersections

  • The "&" symbol is the only character used between two street names to show an intersection. (Examples: 1st & B, James & Madison)
  • You don't need to type in the city. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type Conifer & Jones instead of Conifer Circle & Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 3rd & Main instead of 3rd S & S Main. But type 34th & West Viewmont for 34th W & West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby intersection or a landmark.

Landmarks

Government Sites: Pierce County Health Dept, Pierce Co Sheriffs Office, Tacoma City Hall

Major Commercial Sites: Tacoma Mall, Sheraton Hotel

Transportation Facilities: Sea-Tac Airport, Greyhound Bus Depot

Schools & Colleges: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Community College

Sports & Leisure: Cheney Stadium, Pt Defiance Zoo

Medical Facilities: Group Health, Tacoma General Hospital


 

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