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SHUTTLE Handbook

Handbook Your Guide to Pierce Transit’s Paratransit Services


What is SHUTTLE?

SHUTTLE is a shared-ride service for customers who, because of their disabilities, are unable to ride a regular Pierce Transit bus. SHUTTLE provides door-to-door service, or in some instances, transportation to transit centers or bus stops to connect with regular bus service. The SHUTTLE vehicle may make several stops along the way before it arrives at your destination.

SHUTTLE is public transportation and should not be confused with private or medical transportation. Customers may not specify the type of vehicle used to provide transportation and will be required to ride with other customers.

We need to balance your needs with other customers’ needs. Because we have a limited number of vans, it may not always be possible to schedule your trip at the exact time you request. Matching rides is the most complex part of getting you where you need to go on time.

When you call, the Reservationists will do their best to accommodate your request. However, the Reservationist may adjust the pick-up time up to one (1) hour earlier or later than your requested time.

The more flexible you can be about the time you request, the easier it is to serve a greater number of customers.

Trips are scheduled to allow for adequate travel time between stops. Travel times are designed to be comparable to the fixed route buses. Be sure to allow enough travel time to reach your destination. Every trip is important and you may schedule a trip for any purpose.

SHUTTLE will take you where you want to go, within our regular service area and hours of operation, based on fixed route service.

SHUTTLE requires an obstruction-free approach and sufficient turn-around area for its vehicles. Under some conditions, our policy of door-to-door service will not be available to customers.

Alternate pick-up and drop-off locations may be established because of obstructed driveways, turnarounds, or other safety concerns.

SHUTTLE Operators must be able to clearly see your address from the street. Be sure that your address is posted using adequate markings, and is well lit for trips that occur during hours of darkness.

If you have requested and been approved to have the vehicle access your residence through an alley, be sure that your address is clearly posted on the alley side too.

Our SHUTTLE Customer Service staff will answer any questions you have regarding SHUTTLE service. Call SHUTTLE Customer Service, or visit All calls are recorded for quality assurance purposes.

You must meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and be eligible to ride SHUTTLE. SHUTTLE customers have an end date on their eligibility determination letter and will need to re-apply to maintain eligibility. If you have any questions about eligibility, please call us at (253) 581-8000.

Download Audio of What is SHUTTLE HERE

To Contact SHUTTLE

  1. Dial (253) 581-8000
  2. Press 1 for SHUTTLE/ Eligibility
  3. Then Press:
    1. for Reservations
    2. for Cancellations
    3. for Eligibility
    4. for Travel Training
  • 1-800-562-8109 (toll-free within Washington)
  • 711 (TTY/Relay)

Regular Bus Phone Numbers

  • Regular Bus Information: (253) 581-8000
  • Toll-Free Line: 1-800-562-8109
  • Relay for individuals with a hearing impairment: 711

Lost & Found

Please call Monday through Friday. Customers are responsible for picking up lost items.

  • (253) 581-8000 (inside local calling area)
  • 1-800-562-8109 (outside local calling area)
  • Relay for individuals with a hearing impairment: 711

Download Audio of SHUTTLE Phone Numbers HERE

Service Hours and Area

SHUTTLE can pick you up from and take you to any location within 3/4 of a mile of any local Pierce Transit bus route, during the hours the fixed route bus operates in the area.

Pierce Transit does not offer SHUTTLE service outside our regular fixed route bus service area.

If you live outside the service area, you will need to make arrangements to make your way to a location inside the service area to receive SHUTTLE trips. SHUTTLE staff will work with you to determine the best pick- up and drop-off points. They can also help you make travel arrangements with adjoining transit agencies.

To determine whether a specific address is within our service area, please call SHUTTLE Customer Service.

Holiday Service

On most major holidays, regular buses and SHUTTLE vehicles run on a modified schedule. Please call SHUTTLE Customer Service for holiday schedules.

Download Audio of SHUTTLE Service Hours and Area HERE

Inclement Weather

Service will be limited and possibly canceled when adverse weather creates conditions hazardous for customers, operator assistance, and vehicles.

For the most updated information during snow, ice, or other inclement weather, please call SHUTTLE Customer Service.

You must ensure that your sidewalks, driveways, and ramps are cleared of snow or ice so operators can safely assist you.

If your trip starts or ends on a hill or side street, SHUTTLE vans may not be able to get there until the street is safe to travel.

Download Audio of Inclement Weather HERE

Fare Information

Please ask the Reservationist about the current fare for a one-way SHUTTLE trip. Fares are subject to change.

You must pay the fare each time you board a SHUTTLE vehicle. Failure to pay the fare is a violation of law, and subject to suspension of service defined by Fare Evasion RCW 35.58.585.

