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2021 Annual Report

mike griffus ceo

Meet Our CEO
Mike Griffus

As Pierce Transit’s Chief Executive Officer, it is my honor to present to you Pierce Transit’s 2021 Annual Report. Inside you will find details about the many ways we provide safe, innovative public transportation services that benefit our entire community. Thanks for reading, and for riding.
-Mike Griffus, CEO Pierce Transit


What Does Transit Do?

Public transportation provides many benefits, both to people who use it and those who do not. Simply put, transit-rich communities are strong communities. Among other benefits, transit:

help icon

Helps people get to jobs, health care and other critical destinations

reduce traffic icon

Reduces traffic congestion by taking cars off the road

air quality icon

Improves air quality through reduced emissions

family wage icon

Generates family-wage jobs, both transit jobs and private sector jobs

increase equity icon

Increases equity through improved mobility – for example, recent national, onboard surveys showed 68 percent of bus riders did not have a car available for their transit trip

economic growth icon

Spurs economic growth

Transit improves people’s lives, and we are proud to provide this essential service to the people of our community.


police officer and operator waiving

Safety On Our System

At Pierce Transit, safety is not just a word – it’s a culture. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pierce Transit has been a leader in providing a clean and safe riding environment for our customers and employees.

In 2021, the agency led the nation in developing a virtual reality training program for bus drivers. When the program launched in early 2022, it added another tool to Pierce Transit’s already award-winning safety training program. The agency’s Public Safety team is also active out in the system, ensuring a safe environment while waiting for and riding transit.


operator smiling

Safety Stats

1,248

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel training hours

748

Bus driver on-the-road safety checks

8%

Decrease in preventable accidents per 100K miles from previous year

Pierce Transit is continuously focused on improvement. Agency staff measure key performance metrics against goals and benchmarks to ensure the delivery of positive safety outcomes.

bus with million mile logo overlayed

Million Mile Club

Million Mile Club is a rare honor attained by professional bus operators nationwide who have driven a million consecutive miles or more without a preventable accident.

Pierce Transit is proud to have more than 50 employees who have achieved this impressive honor!


picture of runner driving

Microtransit

In 2021, Pierce Transit relaunched Runner on-demand services after a pandemic hiatus. We added a Runner serving the Port of Tacoma and Tideflats area to the Runner menu, alongside services for Ruston Way and JBLM.

Riders can request a Runner ride using an app or by phone call, providing a connection to and from transit in areas that have limited bus service. Runner trips are paid for using Pierce Transit’s mobile ticketing app or by showing a valid ORCA card or All Day Pass. In 2022, the Spanaway-Parkland-Midland area will also have Runner service.

passenger greeting operator

Ridership Stats

Pierce Transit provided service every day during the pandemic.
ridestats for bus icon

Bus

4,363,240

Annual passenger boardings

4,558,354

Annual miles traveled

14,270

Average weekday boardings
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Vanpool

323,089

Annual passenger boardings

2,583,536

Annual miles traveled

1,217

Average weekday boardings
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SHUTTLE

163,024

Annual passenger
trips

1,367,835

Annual miles traveled

481

Average weekday boardings

Maintenance

202

Buses maintained

78

Paratransit vehicles supported

117

Support vehicles maintained

281

Vanpool vans serviced


Community Partners

One of our favorite things is partnering with people and organizations in our community! For example, in 2021:

  • Pierce Transit provided service to the Blue Gate parking lot for the Washington State Fair. Several local Pierce Transit routes also connected passengers to the State Fairgrounds.
  • Pierce Transit partnered with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to ensure people had equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations. We provided free rides for people riding to and from vaccination events and appointments, and helped raise awareness about how to get there.
  • Pierce Transit was proud to be part of the now-underway Tacoma Trax transit-oriented development in the heart of the Tacoma Dome District. The 5-story development, built on land previously owned by Pierce Transit, is located steps away from Tacoma Dome Station, Washington state’s largest multi-modal transit hub.

hand holding an orca card

ORCA

The ORCA for Multifamily program gives multifamily properties a convenient way to provide their residents with bus, train or light rail benefits.

This regional transit amenity pays for rides on these ORCA service providers: Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, King County Metro, Community Transit, Kitsap Transit, and Everett Transit. ORCA for Multifamily includes a flat rate first year cost and rolls into a pay-as-you-go pricing upon renewal.


financial responsibility annual header
Pierce Transit spent 2021 managing the financial impacts of COVID. While passenger fare collections remained lower than anticipated, federal relief funds and steady sales tax revenues improved stability to help build services again following initial reductions. Pierce Transit maintains a healthy reserve, and carries no debt. In 2021, the agency was notified it had earned a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 37th year in a row.

Revenue Sources

70.6% Sales Tax

23.7% Grants

4% Fares

1.7% Other/Advertising


holding keys in vanpool

Smart Commute Solutions

In November 2021, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners approved a simplified flat rate fare for our Vanpool service, which reduces the number of vanpool fare options from 420 to six. The Board also approved a permanent, part-time rider option that will give hybrid commuters more flexibility to participate in vanpool.

We are excited to launch the new fares and the part-time rider option starting in May 2022.

Pierce Transit 2021 Board

Pierce Transit is governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners, representing the communities in the agency’s service area.

board commissioner marty campbellMarty Campbell
CHAIR

Pierce County Council
board commissioner kristina walker Kristina Walker
VICE CHAIR

Tacoma City Council
board commissioner chris beale Chris Beale
Tacoma City Council
board commissioner kent keel Kent Keel
Mayor of University Place
board commissioner ryan mello Ryan Mello
Pierce County Council
board commissioner john palmer John Palmer
Puyallup City Council, representing Edgewood and Puyallup
board commissioner kim roscoe Kim Roscoe
Mayor of Fife, representing Fife, Milton, Pacific, Auburn, Ruston, Steilacoom and Gig Harbor
board commissioner jason whalen Jason Whalen
Deputy Mayor of Lakewood
victoria-woodard-21ar Victoria Woodards
Mayor of Tacoma

What’s Next?

picture of electricbus

Planning for the Future

As we look ahead to the service Pierce Transit will provide in the future, we are making changes that will help us meet the community’s needs. This includes updating our Lakewood base facility to maintain future Bus Rapid Transit vehicles, accommodate a larger electric fleet, expand the bus lot to accommodate more vehicles, and modernize our 35-year-old maintenance facility to service vehicles with new technology and components. This multi-year base improvement project is underway and will result in enhanced service and safety.


woman riding bus with stream logo overlayed

Bus Rapid Transit

A New Mobility Option for South Sound
Pierce Transit is planning the South Sound’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line along a 14-mile portion of Pacific Avenue/SR-7 between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway. BRT is a new type of service designed to carry a larger number of riders with greater speed, reliability, and frequency than a standard bus route. Pierce Transit continues laying the groundwork for this new service, expected to be up and running in 2027. We are also studying where to locate future BRT lines that will make up an integrated BRT system called “Stream.” To learn more and interact with us on this project, visit RideStream.org.

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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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