2019 Annual Report
As your local transit agency, Pierce Transit strives to provide our community with innovative solutions that meet your transportation needs. By keeping people moving, we have helped keep our economy moving, too.
In 2019, we partnered with about 330 employers to help them find efficient and cost-effective ways to get their employees to work. We partnered with schools to transport students to class and enrichment activities and created solutions that helped more people access transit. We tapped into new technologies, too, providing real-time bus arrival information and expanded mobile ticketing options. The employees at Pierce Transit take great pride in bringing you Pierce County’s option to the single-occupancy vehicle. We are always interested in your ideas to help further our goals in providing transportation solutions for today and the future.
In 2020, as we face the new realities of a global pandemic and the resulting loss of revenue, ridership and service, we are pivoting toward gradually restoring service levels and partnering in Washington’s economic recovery as people return to activities outside their homes.
Thank you for continued support for your local transit agency.
Pierce Transit CEO
Avg weekday boardings
Transit Centers and Park & Rides
9.3 MILLION Total RIDES
Service & Maintenace
Pierce Transit runs most of its buses on clean, compressed natural gas, making it one of the cleanest fleets in the nation.
Added hybrid-electric buses to the Pierce Transit fleet.
Introduced the South Sound’s first all-electric, zero-emission buses, each replacing a retiring diesel bus.
Building on these foundations, Pierce Transit partnered with Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) to introduce the South Sound’s first plug-in hybrid-electric Vanpool vans, powered by 97% carbon-free electricity. In the future, to expand this program to include other employers, including private companies.
Let's Get Mobile
Transit and technology go hand-in-hand, including these new customer tools implemented in 2019:
- Expanded mobile ticketing through PiercePay℠ on the Hopthru app, including a new adult monthly pass, SHUTTLE tickets, and passes for Pierce College students.
- Challenges, prizes and discounts through the Miles app for Pierce Transit riders.
- Sixteen real-time arrival signs at 8 transit centers showing when the next bus will arrive.
- Dramatically more accurate real-time bus arrival information, thanks to new back-office, bus tracking technology.
MOVING FORWARD: Bus Rapid Transit
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a fast bus ride with many of the same features as light rail, but on wheels and at less cost. Pierce Transit is planning the South Sound’s first BRT line, running between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway where we already see more than 3,500 trips each weekday. In 2019, we sought public input into many aspects of the project, including station locations and where the bus will travel in the roadway along the route.
Learn more at RideBRT.com
We Love OUR Community Partners!
We couldn’t do it without you! Here are just some ways we worked with community partners in 2019:
Through our “Care-a-Van” program, we granted retiring vans to nine nonprofits to get people to jobs, after-school programs, medical appointments, housing and other services.
Bus travel training
We provided help for people who wanted to learn how to ride.
Helping Students Succeed
A bus pass opens doors for students to get to class, access cultural enrichment opportunities and become independent travelers. In 2019 we:
- Partnered with Tacoma Public School and the City of Tacoma to provide all 7,900 Tacoma Public Schools high school students access to an ORCA fare card loaded with a local bus pass, good for unlimited rides.
- We also worked with colleges, universities and other learning institutions to help them provide transit passes to more than 12,300 students.
HELPING Employers Care for Their Employees
In 2019, we formed a new Community Development Department whose mission is helping local employers find more efficient ways to manage their employees’ commutes. We worked with about 330 employers, helping them arrange vanpools, purchase transit passes for their employees, educate employees and managers through on-site meetings, and provide incentives to encourage smart commutes.
Pierce Transit has fiscal reserves and carries no long-term debt.
About 85 percent of funding for local service comes from collection of six-tenths of a penny sales tax, or 6 cents on a $10 purchase. Eighty-eight percent of the agency’s employees are directly related to service on the street; 12 percent are in administrative roles such as payroll, capital project management, route planning and human resources.
Local Sales Tax 0.6% (6 cents on a $10 purchase)
Other / Advertising
WE DRIVE BUSES.
We drive buses and SHUTTLE paratransit vehicles. What else do we do behind the scenes to make it all work?
What Else Do We Do All Day?
KEEP YOU INFORMED
3.3 million page views on PierceTransit.org
1,807 customer comments followed up on
37,800 Customer Service Center calls answered
WHILE PLANNING FOR YOUR FUTURE
71 informational meetings with elected officials
What's Next?People’s travel preferences are changing, and Pierce Transit is working hard to provide innovative transportation services that work for our community. In 2020, we are launching the Pierce Transit Runner, a pilot program that will provide on-demand rides between certain transit locations and Ruston Way, Point Ruston, downtown Tacoma and the Tideflats.
TRANSIT: A Strong Community Asset
Transit-rich communities are strong communities. Here are some benefits transit brings to a community:
- RECRUITING TOOL Potential employers and workers are looking for strong transit options when deciding where to locate.
- SUPPORT FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES Transit brings customers and employees to businesses, which supports our local economy.
- POLLUTION AND CONGESTION REDUCER Last year, our customers skipped 9.3 million car trips, taking Pierce Transit buses, paratransit rides or Vanpools instead.
- SAVE $ A family can save about $10,000 a year by owning one less car.
- FAMILY-WAGE JOBS We train people to do jobs, especially bus drivers and mechanics, that pay good wages and benefits. We also offer the Fleet Apprenticeship Program in partnership with Clover Park Technical College.
Pierce Transit is governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners, representing the communities in the agency’s service area.
BACK ROW: Bruce Dammeier Pierce County Executive | Nancy Henderson Steilacoom City Council Representing Auburn, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Pacific, Ruston, and Steilacoom | Ryan Mello Tacoma City Council | Marty Campbell / VICE CHAIR Pierce County Council
FRONT ROW: Don Anderson Mayor of Lakewood | Victoria Woodards CHAIR Mayor of Tacoma | Kent Keel Mayor of University Place | Daryl Eidinger Mayor of Edgewood Representing Fife, Milton, and Edgewood | Robin Farris Puyallup City Council (not pictured)