You may pay the fare using cash or a monthly virtual SHUTTLE pass. Single one ride tickets can also be purchased using the Transit app on any smart phone. For information about the Transit app and the different fare options currently available, call Customer Service at (253) 581-8000.

Have the fare ready. Drivers do not carry change and are not allowed to search purses, pockets, or backpacks for a customer’s fare. You must put the fare in the fare box, or hand it to the driver, each time you board the van. If you have purchased a virtual monthly pass or Pierce Transit specific pass, it will be noted on the SHUTTLE Operator’s manifest.

Guests and companions 19 years of age or older are required to pay a fare.

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) are not required to pay a fare.

There is no charge for service animals or pets.

If your disability prevents you from handling money, tickets, or passes, please call SHUTTLE Customer Service about ways we can help you have the fare available when you need to ride SHUTTLE.

Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP)

If you are 65 or older, have a doctor-verified disability or a Medicare card, you may ride the regular bus for a discounted fare. You must show a valid Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) when paying a discounted fare on fixed route bus service.

A one-time fee is charged for a permanent permit. If you lose your permit or if you receive a temporary permit, it will cost you the same fee each time you need to replace it. For information on where to purchase a senior or disabled RRFP, please call Fixed Route Customer Service at (253) 581-8000.

The Regional Reduced Fare Permit is only for those who utilize fixed route service.

Download Audio of Fare Information HERE


SHUTTLE vehicles do not have ORCA equipment. For SHUTTLE customers who ride often, a monthly SHUTTLE pass is available.

The SHUTTLE monthly pass is a virtual pass that when purchased will be noted directly in your file for the driver. You will not be required to show a pass to the driver if you have purchased the virtual pass. This pass is valid on the SHUTTLE service ONLY.

Anyone may purchase a virtual SHUTTLE pass for a registered SHUTTLE rider. No identification is required to purchase a virtual SHUTTLE pass.

To purchase a virtual Shuttle pass by mail, request a form from Customer Service. You may also buy a virtual SHUTTLE pass online at Just go to “Fares” and choose “Purchase,” located at the top of the page. Anyone using both fixed route local service and SHUTTLE may purchase a Pierce Transit specific pass to be loaded onto an ORCA card. This PierceTransit pass is good only on Pierce Transit local fixed route service and SHUTTLE. For more information regarding fares refer to our website or ask your customer service representative.

You may buy a SHUTTLE pass at:

Tacoma Dome Station Customer Service Center
505 East 25th Street, Tacoma

Download Audio of Fare Information HERE

Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Please be advised that you will be left alone on the SHUTTLE vehicle anytime that our operator assists other customers. The vehicle will not always be visible to the operator at those times.

You will be dropped off at your destination, even if someone is not waiting for you. We cannot wait with you until someone arrives. If you cannot be left alone, please arrange for a PCA to travel with you. A PCA is someone designated or employed to help you, such as a skilled nurse, family member, or care provider. You are responsible for providing your own PCA. Your PCA rides free and must board and de-board at the same location as you. Your PCA may also meet you at both ends of your trips. If you qualify for a Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP), and travel with a PCA, your RRFP may show a PCA endorsement.

Pierce Transit employees cannot serve as your PCA.

Please inform the Reservationist, each time you make a reservation, if you will be accompanied by a PCA. Be sure to mention if your PCA will be using a mobility aid (for example, wheelchair, walker, oxygen). This information will ensure sufficient room on the vehicle.

PCA is recommended under these conditions:

  • You are unable to be left alone (you may reach your destination 30 minutes prior to your appointment).
  • You are unable to travel independently beyond the door of the pick-up or drop-off.
  • You use a wheelchair and must travel up or down more than one step.
  • You are traveling on rough or uneven terrain, or any other conditions that present a safety hazard.
  • You require supervision on board the SHUTTLE during transport.

Download Audio of Personal Care Attendant HERE

Traveling with Guests

Each eligible rider may travel with one guest in addition to their PCA. Other additional guests require supervisor approval. Your guest(s) must board and de-board the SHUTTLE at the same location as you. Guests pay the regular SHUTTLE fare. The eligible rider is responsible for any individual traveling with them.

Please inform the Reservationist, when you make a reservation, if guest(s) will accompany you. Be sure to mention if your guest(s) will be using a mobility aid (for example, wheelchair, walker, oxygen). This information will ensure there is sufficient room on the vehicle.

SHUTTLE will not transport individuals who are not pre-scheduled for a trip.

Download Audio of Traveling with Guests HERE

Transporting Children

SHUTTLE vehicle safety belts are compatible for use with child safety seats. SHUTTLE eligible children under six years of age must travel with an adult.

