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Pierce Transit, along with our planning partners, are in the final stages of planning an improved service called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along a 14.4-mile corridor on Pacific Avenue/State Route 7 between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway.

The corridor is currently served by Route 1, which continuously has the highest ridership of any Pierce Transit fixed route. Currently, riders board the BRT portion of the Route 1 alone an average of 1.1 million times per year, which accounts for 12 percent of Pierce Transit’s total ridership systemwide. By 2040 we project 2.2 million annual boardings along the BRT corridor.

What is Bus Rapid Transit?

Bus Rapid Transit systems are designed to carry larger numbers of riders with greater speed, reliability and frequency than a standard fixed-route bus. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is:

  • Safe, fast, and reliable transportation that will connect the South Sound community
  • A time-saving escape from gridlock with relaxing, frequent service and state-of-the-art buses that can comfortably hold up to 90 passengers and have amenities such as Wi-Fi and multiple boarding doors.
  • A fast ride that rivals car travel times, with buses arriving every 10-15 minutes
  • New BRT Stations will feature pre-payment options, real-time travel info and weather protection
  • Accessible to all with level boarding for bikes, strollers, wheel chairs and pedestrians
  • Environmentally-friendly, high-speed transit for a fraction of the cost of rail modes
  • A uniquely branded system that is easy to understand and use
  • Better opportunities for economic development along the corridor

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BRT Map 


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Use this form for questions, comments or suggestions about the Pierce Transit's Bus Rapid Transit. Your feedback is important to us.






 

Do you currently ride Route 1?









Why is BRT Better?




Why Consider BRT for Pacific Avenue | SR 7?

Ninety million dollars in funding is already set aside for this project; $60 million from Sound Transit 3 and $30 million in state funding. The remaining funding is expected to come primarily from federal grants.
Pacific Avenue | SR 7 is Pierce Transit’s highest ridership corridor 5,950 average weekday boardings. There are more then 3,500 weekday boardings along the portion of the Route 1 being considered for BRT.
Approximately 55,000 residents live within a half-mile of the corridor, and that number will increase by an estimated 25% by 2040.
The current 31,500 jobs located along the corridor will increase to an estimated 59,000 by 2040.
Approximately 11% of the people living along the corridor are dependent on transit for their travel needs.
The corridor stretches 14.4 miles from Spanaway to downtown Tacoma.

Project History

  • The study began in early 2017 by looking at the feasibility of High Capacity Transit along this corridor. High Capacity Transit (HCT) can take several forms, including light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit and rapid streetcar.
  • After reviewing several HCT mode options and gathering public input, Bus Rapid Transit rose to the top as the preferred option based on several factors, including lower cost and more flexibility.
  • In 2018, Pierce Transit entered a new phase of the study to develop a recommended Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) that includes the mode, termini (where it begins and ends), and the alignment. The Pierce Transit Board adopted the LPA at its July 9, 2018 meeting. The LPA included mode(BRT), termini (downtown Tacoma and Spanaway) and alignment (Route 1 with modifications).
  • Pierce Transit has engaged the community through a series of open houses throughout the corridor. The agency met with dozens of stakeholders in the area, solicited feedback and shared information online.
  • In September 2018, Pierce Transit submitted an Federal Transit Administration Small Starts application which will be the mechanism to seek the remaining 40 percent of needed project funding.
  • In April 2019, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners adopted the proposed station locations, BRT lane configuration (the Median-Hybrid alternative), and access routing (using E. 26th Street both in and out) to Tacoma Dome Station.

What's Next?

  • Per a WSDOT requirement, Pierce Transit is evaluating 4 currently signalized intersections within the corridor for possible conversion to roundabouts. A final determination will be made over the summer of 2019, once the Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE) report is completed for WSDOT.
  • Pierce Transit is coordinating with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to determine the appropriate level of environmental review, which will likely be completed in Winter 2019-2020.
  • Service to begin in late 2022.

How Can You Get Involved?


Visit us at www.RideBRT.com

Phone: Call Project Manager Tina Lee at 253.589.6887

Sign up to Receive Email Updates: Visit piercetransit.org/StayConnected, enter your email address, and select the “Bus Rapid Transit” topic.

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Useful Documents

BRT Fact Sheet

Useful Facts
BRT spanish

Useful Facts Spanish
BRT curbside

BRT Curbside
BRT Hybrid

BRT Hybrid
BRT Environmental Issues

BRT Environmental Issues
Service Alternatives Evaluation

Service Alternatives Evaluation
First Last Mile Access Improvements Technical Report

First Last Mile Access Improvements
Mode Evaluation

Mode Evaluation
Purpose & Need, Goals & Objectives, Evaluation Measures

Purpose & Need, Goals & Objectives,
Evaluation Measures
Existing and Future Conditions Report

Existing and Future Conditions
Report


Corridor Concepts

Downtown Corridor Concept
DowntwonTacoma
(30th St. to Downtown)
Mid South Corridor Concept
Mid South Tacoma
(80th St to 32nd St)
Parkland PLU Corridor Concept
Parkland PLU Corridor Concept
(146th St to 82nd St)
BRT Pierce County Corridor Concept
Pierce County Spanaway
(204th St to 149th St)


The design of the lane treatments and station locations for the Median-Hybrid Alternative (labeled “Center Running Option” on the maps) are conceptual and may be adjusted as the design advances. As part of the next design phase, a more detailed analysis of traffic issues and consideration of options to reduce project impacts will be considered.

