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Message from Pierce Transit CEO Mike Griffus on Intermittent Service Delays

First, let me start with an apology. 

If you’ve been riding our buses lately you may have experienced missed trips or delayed service. If so, we apologize.

Pierce Transit, like many other service-oriented businesses across our state and nation, is experiencing a workforce shortage – in our case, it’s a shortage of bus drivers. This has impacted travel times on some of our routes. 

We understand you rely on our services to get to important destinations such as work, school, medical appointments and shopping. Please do not blame the service delay on your bus driver, who is working hard to cover extra shifts to get you where you need to go. We are working hard to remedy this situation, and I wanted to update you on those efforts as well as new tools we have implemented to help you track when the next bus will arrive.  

Pierce Transit has 510 bus driver positions; 54 of those are vacant and a dozen more drivers are still in training. That’s a 13 percent gap in this workforce. To change that, Pierce Transit is in the midst of the agency’s largest-ever bus driver recruitment campaign, tapping new channels and sources to recruit new members to our team. If you know someone looking for a rewarding, family-wage job with excellent benefits and training, please encourage them to visit PierceTransit.org/careers to apply. 

We have also implemented many new tools to help riders plan trips and track vehicles in real-time so they can see when the next bus is coming:

  • Transit app, Pierce Transit’s official app, shows you in real-time buses along your route(s).
  • Call or text your bus stop number to 253.533.7084 to get information about when the next bus will arrive.  
  • Get text alerts by route when trips are missed or there is a detour; visit PierceTransit.org/StayConnected to subscribe.
  • You’ll find Pierce Transit’s new Trip Planner at PierceTransit.org; select the Next Departures tab, then “Routes” on the right. Click on your stop to see when the next bus will arrive.
  • Look for monitors at major boarding hubs that indicate how many minutes until the next bus for each route arrives. 
  • Call Pierce Transit Customer Service at 253.581.8000 (option 1, 1) for help planning a trip and/or finding out when the next bus will arrive at your stop.  

Pierce Transit remains committed to providing you with reliable and safe public transportation. Thank you for your patience as we work to meet this challenge and bring our driver workforce back to full staffing levels. Thanks for reading, and for riding. 

Mike Griffus
Pierce Transit CEO

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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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