Download Audio of Transporting Children HERE

Mobility Devices/Aids

The U.S. Department of Transportation is responsible for developing and enforcing accessibility requirements for transit vehicles.

SHUTTLE vehicles can accommodate the following mobility devices and wheelchairs. The four SHUTTLE standards in the bulleted list below meet and exceed the minimum requirements of the DOT ADA regulations:

  • Is a three-or-more wheeled device of the type that is designed for use by persons with mobility disabilities.
  • Weighs no more than a maximum of 800 pounds when occupied.
  • Pierce Transit bus/vehicle lifts/ramps can safely accommodate mobility device/user combination of up to a maximum of 800 pounds. Mobility devices exceeding the rated capacity of vehicle lifts or ramps may be denied access if they create safety or mechanical problems.
  • The wheeled device and any attachments will be reasonably accommodated as long as it fits on the lift, within the securement area, and is a size that does not block an aisle or interfere with safe evacuation of passengers in an emergency.

If you use a mobility aid or wheelchair, it is your responsibility to keep it in good working condition. It is your responsibility to make sure the wheels or other parts of your mobility device are not loose or broken, and that your battery is adequately charged. If we are unable to assist you to and from the vehicle due to a faulty mobility device, you may be refused transportation, and a supervisor will be sent to investigate the service delay and faulty mobility device.

Wheelchair lifts make it possible to board wheelchairs in a safe manner. No one but the operator is permitted to operate the vehicle wheelchair lift or securement devices. Operators are not allowed to ride on the lift with customers. Pierce Transit Operators are not permitted to operate or “drive” your powered mobility device for you. If you need this type of assistance, it is your responsibility to travel with a PCA who can routinely provide this assistance for you when traveling. (See page 14 for details about Personal Care Attendants)

When traveling with your mobility device, be prepared for changing weather conditions.

Operators are not allowed to negotiate a mobility device up or down more than one step.

Download Audio of Mobility Devices/Aids HERE

Service Animals and Pets

Service animals are welcome to ride SHUTTLE. Customers are responsible for the care and handling of the service animal. If assistance is needed, a PCA may be required. Please tell us that a service animal will accompany you when you request your ride. Service animals must remain on the floor without blocking the aisle or on their owner’s lap. If this is not an option, the service animal may occupy a seat provided one is available. Because of the size of the vehicles, other animals are not allowed on SHUTTLE unless they are small and can be transported in a suitable pet carrier. Your pet and the carrier may weigh no more than 25 pounds and you must be able to handle the pet and carrier yourself. Please tell the Reservationist that you are bringing a pet to make sure there is room in the vehicle.

Service animals/pets will not be permitted to ride on the lift. Their head, paws, tails or equipment could get caught in the lift mechanism. Pets and service animals, regardless of training or certification, may be denied transportation if the animal is out of control.

Customers using a service animal or bringing a pet onboard are responsible for the animal and will be held liable for the behavior and actions of the animal.

Download Audio of Service Animals and Pets HERE

Requesting Trips

Once your eligibility is confirmed, you may request rides. Reservation hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week including holidays.

Many people have conditional eligibility. You may be scheduled for a combination trip using fixed route buses, as applicable. (see page 27 for details)

You may request trips one to five days in advance. Be sure to schedule your return trip at the same time.

What You Need Before You Call
To ensure timely reservations, please have the following information and tools ready before you call:

  • Pencil and paper.
  • Your name.
  • Phone number.
  • Your complete pick-up address, including apartment and/or building name or number.
  • Description and exact address of where you want to go (for example, Fred Meyer at 7250 Pacific Ave.).
  • Time(s) and date(s) you would like to travel.
  • Time(s) of any appointments you might have, so we can plan your drop-off and pick-up times. If a personal care attendant or guest will be riding with you.
  • If a service animal or pet will accompany you.
  • Whether you will be using a mobility aid (for example, wheelchair, walker, oxygen).

We suggest that you write down the name of the Reservationist who helps you plan your trip, date and time of your call, as well as the confirmed dates and times of your trip reservations. All calls are recorded for quality assurance.