This could result in some adjustments in the locations of the dedicated transit lanes and stations.




FAQ

  • How will the new BRT service affect local service on Route 1?

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    The BRT service will replace Route 1 between Spanaway and downtown Tacoma. It will follow the same routing with the exception of stopping at the Tacoma Dome Station to provide connections to other transit service, and serving downtown using Market Street instead of Pacific Avenue. Running both Route 1 and BRT would require us to reduce BRT pickups to every 15 minutes, and reduce Route 1 pickups to every 30 minutes. Even with those reductions, running both services would cost an additional approximately $2 million per year.

  • What happens to Route 1 from Commerce Station to Tacoma Community College?

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    The portion of Route 1 between downtown Tacoma and Tacoma Community College would continue to operate using the same schedule and routing as the current service. The Route 1 would connect with the BRT service at the Commerce Street Transit Center.

  • What will BRT mean for economic development along the corridor?

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    Typically, Bus Rapid Transit systems generate increased economic development along their corridors, as people have better access to educational, vocational and job opportunities, and businesses in the area. The City of Tacoma and Pierce County have already identified this corridor for higher-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented development.

  • Will BRT increase or decrease congestion?

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    Congestion mitigation is one of the project’s primary goals. Faster, more frequent, more reliable service will provide a competitive alternative to driving, thereby reducing the number of cars in the corridor.

  • Will BRT require the removal of general-purpose lanes along the corridor?

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    Plans currently outlined in the feasibility study do not call for the removal of any general-purpose lanes along the corridor. In some instances, a dedicated transit lane for buses and vehicles turning right may be added, or the bus may travel in the median lane, but the scenarios under consideration do not eliminate general-purpose traffic lanes. The 14.4-mile corridor has widely-varying travel configurations, so the portion of roadway where the bus runs will likely vary throughout the corridor. On-street or surface parking could change, depending on path of travel and station locations.

  • Is BRT a tested transit option?

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    Yes, BRT is a rapidly-growing transit mode in Washington state. In the Puget Sound area, King County Metro has RapidRide and Community Transit has Swift. In Vancouver, C-TRAN recently opened The Vine, and Spokane Transit is in the planning stages for their inaugural BRT line.

  • How much do BRT projects typically cost?

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    BRT projects typically cost about $10 million per mile. The Pacific Avenue | SR-7 BRT project is estimated to cost about $150 million (including vehicles). By contrast, street cars cost about $30 million per mile and light rail costs $200 million per mile.

  • How much faster will that 14.4-mile trip be once BRT is implemented?

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    The answer to this question will depend on how much of the route will have dedicated transit lanes and how much time the bus will spend in mixed traffic. The more dedicated lanes, the faster the route will run. We will have a better sense of how much faster the trip will be once the lane configurations are selected in each segment of the corridor. Typically, BRT systems operate from 15-30 percent faster than the local fixed route. Since our current fixed route (Route 1) requires as much as 55 minutes to ride from Spanaway to downtown Tacoma, the agency will do whatever is possible to design a new BRT route that reduces that travel time by the maximum amount possible.

  • Will construction of the BRT line require the purchase of any private property?

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    We estimate the BRT project will require the cumulative purchase of just over one acre of private property in total along the 14.4-mile corridor.

    We estimate this will impact small portions (“slivers”) of about 140 properties along the route.

    Where we will need to purchase these small portions of private property, Pierce Transit is absolutely committed to minimizing impacts to property owners by working with them and considering realistic alternatives that are agreeable to both parties.

    The BRT project will not require the purchase of any entire parcel, nor will it shut down businesses or require the acquisition of homes.

    If you have questions about potential impacts to your property at this phase, please email us at brt@piercetransit.org with your address and contact information, and we will contact you.

    The BRT project is currently at only 5 percent design. Once we enter the full design phase and begin mapping out specifics along the corridor, we will contact property owners who could potentially be impacted by the project and begin working with them.

  • I’ve heard the BRT will result in the closure of small businesses and displacement of homes. Is that true?

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    No. The project will not require the purchase of entire parcels, businesses, or homes.

    Pierce Transit is committed to assisting small businesses by locating BRT stations in business districts along the corridor that would most effectively deliver existing or potential customers to those locations.

