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2019 Report To The Community
IT’S BEEN GREAT MEETING YOU!
This year we were out sharing information about our services and met hundreds of our neighbors. Look for our outreach booth and van at your next community event!
Pierce Transit improves people’s quality of life by providing safe, reliable, innovative and useful transportation services that are locally based and regionally connected. It has been our pleasure helping our neighbors get where they need to go in 2019, and we’re looking forward to even better things in 2020!
As Pierce Transit’s Chief Executive Officer, I am pleased to present to you our agency’s 2019 Report to the Community.
While Pierce Transit continues to provide the important transportation services you have come to depend on over the last 40 years, your local transit agency is changing. We have focused this year on capturing a new generation of riders through innovative offerings such as a smart phone fare payment option and deeper engagement with our community through social media.
We are also focused on helping grow the South Sound economy. Economic development and transit go hand-in-hand and employers are seeking locations where their employees can get to work in ways other than a single-occupancy car. We are excited about the Bus Rapid Transit line being designed between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway and demonstrating how truly robust transit can attract investment and better serve our community.
Finally, we continue to explore ways to enhance our core services. Pierce Transit increased bus service by 16 percent between 2015 and 2017, maximizing the amount of service we are able to provide within our current funding levels. While our budget does not allow for adding more bus service, we continue to look for efficiencies to provide more bus trips for our customers. I hope you will join us on one of those rides soon!
Thank you for your continued support of your local transit agency. We are proud to serve you.
Pierce Transit CEO
Pierce Transit GIVES YOU MANY WAYS TO GET THERE
Last year, Pierce Transit employees provided our neighbors with more than 9.7 million rides.
HOW IS YOUR LOCAL TRANSIT AGENCY FUNDED
$157 Million Annual Budget Funded By:
- Sales Tax – 56%
- Contracted Regional Service – 30%
- Fares – 8%
- Grants – 3%
- Miscellaneous – 3%
Pierce Transit collects 0.6 percent sales tax – two-thirds of the allowable 0.9 percent rate – to fund the majority of our local transit services. In 2019, the agency provided 500,000 hours of service, the maximum possible under current funding levels. Pierce Transit has a healthy reserve and the agency carries no long-term debt.
The six cents you pay on a $10 purchase helps fund:
- 9.7 million+ rides per year
- 991 family-wage jobs (88% operations/maintenance; 12% administrative; 22% veterans)
- Rides to important destinations such as jobs (66% of riders) and school (10%); rides for our low-income (43%) and minority (65%) neighbors
- Transit options that help recruit employers to the South Sound
- Reduced congestion and emissions
- Express bus service to community events, such as the Washington State Fair and Taste of Tacoma
DID YOU KNOW?
Traveling by public transportation is 10 times safer than driving your car
You can save about $10,000 a year by taking transit and owning one less car
Public transportation reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons a year
NEW MOBILITY OPTIONS
- Worked with five colleges and universities to provide local bus passes for more than 15,000 students
- Partnered with Lyft to offer people in specific zones a grant-funded ride to catch the bus
- Continued planning for the South Sound’s first Bus Rapid Transit line
- Offered rider rewards and transit challenges through the Miles app
- Awarded retiring vanpool vans to nonprofits to help transport their clients
- Installed real-time bus arrival signs at eight transit centers
- Created a reserved parking option at Tacoma Dome Station
- Added a 30-day pass option to our Hopthru mobile ticketing app
It Feels Good to Give
Pierce Transit’s “Good to Give” Committee members delight in helping those in need in our community. In 2019, the team came together to “Stuff the Bus” with school supplies for kids, clean up a street near the agency’s Lakewood headquarters and serve at the Emergency Food Network and the Northwest Furniture Bank. It feels Good to Give!
The best of the best! Meet our million milers
This year we inducted 45 bus operators into Pierce Transit’s Million Mile Club.
That means they each have driven a million consecutive miles or more – accident free! Among them were five operators recognized for driving two million miles or more, and one operator who became the first in Pierce Transit’s history to be recognized for driving three million accident-free miles. Joining the “Million Mile Club” is a rare honor in the professional driver industry and is representative of Pierce Transit’s commitment to safety.
The South Sound is a growing, thriving community. In order to serve those who already call this area home and meet the needs of those who will move here in the future, it is critical that our community has an effective public transportation system. Transit is also an important part of attracting new employers to our region. Pierce Transit is working to meet those goals on many fronts. Whether it’s the agency’s planned Bus Rapid Transit line that touches six Opportunity Zones designed to attract economic investment, or its commitment to seeing Transit Oriented Development grow and thrive in the South Sound, Pierce Transit continues to play an important role in the future of our community.
Pierce Transit is governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners made up of elected officials representing 13 cities and towns, Pierce County, and one non-voting union representative (vacant). Board meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 4 p.m. and are open to the public.