Download Audio of Requesting Trips HERE

Tips for Requesting Trips

These tips will help us provide you with the best possible service:

  • Call earlier in the day. Phone lines are busiest during the late afternoon.
  • Allow extra travel time. Trips are scheduled on a shared ride basis. The vehicle may stop to let other customers on or off before reaching your destination. In addition, travel times may vary due to rush hour slowdowns, time of day, local events, road construction, traffic accidents, bad weather, or day of the week. If you are using oxygen, please bring an ample supply of oxygen.
  • Consider a PCA. Please be advised that you will be left alone on the SHUTTLE vehicle anytime that our operator assists other customers. The vehicle will not always be visible to the operator at those times.
  • You will be dropped off at your destination, even if someone is not waiting for you, or your destination is not open. We cannot wait with you until someone arrives. If you cannot be left alone, please arrange for a PCA to travel with you.
  • Be flexible. SHUTTLE may not be able to schedule a ride at the time you want. Because SHUTTLE is a shared ride service, we may need to schedule your pick-up time up to one (1) hour earlier or later than you request.
  • Remember the “Pick-up” Window. When you schedule a ride, you will be given a 30-minute range of time during which you can expect a SHUTTLE van to pick you up. This 30-minute period is called the “pick-up window.” Your van may arrive any time during this window. Your ride is not late until the 30-minute window has passed. For example, if you agree to a 9:00 pick-up, the vehicle should arrive between 9:00 and 9:30 for an on-time pick-up.
  • Be ready. When operators arrive within the pick-up window, they can only wait 5 minutes after the vehicle arrives. To avoid delays, missed appointments, and no-show penalties, please be ready to go when the vehicle arrives to pick you up. Please be aware that SHUTTLE operators will not help you get ready for your trip.
  • Plan for multiple trips. You may schedule multiple trips on the same day. However, if you make several trip requests for the same day, pick up times must be scheduled 90 minutes apart. You must use each trip scheduled. You cannot reserve more trips than you plan on using. Same day changes can not be made from the vehicle. Operators are not permitted to wait while you do a quick errand.
  • Bring your ID. Joint Base Lewis-McChord requires special identification to enter the base. Please have your ID with you when you board the vehicle and ready when approaching the base.
  • Choose stores and other locations close to your home. When you are going shopping or other places, choosing a location close to your home will reduce your travel time and our costs, allowing SHUTTLE to operate more efficiently for the benefit of all our customers.
  • Limit your onboard parcels. Operators can only assist you with the amount of packages or groceries that can be carried in one trip. We suggest you bring a small grocery cart. The cart must be able to be secured or will be subject to refusal.
  • Limit heavy or bulky items. SHUTTLE operators are not permitted to lift or carry in one trip, objects weighing more than 40 lbs. If you have purchased or received heavy or bulky items, please arrange to have them delivered to your home.
  • SHUTTLE reserves the right to refuse transport of items exceeding the weight limit, or bulky items for lack of space in the vehicle.
  • Make alternate plans for moving. SHUTTLE does not move personal belongings from one residence or facility to another. If you need someone to help you move, please contact your family, friends, or a volunteer agency for assistance.
  • Notify SHUTTLE of any telephone number or address change. If you move or use a temporary address, you must notify SHUTTLE immediately. To ensure your timely pick-up, please make sure that the address on your residence can be clearly seen from the street, especially during hours of darkness. Also, please be sure that SHUTTLE has the name and phone number of a current emergency contact in your file.
  • Carry needed medication with you in case of delays. If you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, bring a small snack in case you travel longer than expected.
  • If you use oxygen, be sure your supply is more than sufficient in case you travel longer than expected.
  • For medical emergencies CALL 911. Pierce Transit operators are not trained as paramedics.

Download Audio of Tips for Requesting Trips HERE

Standing Rides (Subscription Trips)

If you need a ride to the same place at the same time at least once a week for a period of at least six (6) weeks, a Standing Ride may be an option for you.

Once a Standing Ride is set up, you will not have to call to arrange this ride, it will automatically be scheduled for you. Because it is automatically scheduled, you must call to cancel any trip you are not planning to take. Too many cancellations or changes to your standing ride may make the ride ineligible and you will be required to call in those trips weekly.

For information about arranging a Standing Ride, call SHUTTLE Customer Service.

Standing Rides will be automatically canceled on these major holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

NOTE: If you need your standing trip on a holiday, you need to call at least one (1) day in advance and schedule the trip separately.

To avoid no-show penalties, please call our Customer Service office to place your Standing Ride on hold during times of vacation, illness, or for any other reason you will not be taking your scheduled trips. You must cancel your trip(s) two hours before your scheduled trip(s) to avoid late cancellation penalties.

Be sure to tell us the date you want your Standing Ride reactivated. Standing rides are not held for more than 60 days.

Download Audio of Standing RidesHERE

Canceling Your Trips

You must cancel a ride if you no longer require it. Please be sure to cancel both ends of your trip if appropriate. It is important to call SHUTTLE to cancel your trip(s). Customers must cancel their trip(s) two hours before their scheduled trip(s).

If you need to cancel more than one trip, be sure to tell the SHUTTLE Reservationist which trips to cancel. SHUTTLE operators are not permitted to request, change, or cancel trips for you. It is your responsibility to call SHUTTLE Customer Service.

