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Pierce Transit Key Messages & Topics September 2023

Service Change on Sept. 3

  • Pierce Transit will implement its twice-yearly service change on Sunday, Sept. 3.
  • Details of changes by route are available at
  • Route 57 will have route and bus stop changes to ensure we are not overlapping service with Sound Transit’s Hilltop Tacoma Link extension. These changes will occur on Sept. 3; Link extension service launches Sept. 16.
  • Pierce Transit riders can get up-to-date information through:
    • offers complete schedules (to view, download or print by route), maps, trip planning, service alerts and real-time bus arrival information.
    • Monitors at major boarding hubs show real-time arrival information.
    • Transit app can be used for trip planning and real-time information.
    • Route alerts by subscription: Sign up at
    • Call (from any phone) or text (from a smartphone) your bus stop number to 253.533.7084 for real-time arrival info.
    • Call Pierce Transit’s Customer Service Center for assistance at 253.581.8000 (option 2, then option 2 again). Customer Service can also print and mail individual route schedules.

Recovery Plan Community Input

  • Pierce Transit has launched its Recovery Plan to strategically increase transit service.
  • The Recovery Plan will help Pierce Transit better understand customers’ current needs and how to bounce back from the impacts of COVID.
  • Pierce Transit, like all transit agencies nationally, has been deeply impacted by the pandemic.
  • Even though the health emergency has been lifted, Pierce Transit has been unable to fully restore all service due to a lack of bus operators and fleet maintenance staff.
  • Although pre-COVID service levels cannot be restored immediately, public input will help select the improvements that matter most to the community.
  • During the month of August, we invited our customers and community members to voice their priorities for the future of local transit by completing a “Build Your Own System” survey.
  • Thank you to those who completed the survey to help us build options for a preferred path forward.
  • Results from the survey will be incorporated into possible scenarios which will be shared at public open houses in September and October. More information can be found at

Enhanced Bus Planned

  • Pierce Transit has been planning a 14.4-mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line along Pacific Avenue/SR-7 from Tacoma to Spanaway.
  • Estimated project costs have risen significantly due to several factors. As a result, the project’s completion date had been continually moved out, most recently to five years from now.
  • Pierce Transit has reevaluated its approach to meeting the needs of transit riders along this busy corridor while also ensuring sound financial management and minimizing impacts to property owners and businesses.
  • The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners voted to pause the BRT project for now.
  • The Board requested that the agency move forward with implementing Enhanced Bus service.
  • Enhanced Bus service will offer many benefits, including:
    • It can be implemented as soon as March 2024, at least four years sooner than even a simplified BRT service
    • It will be offered in addition to the existing Route 1, providing another option on weekday mornings and afternoons for commuters looking to make a more direct trip
    • It will stop at only 14 major bus stops, saving 28 minutes of round-trip travel time (14 minutes each way) between Spanaway and Tacoma Dome Station
    • The service will significantly reduce impacts on property owners and businesses
    • It will use existing bus stops and existing 40-foot buses
    • It will help us provide near-term relief for overcapacity Route 1 riders o
    • Enhanced Bus service is more affordable than BRT service and will not require additional grant funding
    • All Enhanced Bus stops will eventually have shelters
    • Enhanced bus service will include Transit Signal Priority, which signals the traffic light to stay green longer so the bus can get through the intersection, contributing to a faster trip for both Enhanced Bus and regular Route 1 service
    • This service will provide a new and vital connection to Tacoma Dome Station, including Tacoma Link light rail service and timed connections with Sounder trains. Route 1 does not provide this connection, but the new service will.
    • Finally, it will allow for future, phased-in improvements, such as upgraded stops and additional speed and reliability features
  • Pausing the BRT project will also allow for a more coordinated approach to planning improvements along the Pacific Avenue/SR-7 corridor.
  • The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is planning safety and connectivity-focused improvements involving SR-7.
  • The City of Tacoma is conducting its Picture Pac Ave project, creating a long-term vision and plan for growth and development along Pacific Avenue.
  • Pausing the BRT project will give state and local governments time to complete their plans and undertake corridor improvements, allowing BRT to be an integrated part of the overall vision for this critical Pierce County roadway.
  • This coordinated approach will also avoid duplicative construction-related disruptions, benefiting taxpayers and people living along, and traveling through, the corridor.
  • Watch for Enhanced Bus project updates and service launch information in Spring 2024.

ORCA LIFT at Pierce Transit

  • ORCA LIFT is a reduced adult fare program offered to individuals that meet the eligibility requirements of up to, or equal to, 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • If you qualify, you will pay $1 per one-way trip on Pierce Transit buses and Runner services (Tideflats, Ruston, Spanaway, and JBLM).
  • Qualified individuals pay reduced adult fare per one-way trip with the following transit agencies: Sound Transit; King County Metro buses, Water Taxi, Seattle Monorail, and Seattle Streetcar; Kitsap Transit buses; Everett Transit buses; and Community Transit buses.
  • Applications can be submitted in person at Community Health Centers and Community Services offices around Pierce County.
  • For information and to apply online, please visit

Free Youth Transit Pass Reminder

  • Youth ages 18 and under ride fare free on public transit throughout our region.
  • Regional transit partners, including Pierce Transit, offer free rides to youth.
  • Young people who have an ORCA card are strongly encouraged to register the card online at or by stopping by our Customer Service Center at Tacoma Dome Station, to ensure their card continues to provide free rides until their actual 19th birthday
  • Visit our webpage,, for more information on how to get your card and access these free transit rides for youth.

Ride Runner for Errands and Fun

  • Pierce Transit Runner is an on-demand service that offers a quick, car-free transportation solution, typically in areas with limited transit options.
  • There are four Runner zones serving Pierce County, providing connections to Ruston and along Ruston Way, the Tideflats, JBLM and in the Spanaway/Parkland/Midland area.
  • Runner can help you get to shops, appointments, work and entertainment. Take Runner to a local park or beach and skip the parking hassles!
  • For more information on Runner services, including hours and fares, visit

Pierce Transit Careers

  • We have an ongoing need for bus drivers and mechanics as well as administrative roles.
  • Pierce Transit is a great place to work, offering excellent training and benefits such as health insurance and a generous retirement plan.
  • Candidates for Journey Level Mechanic or Transit Operator positions receive a $5,000 signing bonus ($2,500 after passing probation and another $2,500 after one year of service).
  • If you know someone looking for a rewarding job with excellent benefits and training, please encourage them to visit to apply.
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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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