I need to get from Point A to Point B. What route do I take?+
You can find directions by using our online trip planner or you can call our Customer Services department at 253-581-8000, Option 1, then Option 1 again and one of our customer service representatives will help you find the fastest way to get where you need to go.
Are the stops listed on the schedules the only stops the buses make on their trips?+
No, buses make stops all along local routes. The stops listed in the schedules and shown on the maps are timepoints to help you estimate when the bus will arrive at your stop. Buses on express routesmake limited stops. To view all bus stops on a particular Pierce Transit route, view the route’s individual map on this website, select “expand map,” then double-click to zoom in
There are dashes (---) under some timepoints on your website and in your schedule book. What's up with that?+
A dash under a timepoint means the bus does not serve that particular stop on that trip.
Does bus service operate the same level of service on holidays as listed on regular weekdays?+
Pierce Transit modifies some service to more closely match ridership levels on holidays and days around those holidays. For details click here or check our route and schedule book, The Bus Stops Here.
Why was the bus late?+
Buses are often delayed by the same things that delay other traffic: accidents, weather/road conditions, special events, police activity, missing a signal, or construction.
We're always looking for ways to improve in areas where we do have some control, such as scheduling, maintenance, stop spacing, curb extensions, operator training and traffic signal priority. If you have suggestions for improving our on-time performance, please let us know.
I was running for the bus, why did the driver leave without me?+
Transit Operators have a brief window of time to board waiting passengers, close the doors and continue along the route to stay on schedule. If the operator opens the door again to let you on, it could cause the bus to miss a signal, which delays everyone on board, and everyone at the next stop.
Also, if a bus has already pulled away from the curb, it might not be safe to let you on. Operators don't want passengers walking through a traffic lane. Your best bet is to be at the bus stop five minutes before you expect the bus to arrive.
Why did the bus drive right by me without stopping to pick me up?+
We know it is frustrating being passed up, especially when it's cold or wet outside. If the bus didn't stop for you, it is likely because the operator couldn't see you.
To make yourself more visible, wear light-colored clothing or reflective strips, and carry a flashlight, cell phone or safety strobe. It helps if you stand up, move or wave as the bus approaches.
It's also possible that the operator was new to the route or filling in, and accidentally missed your stop. If you believe this was the case, please let us know so we can try to prevent it from happening again.
Where can I get general route and service information?+
Our Customer Service Team is available to help plan your travel route by calling (253) 581-8000, Option 1, then Option 1 again. This website also has a trip planner that allows you to create custom itineraries. Just enter your starting point, destination, and date and time of travel and the trip planner will provide travel options for you. All possible routes will be outlined, including total travel time, and transfer instructions if applicable.
What is the deal with Priority Seating?+
Customers with disabilities have a designated priority seating area aboard buses. If these seats are not in use, strollers may be parked in this area or other passengers may occupy the seats. However, if a customer with disabilities, or a person using a mobility device boards, others may be asked to move to a different seat.
How does the Americans with Disabilities Act affect Pierce Transit's services?+
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted on July 26, 1990. Among its many provisions, this civil rights act is intended to ensure equal access for people with disabilities to public transportation. Under the ADA transit providers have the responsibility to make their services and facilities accessible. The expectation of the ADA is that most transportation services provided for individuals with disabilities will be provided by regularly accessible fixed route. The ADA requires that all new vehicles purchased for general fixed route public transportation service be accessible for people with disabilities. Under the ADA, paratransit (SHUTTLE) service is defined as a “safety net” for those individuals with conditions that prevent fixed route system use, not just make more it difficult.
What are the accessibility features of Pierce Transit's buses?+
Pierce Transit's entire bus fleet is accessible to people with disabilities. All of our buses are capable of "kneeling," thereby lowering the bus. All the buses also have ramps at the forward doors, priority seats, and wheelchair securement areas. These features ease boarding and riding the bus for people with mobility disabilities.
Additionally, automated voice announcements—both interior and exterior—help make stop, route and other information accessible to sight-impaired passengers. Buses have reader boards to help passengers know where they are along the route. You may also request to have our operators announce your stop.
How do I travel with my mobility device on Pierce Transit's buses?+
Pierce Transit's buses were built in accordance with ADA requirements. The ramps on Pierce Transit's buses and wheelchair spaces on our buses are designed to accommodate both manual or powered mobility devices. If you are unable to get your manual wheelchair up the ramp, the Operator can help you. Our coaches feature securement devices and seatbelts. Our Operators will make sure your device is secured so you can feel safe when you travel with us.