Download Audio of Canceling Your Trips HERE

Conditional Eligibility Trip Planning

Many people have conditional eligibility (ADA3B). For people with conditional eligibility, Pierce Transit will provide trip plans based on your limitations and the geography of the origin and destination as determined by Pierce Transit staff.

Service will be provided on a trip-by-trip basis, depending on your eligibility limitations, using:

  • Regular fixed route bus only, or
  • A combination of SHUTTLE and fixed route bus, and/or
  • SHUTTLE only.

When individuals with conditional 3B SHUTTLE eligibility call for a trip, the Customer Service staff will determine which type of service is required. You may be required to use regular fixed-route bus service for your trip. In some instances the SHUTTLE will take you to a transit center to transfer to the bus system. In other cases, the SHUTTLE may be provided for your entire trip. Once you have been told that a particular trip will be provided by regular bus, you may call (253) 581-8000 to plan your trip. Visit our website to get route planning information and/or contact travel training by calling (253) 581-8000.

Download Audio of Conditional Eligibility Trip Planning HERE

Waiting Areas and Common Lobbies

SHUTTLE has established waiting areas at various locations such as hospitals, malls, medical centers and grocery stores. Operators will use these waiting areas to pick up and drop off customers. Customers will ONLY be escorted to and from established waiting areas in these locations. In these instances, operators will not look for customers in any location other than the designated waiting area.

Whenever possible, these waiting areas will be in secure indoor locations with telephones and restrooms nearby. Operators will only go to a building’s common lobby area or main entrance for buildings that do not have a waiting area established. Operators are not permitted to go through facilities, up elevators, stairs, or individual offices to assist or locate customers.

Operators will not page customers at facilities with SHUTTLE waiting areas or common lobbies, or where main entrances are being used as the pick-up location. Customers, personal care attendants, or facility personnel helping the customer are responsible for getting to/from SHUTTLE waiting areas, common lobby areas, or main entrances of buildings and for being ready for pick-up when the SHUTTLE vehicle arrives.

Download Audio of Waiting Areas and Common Lobbies HERE

SHUTTLE Responsibilities

You can expect from SHUTTLE:

  • Services that are safe and on time.
  • Courteous, professional operators and staff.
  • Clean, well-maintained vehicles.
  • Prompt, accurate responses to your questions and concerns.
  • Operator assistance from the door where your trip originates to the vehicle and from the vehicle to the door of your destination or an established SHUTTLE waiting area where appropriate.

Download Audio of SHUTTLE Responsibilities HERE

Customer Responsibilities

You have a responsibility to use the system appropriately for the benefit of your fellow customers. When one customer disrupts service due to inappropriate use or unrealistic expectations, service to others is affected.

You are expected to follow the guidelines to ensure that everyone, including yourself, has the safest and most convenient ride possible.

Pierce Transit reserves the right to deny service to customers who do not comply with their responsibilities.

Onboard medical procedures.
Medical procedures, chiropractic treatments, blood pressure check-ups, etc. are not allowed on board the SHUTTLE vehicles. Pierce Transit operators cannot help you with medical equipment, such as oxygen.

Cancel trips appropriately.
If you have a trip requested and cannot ride, it is your responsibility to call SHUTTLE Customer Service and cancel.

Customers must cancel their trip(s) two hours before their scheduled trip(s). When you call to cancel a trip, make sure you also cancel the return trip and any other trips you will not take on that date. Otherwise, those trips are still scheduled and you will be charged with a no-show if you do not use the trip(s) scheduled.

Request, change, or cancel trips.
Operators are not permitted to request, change, or cancel trip reservations for you. Please call SHUTTLE Customer Service.

Take care of your personal belongings.
You are responsible for all personal belongings brought onto the SHUTTLE vehicle. Anything left behind will be turned in to Lost and Found. Please call to make lost item inquiries.

Watch for the operator.
If you are boarding or de-boarding at a large building or shopping mall, a designated waiting area will be used. You will be dropped off and picked up at the same entrance, unless otherwise requested. Please watch for the SHUTTLE vehicle and make it easy for the operator to find you. Also watch for the operator in common lobbies and at your home to ensure you are ready to travel when the operator arrives.

Wear your seatbelt.
For your safety and security, you will be required to use a safety belt while riding on SHUTTLE. Customers must remain seated and secured until the vehicle has come to a complete stop. Remain seated until the operator is ready to assist you out of the vehicle.

Minimize operator distractions.
Operators will not engage in unnecessary conversation with you. If you have questions while you are on the vehicle, the operator will gladly help. However, distractions must be kept to a minimum for safety reasons.

Control your animals.
Operators will not approach a house where there is a risk of encountering an unfriendly animal. When the operator arrives, make sure your pet is contained or on a leash.

