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2019 Annual Report

A THANK YOU from the CEO

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.

Be well,
Sue Dreier
Pierce Transit CEO

Message from Sue

About Us


200 Buses PT Bus

Pierce Transit Boardings
Avg weekday boardings
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Local routes
Bus Stops
Bus stops
Park and Rides
Transit Centers and Park & Rides


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Service & Maintenace

It's Electric!

Vanpool is electric

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.

Pierce Transit electric fleet

Let's Get Mobile

going mobile

Transit and technology go hand-in-hand, including these new customer tools implemented in 2019:

  • Expanded mobile ticketing through PiercePayâ„  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


We Love OUR Community Partners!

We couldn’t do it without you! Here are just some ways we worked with community partners in 2019:

Free rides for those in need
We sold tickets at 50% face value to qualifying human service agencies, which distributed them to clients to get to jobs, appointments and other locations.

Caring vans
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.

We’re there!
We met you at 96 community events and 79 community meetings, informing you about our services and answering questions.

Bus travel training
We provided help for people who wanted to learn how to ride.

we love our community

Helping Students Succeed

orca for student

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

Tacoma Trophy

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.


Financially Responsible


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.

Operating Revenue
85% Sales Tax
Local Sales Tax 0.6% (6 cents on a $10 purchase)

Money Icon
other funds2%
Other / Advertising
bus icon 500,000 hours of bus service


What Else Do We Do All Day?

We drive buses and SHUTTLE paratransit vehicles. What else do we do behind the scenes to make it all work?


bus icon

20,000 training hours for new bus drivers

45 drivers recognized for 1 million+ accident-free miles

36 dedicated Public Safety staff


3.3 million page views on

1,807 customer comments followed up on

37,800 Customer Service Center calls answered


305 special events, such as the Washington State Fair service

8,200 Lyft partnership rides connecting you to transit

127 employees assisting with 96 outreach events


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. moving forward

TRANSIT: A Strong Community Asset

We are here for you

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.

2019 Board of Commissioners

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)

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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.


  • 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).


  • 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.


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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