What form of payments is accepted on Pierce Transit buses?+Cash, ORCA E-purse, ORCA Monthly Passes (PT Reduced Fare Monthly Pass or Regional Puget Pass), ORCA All Day Passes (PT Adult or Reduced), PT One Ride tickets, PT All Day Passes, and Juror Free Ride Tickets.
Can I use Pierce Transit One Ride tickets to purchase an All Day Pass?+No. All Day Passes can only be purchased: Human Services Agencies, with cash at the farebox, or loaded on an ORCA card at the Tacoma Dome Station Bus Shop, ORCA retail locations, ticket vending machines, by phone, or online at orcacard.com
How can I get a transfer?+Paper transfers have been eliminated. If you are paying with cash or with a Human Services Agency One Ride ticket, you will need to pay each time you board a bus. However, if you pay your fare using E-purse on an ORCA card, you receive a two hour transfer credit after your card is first tapped.
Can I use my All Day Pass on SHUTTLE?+No. All Day Passes cannot be used on SHUTTLE service because SHUTTLE vehicles are not equipped with the new electronic fareboxes. Also, SHUTTLE and fixed route fares differ.
My Jury Summons has a Pierce Transit Free Bus Ride ticket on it. Is that still valid?+
Yes. Pierce Transit provides a free ride ticket for jurors who are on their way to Jury Duty, valid until 1:30pm on the first reporting day of Jury Duty, to the Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma. There has been a small change for jurors, as a result of the elimination of paper transfers. After the juror calls in to court to confirm the first reporting date of Jury Duty, the juror must write, in ink, that reporting date on the juror's Free Bus Ride ticket, found on the Jury Summons. Then, the juror may show that ticket to the driver on board Pierce Transit bus(es), up until 1:30pm, on that date only. At Superior Court, the juror may request additional Pierce Transit tickets for the rest of the jury duty period.
Are monthly passes good on all buses, local and express?+
Regional monthly passes (called PugetPasses) are "loaded" electronically on ORCA cards. ORCA cards are accepted on Pierce Transit, King County Metro, Community Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit, and Sound Transit. Monthly passes are worth the trip value of the pass. You pay the fare difference, if any, when you ride. However, a Pierce Transit Reduced Fare Monthly Pass is only valid on Pierce Transit local service and SHUTTLE. The Pierce Transit Virtual SHUTTLE Pass is only valid on SHUTTLE vehicles.
Which bus systems honor ORCA smart cards?+Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Community Transit, Everett Transit, and Washington State Ferries. For details, visit orcacard.com
How long is the monthly pass good? For example, if I buy one on the 5th of the month, is it good till the 5th of the next month?+
Passes are good from the first to the last day of the month only. There is no "grace" period.
Are monthly passes prorated? For example, if I buy one on the 14th and it's only good until the 30th, do I pay half price?+
No. You must pay full price for a pass no matter when you buy it. If you start riding the bus frequently, but too late in the month to get full value from a pass, you may wish to load your ORCA card with E-purse instead.
How often do I have to ride the bus to make purchasing a monthly pass worthwhile?+
All PugetPass prices are based on 18 round trips. If you ride the bus more than that in one calendar month, the pass is the best value over cash or tickets.
Where can I purchase bus tickets?+
Pierce Transit’s One Ride bus tickets are not available to the general public. Only human service agencies, schools and Pierce County Superior Court can purchase tickets.
Do bus tickets have expiration dates?+
Yes. The Pierce Transit paper All Day Pass purchased onboard will be issued to you with an expiration date and time printed on the back.
Also, every Pierce Transit All Day Pass and One Ride ticket distributed through an organization has an "ultimate" expiration date printed on the front. It must be used prior to that date. One Ride Tickets are valid only for a single use. Once the One Ride Ticket has been dipped into the farebox you may dispose of the ticket, since it will be expired. Pierce Transit's paper All Day Pass will be activated upon first use, when you dip it into the farebox. Your pass will be returned to you with an expiration date and time printed on the back.
What does the Regional Reduced Fare Permit ID for seniors and people with disabilities entitle them to?+
If you are 65 or older, or have a qualifying doctor-verified disability, you may ride for a reduced fare. You must show a valid Regional Reduced Fare Permit when paying a reduced fare. Regional Reduced Fare Permit ORCA card applications and permits are available at the Tacoma Dome Station Bus Shop (the application can be downloaded as a pdf). Your initial card will be free. A replacement card will be $3. Please bring proof of age, S.S. I. disability award letter, VA paperwork with 40% or more disability, or a valid Medicare card.