Exhibit appropriate social behavior.
All riders are expected to use appropriate social behavior while riding on SHUTTLE and when interacting with other riders or SHUTTLE employees. Fighting, throwing objects, pushing, shouting, spitting, rough behavior, and vulgar language are all prohibited. For the comfort and health of all riders, personal hygiene must be maintained within acceptable standards. Service may be denied if clothing or equipment could cause contamination of the vehicle.

Comply with safety rules.
All riders must comply with safety rules, which include not smoking, eating, or drinking in SHUTTLE vehicles, and not playing radios or other noise-generating equipment. Firearms or weapons of any type, hazardous chemicals, flammable liquids, explosives, acid, or any other articles or materials likely to cause harm to others are also prohibited. Any article that could spill or has an offensive odor must be effectively sealed to prevent odor from escaping, or the contents from spilling.

Avoid unlawful transit conduct.
Pierce Transit reserves the right to suspend or terminate riding privileges of customers who present a danger to the health and safety of our customers or a Pierce Transit employee. Such behavior includes conduct that is violent, seriously disruptive, illegal, or any unlawful transit conduct defined by the Revised Code of Washington (9.91.025) and/or the Tacoma Municipal Code (8.52.020).

If a customer engages in such improper conduct, the operator will stop the vehicle and call a supervisor or police.

Download Audio of Customer Responsibilities HERE

Your Safety is Important to Us

For everyone’s safety and comfort, Pierce Transit regulates conduct on its buses and transit properties.

In simple terms, you need to show respect for your fellow passengers, transit employees and for the transit vehicles and facilities you use.

Everyone wins. Transit passengers enjoy a safe, secure, comfortable and inviting atmosphere, and the overall efficiency of the transportation system improves.

It only takes one person to ruin the ride. That’s why we take our “Rules of the Ride” very seriously. Those who violate the Rules of the Ride or Unlawful Transit Conduct (UTC) may be asked to leave the vehicle or facility immediately. Violators may be excluded from transit services for a period of 90 days up to one year. In addition, Pierce Transit Police and/or Safety, or local law enforcement agencies can cite those in violation of UTC.

Download Audio of Your Safety Is Important To Us HERE

Rules of the Road

Pierce Transit’s Rules of the Ride were developed to protect you and those with whom you ride. Adherence to these rules is mandatory and violators may be excluded from riding.


  • Pay the correct fare, and have your fare ready.
  • Keep animals in suitable carriers, except service animals.
  • Use headphones and speak quietly when using a cell phone.
  • Make sure to lock brakes on strollers; do not block the aisle, doors or steps.
  • Strollers should be controlled by an adult at all times.
  • Keep children seated and with you while on the van.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, including shirt and shoes.
  • Be civil and respectful of others.
  • Make room for others when the bus is crowded.
  • Respect transit property.
  • Make sure any food or beverages are in spillproof containers.
  • Use Pierce Transit facilities and services for transit use only.
  • Let the operator know of any problems or concerns you may have during your ride.


  • Use alcohol or marijuana.
  • Smoke (including E-Cigarettes or vaping) except in designated areas.
  • Bring any of the following items: gas-powered equipment; gasoline; flammable liquids; fireworks; explosives; or corrosives.
  • Engage in commercial activity or distribute flyers, pamphlets, brochures, or other written material unless authorized by a Pierce Transit facilities permit.
  • Bring unlawful firearms or other weapons.
  • Disturb, harass, or bother others with loud, raucous, harmful, aggressive, violent, obscene or sexually harassing behavior, profanity, or offensive odors.

The Revised Code of Washington (9.91.025) and/or the Tacoma Municipal Code (8.52.020) prohibit the following activities in transit vehicles, at bus shelters, and at transit facilities:

  1. Transporting dangerous, flammable, or explosive materials.
  2. Discarding hazardous substances or automotive fluids.
  3. Obstructing transit vehicles, services, or passengers.
  4. Consuming or being under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol, or possessing open alcoholic beverage containers.
  5. Unreasonably disturbing or harassing others by being unruly, loud, harmful, raucous, or intimidating.
  6. Throwing an object with intent to do harm.
  7. Destroying, defacing, or damaging property.
  8. Gambling.
  9. Smoking, except in designated areas.
  10. Littering.
  11. Spitting.
  12. Urinating or defecating, except in a restroom.
  13. Playing sound-producing equipment without earphones or similar device.
  14. Skating or riding skateboard-type equipment.
  15. Possessing or trying to use an unissued transfer or fare media.
  16. Impersonating a transit employee. Engaging in other conduct inconsistent with transit operations and refusing to obey the lawful command(s) of an agent of the transit authority or a peace officer to cease such conduct.

