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FARE AMENDMENT PROPOSAL

At the request of the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners, agency staff are analyzing possible fare amendments and related impacts. Staff presented to the Executive Team asking for guidance on recommendations for Fare Amendment Proposals. The recommendations were provided to the Board of Commissioners at its January 9, 2023, meeting to inform their consideration of approving fare amendments that include adopting the Regional ORCA LIFT program.

The chart below demonstrates existing Adult fares and potential ORCA LIFT fares.

 FARES  COST  CHANGE
 Fare Type  Existing  #1 ORCA LIFT
 Adult ORCA Monthly Pass  $72  $36
 Adult ORCA PT - Specific Monthly Pass  $62  $31
 Adult Cash  $2
 Adult ORCA E-purse  $2  $1
 Adult ORCA Regional All Day Pass  $8  $4
 PT All Day Pass - Adult ORCA  $5  $2.50
 Adult MobileTicket  $2
 Adult Paper One Ride Ticket  $2
 Adult Mobile All Day Pass  $5
 SHUTTLE Fares  $1.75
 SHUTTLE Monthly Pass  $63
Download ORCA Lift Fact Sheet HERE

Pierce Transit is recommending the following fare amendment policy.

  1. Adopt the ORCA LIFT program alone
  2. Amend the Fare Code Policy to remove language that SHUTTLE paratransit fares must eventually be equal to the adult bus fare
  3. Retain the policy of allowing Human Service Agency (HSA) 501(C)(3) organizations to purchase paper fare tickets/passes at a discounted rate

What does this mean?

Adopting the ORCA LIFT program into Pierce Transit’s Fare Code Policy provides an opportunity for eligible riders to pay low-income fares. In addition, amending the Pierce Transit Fare Code Policy will remove language that requires SHUTTLE fares to eventually be equal with adult bus fares. Human Service Agencies designated as 501(C)(3) organizations will be able to continue purchasing Pierce Transit paper tickets and passes at a discounted price.

ORCA LIFT allows riders to pay a reduced bus fare because their household income is less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level guidelines. It is only applicable for Adult ORCA Fares. Youth 18 and under are currently free, and Seniors and individuals with a disability have a reduced fare that aligns with the ORCA LIFT fare program.

2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines - CLICK HERE

Household/Family Size 200% - Monthly Income 200% - Annual Income
 1 $2,265 $27,180
 2 $3,052 $36,620
 3 $3,839 $46,060
 4 $4,625 $55,500
 5 $5,412 $64,940
 6 $6,199 $74,380
 7 $6,985 $83,820
 8 $7,772 $93,260
 9 $8,558 $102,700
 10 $9,345 $112,140

Click here to learn more about ORCA LIFT eligibility requirements.

The Pierce Transit Planning staff presented the proposal outlined above to the Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting on January 9, 2023. The public may attend to learn more, either in person or via Zoom link posted on the PierceTransit.org website. A Public Hearing is scheduled on February 13, 2023, where the public may provide input. If the ORCA LIFT fare amendment is approved, this fare option will be effective on April 1, 2023.

Why are these amendments proposed?

Adopting ORCA LIFT makes riding transit more affordable for those individuals and families disproportionally affected by low incomes. Income-qualified riders can save up to 50 percent on transit fares. ORCA LIFT is also available across the Puget Sound for services provided by Sound Transit, King County Metro, Community Transit, Everett Transit and Kitsap Transit. This change would provide an opportunity for Pierce Transit to join regional partners across the Puget Sound in providing alternative fare solutions.

How will this impact you?

Fare Amendment changes may impact the public in different ways. For low-income families and workers, access to affordable transportation is critical, but for many, that access today is limited. ORCA LIFT provides a reduced transit fare option accessible to all eligible individuals.

Pierce Transit needs your input and feedback! In order to make decisions that best reflect the needs of our community and riders, it is essential that we receive public comment and/or feedback regarding these fare amendment proposals. An extensive public engagement process will help us develop a Fare Equity Analysis to support a possible Board decision on making this a permanent fare change. Your input and feedback matter!

Ways to provide input:

  • By Email: Lanai Tua, Senior Planner ltua@piercetransit.org
  • Call our Senior Planner, Lanai Tua between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday 253.983.3754. TTY Relay 711:
  • Attend the Board of Commissioners meeting and provide a verbal testimony on February 13, 2023, at 4 p.m.
  • Take a brief survey (available in English & Spanish) by CLICKING HERE.

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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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