Are discounted fares available for people with disabilities?+
Yes. If you are 65 or older, have a qualifying doctor-verified disability, or have a Medicare card you may ride for a discounted fare. You must show a valid Regional Reduced Fare Permit when paying a discounted fare.
Regional Reduced Fare Permit applications and permits are available at the Tacoma Dome Station Bus Shop (the application can be downloaded as a pdf). All permits cost $3. Please bring proof of age, S.S. I. disability award letter, VA paperwork with 40% or more disability, or a valid Medicare card.
Forms of payment for discounted fares are cash, ORCA E-purse, ORCA Monthly Passes (PT specific discounted or Regional), ORCA All Day Passes (PT specific or Regional), PT One Ride tickets, and PT All Day Passes.
What age does a person have to be to be eligible for the senior reduced fare ORCA card ID?+
Seniors must be 65 or older to qualify.
How long are transfers good for?+
ORCA allows you an automatic two hour transfer window from the first time you pay using your E-purse.
What happens if I am not eligible for Paratransit service?+
If you do not qualify for SHUTTLE or are outside the SHUTTLE service area, you can get information about transportation options by dialing Washington Information Network (WIN) 2-1-1 or 253.572.4357 or 1.800.572.4357. By calling 2-1-1 on your telephone, you can access a variety of essential services. A Referral Specialist will connect you with health, transportation, human service information and referrals. Additional information can be found at win211.org.
Can bus operators make change on the bus?+
No. Bus operators cannot make change on buses. If you are using cash, please present the exact fare as you board.
Can children ride free on Pierce Transit local service?+
Youth 18 and younger ride FREE!
What is ORCA?+
ORCA stands for One Regional Card for All. The ORCA card works like cash or a pass, automatically tracking the value of different fares and transfers so you don't have to. ORCA makes traveling the Puget Sound region by bus, train and ferry easier than ever.
The electronic fare card works for all seven of the major public transportation agencies serving King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties: Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, and Washington State Ferries.
Your ORCA card also has built in transfers. If you take more than one bus or train to complete your trip, or if you want to get on and off the bus frequently, get an ORCA card. Paying with ORCA automatically gives you a two-hour transfer that credits the fare you've already paid when you transfer to another bus or train.
I don't have an ORCA card and just want to ride for the day. What options are available to me?+
Pierce Transit offers an All Day Pass. This pass is good for unlimited rides on Pierce Transit service on the day the pass is purchased and is good through the end of the service day (2:59am). Tell your driver you want to buy an All Day Pass and put the correct fare in the farebox. Adult All Day Passes cost $5.00, discounted All Day Passes (for Discounted or Youth) are $2.50. You must show a Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) if senior or disabled, or proof of age if a youth. Once sufficient cash is inserted, the farebox will dispense your All Day Pass. Your All Day Pass will have an expiration date and time printed on the back.
When boarding your next Pierce Transit bus that day, slide your pass through the magnetic stripe reader on the farebox, with the magnetic stripe at the bottom.
Pierce Transit’s All Day Passes are not valid on SHUTTLE, Sound Transit, King County Metro or Intercity Transit. If you need to transfer to another transit system, you will have to pay that system's fare.
How can I get an ORCA card?+
Adult customers can buy an ORCA card and load transportation value or passes onto existing cards in the any of the ways listed below. Adult ORCA cards cost $5.
- Online. Online purchases require a valid Visa or MasterCard. It will take up to 7 business days for your card to arrive in the mail. If you are adding value to an existing card, it can take up to 24 hours for that value to appear on your card.
- By phone: 1-888-988-6722 or TTY Relay: 711 (1-888-889-6368). Phone purchases require a valid Visa or MasterCard. If you are adding value to an existing card, it can take up to 24 hours for that value to appear on your card.
- Customer Service Office, such as Tacoma Dome Station Bus Shop location. Adult, youth (ages 6 to 18), senior (ages 65+) and disabled Regional Reduced Fare Permit ORCA cards. Most forms of payment are accepted at customer service offices.
- At ticket vending machines. Ticket machines are located throughout the region. Locally, at Tacoma Dome Station, South Tacoma Station and Lakewood Station. Ticket machine purchases require cash, Visa or MasterCard.
- By mail. Mail purchases may be made with a check, credit card or money order.