Unlawful Transit Conduct (UTC) is a misdemeanor offense with a maximum fine of $1,000, incarceration for 90 days, or both fine and imprisonment. Violators may also be excluded from transit services.

Assault on a Transit Employee. Assaulting a transit operator or any transit employee is a Class C Felony (RCW 9A.36.031). It is also a federal offense, and is punishable under the U.S. Patriot Act.

Download Audio of Rules of the Road To Us HERE

No-Show Policy

When customers schedule trips and then fail to take them without proper notice, our efforts to maintain timely service and minimize costs are impacted. A no-show occurs when a customer does not board the vehicle within five minutes of the SHUTTLE vehicle arrival within the scheduled 30-minute window, the customer is not there, or no longer wants to take the scheduled trip.

If you have requested a trip and cannot ride, it is your responsibility to call SHUTTLE Customer Service and cancel the scheduled trip.

Download Audio of No-Show Policy HERE

Late Cancellation Policy

Because last-minute cancellations can slow down service and increase our costs, Pierce Transit has a policy for canceling SHUTTLE reservations.

When you call to cancel a trip, please be sure to cancel all of the trips you will not be taking on that date. Failure to cancel at least two hours before the scheduled trip results in a late cancellation.

  • Customers who are not at the location at the time of the scheduled confirmed pick-up will be charged with a no-show for that trip.
  • Three late cancellations within a 30-day continuous period equal one no-show.
  • Cancellations made at the door for an on-time pickup will be considered a no-show.
  • Cancellations made at the door on a late pick-up due to provider fault, will not be considered a violation.

Customers must cancel their trip(s) two hours before their scheduled trip(s). Failure to do so results in a late cancellation, and three late cancellations within a continuous 30-day period are treated as one no-show. Once a customer accumulates no-shows equaling 10% of their total trips within a continuous 30-day period, the customer will be notified of a suspension from SHUTTLE.

Prior to sending a suspension letter, SHUTTLE will review all no-shows and late cancellations to ensure that the process was followed properly and an accurate count is represented. Any no-show or late cancellation that is found to be in error will be removed from the customer’s account.

No-shows or late cancellations that occur due to circumstances beyond the control of the customer, as reported to customer service, will not be considered a violation.

In any 30-day continuous period, any customer who has been a no-show for at least 10% of their scheduled trips will receive a suspension notice. Customers will receive written notice of the violation, citing which trips were no-shows or late cancellations and the proposed date of suspension of service. No-shows or late cancellations must be disputed within fourteen business days after the date of the Notice of Suspension.

The suspension will not take effect for a minimum of twenty-one days from the date on the notice.

Suspensions are progressive and will be imposed as follows:

  • First level of violation – 10% of scheduled trips are no-shows in a continuous 30-day period: 7 days of suspension
  • Second level of violation – an additional 10% of scheduled trips are no-shows in a continuous 30-day period: 14 days suspension
  • Third level of violation – an additional 10% of scheduled trips are no-shows in a continuous 30-day period: 21 days of suspension
  • Fourth level of violation – an additional 10% of scheduled trips are no-shows in a continuous 30-day period: 28 days of suspension

If more than two years elapse between any two stages of violations, the progression of suspensions begins again at the first level.

You can appeal the decision. If you dispute a suspension under this policy, you have the right to file an appeal. Appeal Requests may be filed by the deadline per the instructions included with your notice of suspension. If you miss the Appeal Request deadline, your SHUTTLE service will be suspended on the date listed on your SHUTTLE Service Suspension Notice.

Download Audio of Late Cancellation Policy HERE

Immediate Suspension Policy

Behavior that presents a danger to the health and safety of our customers or a Pierce Transit employee will result in immediate suspension. Such behavior includes conduct that is violent, seriously disruptive, illegal, or any unlawful transit conduct defined by the Revised Code of Washington (9.91.025) and/or the Tacoma Municipal Code (8.52.020).

You can appeal the decision. Pierce Transit must receive the written notice of intent to appeal within ten (10) working days of receipt of the notice of suspension. Because of the serious nature of the offense, the suspension will continue while awaiting appeal.

Suspension Appeals Process
If you wish to appeal the decision, please write a letter to Pierce Transit’s Paratransit Manager at:

ATTN: Paratransit Manager
Pierce Transit
3720 96th St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

A final decision will be made after careful review of the facts. A hearing will be scheduled within 30 working days of receiving the appeal, and a determination will be made within 30 calendar days of the hearing. A written determination will be sent to the person who appealed the action.

Download Audio of Immediate Suspension Policy HERE

Customer Comments

Whenever you have comments about SHUTTLE service, we want to hear them. All complaints, suggestions, and commendations are welcome.

