Starting Monday, March 30, Pierce Transit will reduce weekday bus service by about 28 percent until further notice. This week Pierce Transit’s bus ridership is down 57 percent compared to March 2019. The reduced service levels will take into consideration lower ridership levels while also allowing room for social distancing between customers on buses.
“Pierce Transit ridership is down significantly, but we are still committed to providing this essential service during this challenging time for our community,” said Pierce Transit CEO Sue Dreier. “Many people have no other way to get to a critical-service job, get food or to a medical appointment. Our goal is to continue providing public transportation services while approaching reductions in a measured, thoughtful way. Our employees are taking their jobs as essential workers very seriously, and I am proud of the work they are doing to serve our community during this time.”
Under the reduced schedule, weekday routes will start and end around the same timeframe as a typical weekday, but buses will run less frequently. Routes will run as normal on weekends. Route 102 in Gig Harbor will not run during this time, since riders from the Gig Harbor area can reach Tacoma using other bus routes. Service reductions were planned to minimize impact on customers and ensure people still have early and late trips available to access jobs and other life needs.
During the new schedule, riders can find out when their next bus is coming by:
- Checking their routes on PierceTransit.org/Pierce-Transit-Routes. Updated weekday schedules will be posted March 29, with an updated Route and Schedule book posted to that webpage later today.
- Texting 253.533.7084 from their bus stop and entering the bus stop number found on the pole.
- Using a bus locator app, such as Transit or One Bus Away.
Pierce Transit has instituted a number of steps aimed at increasing social distancing on buses between employees and the public, and amongst customers. Fare collection is suspended on buses and SHUTTLE vehicles until further notice, and customers are being asked to board buses using rear doors only, unless they need mobility assistance. The agency has also closed its administrative lobby and customer service lobby to the public.
Other options for getting information about Pierce Transit’s services include:
- Toll-Free Line: 1.800.562.8109
In an effort to keep as many people as possible in our community working, Pierce Transit is thinking creatively about ways to shift duties and accomplish the work needed as a result of the pandemic. The agency has offered bus operators the opportunity to take voluntary time off during this time. Every person who chooses this option keeps another person working. The agency has also ended overtime work and is offering impacted employees work on other types of projects needed now, such as cleaning and disinfecting buses and conducting verbal health screenings as employees arrive at work.