- At retail pass outlets. Revalue existing ORCA cards or purchase adult ORCA cards (senior, youth and individuals with disabilities can purchase an ORCA card at the Tacoma Dome Station Bus Shop but may revalue the card at participating retailers).
To pay a youth fare with ORCA, customers must provide proof of age and buy their first ORCA card by mail or in person at a Customer Service Office. A youth ORCA card costs $5 to purchase.
To pay a reduced fare, seniors (ages 65+) must provide proof of age and buy their first ORCA card by mail or in person at a Customer Service Office. People with disabilities must get a reduced fare ORCA card in person at a Customer Service Office. Bring a Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) application. There is no charge for the initial card. There is a $3 fee to replace your card. Current reduced fare permit holders can exchange their valid paper reduced fare card at any time for a new ORCA reduced fare card at no charge.
Once you have your ORCA card, you may load a pass or E-purse value online, by mail, at an ORCA Customer Service Office, participating retailer, or at a ticket vending machine.
For more information, visit orcacard.com.
I lost a personal item on the bus. Now what?+
If you lose an item on the bus, call Pierce Transit Customer Services at 253.581.8000 to see if it has been found or fill out the lost & found online form. Wallets, purses and medications are always given special consideration for quick return to the owner. Lost & found items can be picked up the next business day after 11:30 a.m. at the Bus Shop - Tacoma Dome Station.
When claiming a lost bike, pick up is at Pierce Transit headquarters between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday.
Items lost on Tacoma's Link Light Rail will be held at The Bus Shop - Tacoma Dome Station.
For items lost on the Sounder train, call (888) 889-6368, select the "Sounder" option, then select "Lost & Found."
Why don't all buses connect at 10th & Commerce in Downtown Tacoma?+
10th and Commerce is a "transfer area", not a Transit Center. Transit Centers have timed connections where the buses arrive and depart at the same times. More than twenty routes arrive and depart from 10th and Commerce — there just isn't room for them all to meet at the same time. Therefore, there are no "guaranteed" connections at 10th and Commerce.
How long can I leave my car at a Park and Ride lot?+
Commuters may park their personal vehicles for up to 24 hours.
Can I bring my bike along on Pierce Transit?+
Yes — unless the bus's bike rack is full and there's not enough room on board the bus. All Pierce Transit buses are equipped with bike racks. If the rack is full, bikes may be brought aboard Pierce Transit buses — but not Sound Transit buses (For Sound Transit's bike policy go here). Cyclists are responsible for handling and assuring the security of their bikes, and must hold them throughout the trip. Your transit operator has the authority to ask you to take your bicycle off the bus should the bus become too crowded. Pierce Transit assumes no responsibility for bikes stolen or damaged while parked at a rack or locker.
Can I bring a bicycle on the bus if the bike rack is full?+
On Pierce Transit local service, when bike racks are full it is up to the driver whether a bike may be brought onboard. It depends on passenger loads and the effect on the safety of passengers.
Can I leave my bike at a Transit Center or Park & Ride when I ride the bus?+
Yes, but Pierce Transit assumes no responsibility for bikes stolen or damaged. We strongly recommend locking your bike to a rack or renting a locker. Lockers are available for a $50 deposit and $10 per month rental fee. Keys for all lockers must be picked up at the Tacoma Dome Station Bus Shop, 505 East 25th Street, Tacoma.
How many pieces of luggage can I take aboard the airport bus?+
Common sense is really the only guide; as long as they don't block the aisles or take up too much seat space, take as many pieces of luggage as you think you can comfortably handle.
Can I bring a pet on any of your transit services?+
Pets are allowed on board buses, but only in an enclosed carrier. Service animals (those trained to help people with disabilities) are allowed on a leash, but must remain under the owner's control and behave appropriately. Keep in mind, it may not be obvious that an animal is a service animal. If you have a concern about an animal on board, ask the operator.
What are the boundaries of Pierce Transit's service area, and should I care?+
You may download a map of Pierce Transit's service area (the Public Transportation Benefit Area) HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Who handles the advertising on your buses?+
Pierce Transit's fleet advertising is contracted to Lamar Transit Advertising. If you are interested in advertising on our buses or bus shelters, contact Market Manager Jeff Rossman at Lamar:
Lamar Transit Advertising
3601 Sixth Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98134
General questions about Pierce Transit and its services should be directed here.
