- Getting Around
Accessible Bus FleetAll Pierce Transit buses are accessible for mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, electric scooters, and walkers. Our operators are trained to assist disabled passengers boarding or exiting the vehicle. Here are some tips when trying to board a bus:
- Wait in line with the other passengers and inform the operator you wish to board the bus.
- The operator will use the lift or ramp when necessary for boarding or exiting. The total weight of a wheelchair and passenger cannot exceed 600 pounds on local service coaches. Our cutaway fleet or SHUTTLE style vehicles can accommodate a combined total weight of up to 800 pounds.
- Passengers using the lift or ramp may exit at any designated stop, unless the lift cannot be deployed or other conditions make the stop unsafe.
- All mobility devices should be properly stored, outside the aisle and in the securement area as necessary, for the safety of all passengers.
All Pierce Transit buses are designed to accommodate passengers unable to climb steps or who use mobility devices. Buses have low floors or are equipped with a lift platform for easy boarding. All buses have two locations for wheelchairs. Customers who have difficulty climbing stairs can ask for the bus to “kneel”. The front of the bus will lower to bring the step closer to curb level.
Our operators are trained to allow time for individuals with disabilities to be seated.
All Pierce Transit routes are accessible. An accessible route is one on which Pierce Transit provides a ramp/lift equipped coach on all scheduled trips, and where as many bus stops as possible are designated and made safely accessible for customers. Any customer may request to use the ramp/lift for boarding/deboarding at any stop.
Accessible bus stops are marked with a wheelchair emblem on the bus stop sign. If a bus stop sign does not have the emblem, it has been determined that the lift/ramp may be damaged if it is deployed there. Operators are trained to inform the customer that they cannot deploy the lift there and to position the coach in a safe location using an eighty foot corridor, forty feet either side of the bus stop sign to consider seeking a feasible safe alternate location to deploy the lift/ramp. If a safe location cannot be located the operator must contact the Communication Center for further instruction and inform the customer.
Pierce Transit’s SHUTTLE program provides local bus transportation for individuals with disabilities who are unable to access our fixed route system. Learn more about SHUTTLE.
Pierce Transit requires that operators ask other passengers sitting in the wheelchair securement area to move when a wheelchair passenger boards. The operator will request other passengers give up their seats, but cannot force them to move.
Respirators or personal oxygen supply aids
Respirators or personal oxygen supply aids required by passengers are allowed on board the bus or SHUTTLE if the equipment can be safely transported and controlled during the trip.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA guidelines regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or government.
- Service animals are welcome on all of our buses at no additional charge.
- Transit Operators may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform.
- Service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective controls.
- Customers using a service animal are responsible for the animal and will be held liable for the behavior and action of the animal.
- Service animals must remain on the floor without blocking the aisle or on their owner’s lap.
- If the service animal is unable to perform the job it was trained to do while remaining on the floor or on their owners’ lap, the service animals will be permitted to ride in or on a Pierce Transit bus or paratransit vehicle seat, if available. The owner will be responsible for providing a protective cover for the full area that the service animal uses to sit.
- Service animals, regardless of training or certification, may be denied transportation if the animal is out of control and you do not take effective action to control it, or if the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
Pets and non-service animals are allowed on *local buses with the following rules:
- Pets may ride if they are placed in a small carrier or container.
- Customers bringing a pet onboard are responsible for the animal and will be held liable for the behavior and action of the animal.
- *If you are transferring to a transit system outside of Pierce County with your non-service animal, it is recommended that you review their pet policy before traveling.
- Animals, insects or reptiles known to be poisonous are not allowed under any circumstances.
Comfort and Emotional Support Animals:
Comfort and emotional support animals do not meet the definition of a service animal under state and federal guidelines. Animals other than dogs whom are not working service animals, must be in a pet carrier or container.
The Transit Operator, at his or her discretion, may deny transport of a service animal or pet if there is a concern for the safety or comfort of your fellow passengers.
For more information regarding traveling with a service animal, please visit the following Federal Transit Administration – FTA Website: Frequently Asked Questions | FTA (dot.gov)
Travel Training is a personal service geared toward your needs. It is free and available to seniors and those with disabilities seeking independence by using transit. After working with your personal Trainer, you will feel confident and comfortable riding the bus. Public transportation is a safe, reliable, and economical way to get wherever you want to go!
Pierce Transit Travel Trainers are friendly and respectful. They customize individual training sessions to fit your needs. You’ll walk to your bus stop together, and review bus schedules and fares. You will learn everything you want to know to make bus riding simple such as how to:
- Plan your trip to specific destinations using the easiest and safest route
- Read and understand route maps and schedules
- Recognize bus numbers, stops, and landmarks
- Travel to and from bus stops
- Board the bus with a mobility device
- Pay fares and purchase passes
- Locate and transfer to other buses
- Know where and how to safely cross the street
- Travel independently and confidently by bus
- Use stop request cards
To get signed up for free Travel Training call Customer Services at 253-581-8000 or TTY relay for hearing impaired: 711. We will connect you with one of our Travel Trainers.