You can mail your suggestions, comments, or complaints by using the postage-paid comment cards provided in the information racks on all SHUTTLE vehicles. You may write and mail your own comment to us at:

ATTN: SHUTTLE Customer Service Office
Pierce Transit
3701 96th St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

Or you can call SHUTTLE Customer Service. Representatives are available to take your comments seven days a week during regular business hours.

You may submit comments through Pierce Transit’s website at

Providing the following information will help us thoroughly investigate your comments:

  • Date, day, and time of the incident.
  • Operator’s badge number or name.
  • Vehicle number.
  • A detailed explanation of the incident or suggestion.
  • Your name and telephone number.

SHUTTLE operators are not permitted to accept tips. If you are pleased with the service of a particular operator, please complete a comment card. Each comment is shared with the employee involved.

Download Audio of Customer Comments HERE

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Department of Transportation has published detailed regulations interpreting the ADA in 49 C.F.R. Part 37. Pierce Transit adheres to these ADA policies and procedures for making individual eligibility determinations for SHUTTLE (paratransit) service. The process must strictly limit ADA paratransit eligibility to those individuals who meet the eligibility criteria (49 C.F.R. §37.125 (a)). This criteria requires Pierce Transit to determine eligibility based on the individual’s functional capability, not the presence of a disability (49 C.F.R. §37.123).

SHUTTLE Eligibility decisions are based on ADA criteria:

  • Functional ability to ride and navigate the system.
  • Functional ability to board and disembark a fixed route bus.
  • Functional ability to travel to and from bus boarding locations when traveling within the agency service area.
  • Availability of fixed route accessibility.
  • Individuals are eligible only for those trips in which they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • After accounting for commonly available assistance within the fixed route system, the individual’s condition must prevent boarding, riding, disembarking, or traveling to and from the fixed route system, not just make such activities more difficult than for an individual who does not have the condition.
  • If impairment related conditions make the job of accessing transit more difficult, but does not prevent access, then the person is not eligible.
  • Feeder service to and from accessible fixed route transit centers or bus stops is a viable option for removing travel barriers for people who qualify for conditional eligibility.

Pierce Transit provides transportation services for people with disabilities in the most integrated setting. This is the most socially and fiscally responsible approach. Pierce Transit offers a 100% accessible local transportation system.

Download Audio of Americans with Disabilities Act HERE

ADA Visitor Eligibility

Once you have established ADA eligibility for SHUTTLE service, you are eligible to receive the same level of service with similar agencies nationwide. Pierce Transit has an agreement with King, Snohomish, Kitsap and Thurston Counties to honor established eligibility for our customers. Your ADA SHUTTLE eligibility allows you to travel to destinations in these neighboring counties for the duration of your eligibility. When traveling to these areas please call our SHUTTLE Customer Services staff to schedule your trips.

You are also entitled to 21 days of visitor service over a one year time period with similar transit providers nationwide. The transit provider in the area you are visiting may require that you provide documentation of your ADA eligibility, documentation of where you live, or possibly documentation, such as a doctor’s note, certifying your disability if your condition is not apparent. In some instances the transit agency may want to contact Pierce Transit to verify your eligibility. Please call if you require assistance. For out of area visitors who do not have an eligibility status that they are transferring, confirmation of an existing disability that impacts travel may be confirmed if the disability is not evident. This verification is commonly accomplished through the individual providing a professional verification of disability by fax. Please call if you have questions.

Download Audio of ADA Visitor Eligibility HERE

Pierce Transit Offers Commute Options

We know that our buses and SHUTTLE service cannot serve everyone. Here are some great alternatives.

Rideshare Pierce Transit has been organizing ride sharing for over 25 years. We currently have over 200 Rideshare vans providing regular daily trips to hundreds of worksites around Puget Sound. Saving money and reducing commute stress (popular incentives for ride sharers) and reduced traffic congestion (benefits everyone). For more information contact us at or call 253-983-3462 or toll free at 1-800-562-8109.

We also offer community-use and special-use vehicles to accommodate non-traditional trips. To learn more call 1-253-983-3792

Carpool Carpooling is a great alternative to commuting alone. You can structure a carpool to suit your needs, and still have access to the HOV lanes, reducing travel time. Sharing the driving saves wear and tear on your personal vehicle, reduces commute costs, and eliminates another car on the road.

Runner On-Demand Service With one simple smartphone app and just a few taps, Pierce Transit Runner will pick you up and drop you off in certain areas where a fixed route bus may not be available - all for the same low public transit fare. Convenient, fast, affordable on-demand transportation is at your fingertips to help you get to work, school, shopping, or connect to local buses or regional rail. For more information, or to book a trip, call (253) 581-8000 and follow the prompts.

Download Audio of Pierce Transit Commute Options HERE

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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.


  • 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).


  • 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.


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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