    If you have questions about potential impacts to your property at this phase, please email us at brt@piercetransit.org with your address and contact information, and we will contact you.

  • How will the BRT line impact parking along the corridor?

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    As with any thoroughfare, there is public right-of-way along the outside edges of the Pacific Avenue/SR 7 roadway. Some of this public right-of-way is currently being used for parking but may be needed for completion of the BRT project.

  • Will it require the removal of parking on private property?

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    Since the project is currently only at 5 percent design, the actual number of on- or off-street parking spaces that could be removed to accommodate the BRT is not yet finalized. However, once those exact locations are determined in the Preliminary Engineering/Design phase later in 2019, we will contact and begin working with potentially-affected property owners.

  • Will the BRT line remove some options for left turns?

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    Under the Median-Hybrid Alternative approved by Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners, the BRT line will travel in mixed traffic for 9.8 miles, in curbside lanes intended for the use of buses and cars turning right (known as Business Access and Transit or “BAT” lanes) for one mile, and in a bus-only lane or lanes in the median for 3.6 miles.

    Where the bus runs in the median, cars turning left will be required to go to the next traffic signal to make a U-turn and come back along the block to access a home driveway or business parking lot.

    Referring to the Median-Hybrid concept drawings (available online), left turns could be restricted at the following streets (listed from north to south):

    • S. 40th Street (U-turns at 43rd to the south or 38th to the north)
    • S. 55th Street (U-turns at 56th to the south or 50th to the north)
    • S. 57th, 58th, and 59th Streets (U-turns at 60th to the south or 56th to the north)
    • S. 61st, 62nd, and 63rd Streets (U-turns at 64th to the south or 60th to the north)
    • S. 65th, 67th, 68th, and 70th Streets (U-turns at 72nd to the south or 64th to the north)
    • S. 78th Street (U-turns at 84th to the south or 76th to the north)
    • 107th Street S (U-turns at 108th to the south or 96th to the north)
    • 114th Street S, Violet Meadow Street E, 115th, 116th, 117th, 118th, 119th, and 120th Streets S (U-turns at 121st to the south or 112th to the north)
    • 122nd and 123rd Streets S (U-turns at Tule Lake to the south or Garfield Street to the north)


    However, as part of the final design phase, options to allow for more left turn opportunities can be explored. One such option would be to add designated U-turn areas at ¼-mile or shorter mid-block intervals for automobiles and passenger trucks only, between the intersections listed above.

    This road treatment is becoming more typical throughout the county and our region. For example, this lane treatment is used along Bridgeport Way W. in University Place, which has planted (landscaped) medians throughout its entire central business district, meaning left turns or U-turns are only allowed at intersections. In Seattle, much of the Aurora Avenue N/SR 99 RapidRide BRT corridor has a continuous Jersey barrier, wall, raised median, or other limited access barrier between intersections.

  • Will there be any other lane treatment impacts?

    +

    The Washington State Department of Transportation requires that roundabouts be considered any time an intersection is changed. We are working with WSDOT now to determine how many roundabouts might be required along the corridor.

  • Stations will be farther apart than the bus stops are now. Why, and how does that impact riders?

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    BRT systems have fewer stops than a typical bus line. This, along with features at the stations that help people board and disembark faster, is what makes the line “rapid” and moves the bus more quickly up and down the corridor.

    Pierce Transit’s BRT line between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway will have approximately 32 pairs of stations, down from 65 pairs of stops now located along that portion of the Route 1.

    We have carefully analyzed the stops located along the route with the goal of eliminating those with the lowest daily ridership and retaining stops in areas with the highest ridership. We are also prioritizing stops at locations that offer east-west connections and reach key destinations in the corridor.

    Once the current 32 BRT station pairs are constructed, the average spacing between them will be approximately 0.45-mile or just under a half-mile. This means someone walking north or south along the corridor will never be more than a ¼-mile from the nearest BRT station; about a five-minute walk.

    While the longer distance to catch the bus may impact those with less mobility, it is important to note that Pierce Transit does provide door-to-door paratransit SHUTTLE service for those who cannot ride the regular bus due to a disabling condition.

    When BRT systems are implemented, they typically include pedestrian infrastructure and accessibility upgrades along the corridor that make it easier and safer to access the stations and get on transit.

  • Will the BRT increase traffic in adjacent neighborhoods?

    +

    Potentially, especially during the construction phase. In the bigger picture, however, the goal of the project is to reduce traffic volumes throughout the Pacific Avenue/SR 7 corridor by shifting more Single Occupancy Vehicle trips to transit trips – especially once BRT is proven to offer a faster, more reliable, and travel time-competitive option than driving. In addition, both the City of Tacoma and Pierce County have agreed that residential parking permits could be issued within ¼-mile of the corridor, in order to avoid “Hide-and-Ride” on-street parking by system patrons in adjacent neighborhoods.

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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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