ROUTE ANALYSIS | North Tacoma
Tacoma’s North End is currently served by six different routes. Most of these routes operate only hourly with limited spans of service that preclude many work trips. Accordingly, almost all North End routes underperform; they are among the least efficient and effective of all Pierce Transit routes. Due to low ridership and significant overlap between routes, a full restructure of North Tacoma is proposed. The restructure consists of consolidating multiple routes results in a network that still serves the vast majority of North Tacoma residents, but at higher service levels and later evening service times.
In Alternative 2, multiple routes would be consolidated into three different routes, all of which operate every 30-minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and also operate until 10 p.m. In addition, with proposed route scheduling, the Stadium District and the north end of the Proctor District would be connected to downtown Tacoma with 15-minutes service.
While the majority of North Tacoma customers would receive better service under Alternative 2, there are areas where service would no longer be available. Old Town is the only location with more than five riders that would no longer be within easy walking distance of service. This would negatively affect approximately 10 boardings daily. A potential mitigation would be to extend the proposed Ruston-Downtown Tacoma Trolley (Summer 2017) through Old Town.
Route 10 would be revised to improve directness of service, simplify the alignment, and focus on the higher demand areas. Specific recommendations include the bi-direction operation along Pearl Street between N. 26th Street and the Pt. Defiance Ferry terminal and improvement of Route 10’s span and frequency so that it operates every 30 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays and has service until 10 p.m. The elimination of the one-way couplet on Vassault provides more direct service. Market research has shown that one-way mid-route alignments separated by a quarter mile reduce ridership. While some existing passengers on Vassault would need to walk further to access Route 10, overall ridership would increase on Route 10.
The alignment of Route 11 would be adjusted to better serve higher ridership areas and reduce duplication with other routes. Specific recommendations include:
- Between Proctor and 26th Street and the Stadium District, Route 11 would be consolidated with Route 14’s alignment. This will reduce the duplication with Route 1 service on 6th Street.
- Between the Stadium District and downtown Tacoma, utilize St. Helens instead of Broadway. With both Routes 11 and 16 utilizing St. Helens, their schedules may be off-set to provide effective 15-minute service between Downtown, the Stadium District and the north end of the Proctor District.
Improvements to Route 11 span and frequency include operating every 30 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays and has service until 10 p.m. Additionally, when scheduled in conjunction with Route 16, 15-minute all-day service between downtown, the Stadium District, and the north end of the Proctor District. Existing Route 11 passengers would continue to have Route 1 service on 6th Avenue and be within a ¼ mile walk of service on Proctor Street.
The alignment of Route 16 would be adjusted to better serve higher ridership areas. Specific recommendations include:
- Operate on N. 26th Street between Pearl and Proctor Streets to better connect higher density residential and commercial areas on Pearl Street to downtown Tacoma. With the exception of high school ridership, Route 16 serves few passengers on either Stevens or 11th Streets.
- In conjunction with Route 11 recommendations, operate Route 16’s schedule to offset Route 11’s, which will provide effective 15-minute service between Downtown, the Stadium District and the north end of the Proctor District.
Improvements to Route 16 span and frequency include operating every 30 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays and has service until 10 p.m. Additionally, when scheduled in conjunction with Route 11, 15-minute all-day service between downtown, the Stadium District, and the north end of the Proctor District. Existing passengers on Stevens and N. 11th Streets would need to walk further to access service.