Riding the bus may cut down on the number of cars on the road, but aren't diesel emissions bad for the environment?+
True, but fortunately not a problem at Pierce Transit. Way back in 1986, we were the first transit agency in the nation to put a compressed natural gas (CNG) bus in service, and, as of 2004, our entire fleet is fueled by clean-burning CNG. Complete story here.
What is the process to request a bus shelter/bench?+
Call (253) 581-8000 and file a request with a Customer Service Representative. Please provide the Representative with an address or the name of the street where the bus stop is located, the closest intersection and contact information (name, phone number, address and email address). Pierce Transit has limited funds for shelters. Otherwise, we'd have them in many more places.
Who do I contact if I see suspicious or downright criminal behavior on the bus or other transit property?+
If it's an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, Pierce Transit has established its own police force which can be reached at 253.983.3371 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information here.
Why do I see so many empty buses on the road?+
An empty or almost-empty bus may indicate a route with low ridership; often, however, you're seeing the bus at either the beginning or the end of its run (that is, before gathering most of its passengers, or after dropping most of them off). And even our most popular routes tend to see lower ridership before and after the peak commuting hours in the morning and evening.
I see some bus shelters that had glass in them are now boarded up instead. How come?+
Sadly, shelters in certain areas have been the target of repeated vandalism -- and with the cost of repairs to those shelters approaching $12,000 a month, Pierce Transit decided it could no longer afford to replace the glass.
Can Pierce Transit assign a bigger bus on my route so I can always have a seat?+
We have a number of smaller buses for use where practicable. However, in our system, buses circulate among routes; after finishing a low-ridership route, a bus may immediately go on to serve one of our more popular routes. As far as expense is concerned, the cost of the fuel saved by using smaller vehicles is offset by our more rugged and reliable (and, therefore, less expensive to maintain) larger vehicles.
Do you use smaller buses on routes with low ridership?+
While we would like to have a seat for every passenger, standees are permitted on transit systems. Bus assignments can be complicated, as they require planning for multiple routes, schedules and travel destinations. Bus assignment decisions are based on ridership as well as available budget, staff, equipment, and overall system impacts.
Pierce Transit must prioritize resources to meet the areas of highest demand. (For example, although a route may have one or two crowded peak trips—another route may have more continuous demand throughout the morning.)
Please know that adjustments are made to routes and bus assignments whenever possible, however, solutions may not be immediate due to the need for assessments and/or other constraints such as the schedule for service changes (which only occurs three times a year).
Does Pierce Transit connect with ferries that cross Puget Sound?+
There are two ferry runs Pierce Transit connects with — Point Defiance-Vashon Island (routes 11 & 10) and Steilacoom-Anderson & Ketron Islands (route 212). The 212 also connects with the McNeil Island Prison boat which is for use only by employees and pre-approved visitors to the Special Commitment Center.
How can I submit my feedback about your services?+
Pierce Transit welcomes all feedback. Your individual views as customers help us to improve services for everyone.
To submit your feedback you can mail us a comment/compliment card (found onboard vehicles and at Tacoma Dome Station Bus Shop). You may also contact customer service at (253) 581-8000 and speak with a representative. Or, you can complete the online customer feedback support form located here.
Feedback relating to Pierce Transit services is passed on to the relevant department. For example comments about Transit Centers are sent to the Facilities Manager. Pierce Transit then considers your comments and implements recommendations where feasible and/or uses the information you have provided to resolve issues.
Pierce Transit's Executive Team monitors all feedback, whether it relates to services we provide, our facilities, or our employees and works to ensure that safety, reliability, and courtesy standards are maintained. We are also very happy to receive positive comments about our services and employees.
Does Pierce Transit enforce the smoking ban?+
Yes. Smoking is prohibited on Pierce Transit vehicles or within 25 feet of any of its vehicles or facilities. If you smoke, be considerate of your fellow riders by moving away from the vehicle, shelter, or bus.
Do all Pierce Transit buses make automated stop announcements?+
Yes. Listen for automated stop and route announcements while traveling on Pierce Transit and Sound Transit buses. Route and destination announcements required by the Americans with Disabilities Act are made by our automatic announcement system we call trax each time a bus door opens at a stop. In addition, upcoming stop names are announced on the buses to keep passengers informed about the next stop coming up on that route.
Please report any problems with the timing of stop announcements, interior volume, or pronunciation issues by filling out a customer comment card (located at the front of the bus), sending or filling out our comment form online. When reporting issues with announcements, please be as specific as possible. Include the route, direction of travel, time of day, vehicle number and a complete description of the problem.