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Pierce Transit Introduces Expanded Runner Service
On Sept. 1, Pierce Transit will resume Runner service in the Ruston/Point Defiance area and begin new Runner service to the Tideflats/Port of Tacoma area. These services and “JBLM Runner” service between Lakewood and JBLM are operating under the Pierce Transit Runner brand.
Ruston Runner service began operation Aug. 1, 2020. Service paused in March 2021 due to COVID impacts affecting ridership.
Pierce Transit recognizes the need for innovative public transportation. Runner service is on-demand transportation offering a quick, car-free transportation solution typically provided in areas with limited public transportation options. It provides people who live, work and play in these areas a link to traditional transit and a quick, affordable and car-free way to access businesses, attractions and activities within and between zones.
Runner addresses the unique challenges these areas offer to traditional scheduled bus service while offering benefits to the rider and public, including:
- Increased job opportunities in underserved areas
- Improved access to recreation and entertainment
- Increased safety where few safe, accessible stops are available, by loading and unloading passengers in secure locations
- On-demand and dynamically routed transit offers flexibility for workers on non-traditional shifts
- Rideshare decreases congestion during busiest commute times
- Decreases crowding in parking areas
- Reduced emissions
- Offers a first-last mile solution for connections to traditional public transportation
- Smaller vehicles have access to locations that a personal car can travel
The zone served by Ruston Runner includes Ruston Way, Point Ruston, parts of the town of Ruston, a section of Dock Street and part of the Tideflats along the Foss Waterway. The zone includes Commerce Street Transit Center Zone A in downtown Tacoma and the Tacoma Dome Station, where riders can make transit connections to local and regional transportation. The Ruston Runner is available seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Tideflats Runner zone is bordered to the south by I-5, north to Commencement Bay and just west of Pacific Avenue eastward to Marine View Drive. The Tideflats Runner operates in a new commuter-oriented employment zone offering access to jobs in an area previously without transportation benefits. The area includes major transit hubs, Tacoma Dome Station and Commerce Street Transit Center for easy connections to several local and regional transit modes. The overlap between the Ruston and Tideflat zones at Commerce Street Transit Center allows riders to travel between zones, eliminating a vehicle transfer between Runner zones. Hours of operation for the Tideflats Runner are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Pierce Transit Runner vans are wheelchair accessible and equipped with a ramp so mobility devices can come on board. Each vehicle can accommodate one mobility device or bike.
To book trips for the Ruston or Tideflats Runner service, use the “Goin” app. After downloading and opening the app, riders select the Pierce Transit Runner service from a list of options for service in the area. Then they will select a pick-up and destination location within the zone. Anyone who does not have a smartphone may call 253.270.1340 to schedule a trip.
Riders may pay using One Ride Tickets, All Day Passes or a 30-Day Pass purchased through PiercePay on the Passage: Transit Ticketing app (beginning Sept. 1). Riders may also show the Runner driver their valid ORCA card or paper All Day Pass. Cash is not accepted onboard Runner.
More information on the Runner and other Pierce Transit innovative services is available at PierceTransit.org.