ROUTE ANALYSIS | East Tacoma
East Tacoma is served by eleven different routes. Some, such as Route 1, have great frequency and late evening service. However, most operate hourly for much of the day. Many of the routes overlap each other and serve the same markets. Consolidating service in multiple different corridors will allow Pierce Transit to operate East Tacoma service more frequently and later, and also operate more efficiently as a result.
Routes 41 and 54 connect East Tacoma with downtown Tacoma and the Tacoma Mall area respectively. In order to reduce duplication of service, and provide Salishan residents a more direct connection to the Tacoma Mall, Routes 41 and 54 would be consolidated into one route. The consolidated Route 41 would operate weekdays until 10 p.m.
The consolidated route would utilize the existing Route 41 between downtown and E. 44th Street. From E. 44th Street, Route 41 would continue to the Tacoma Mall via Portland Avenue, 38th, Alaska, and 48th. Existing Route 41 passengers on Portland Avenue between S. 48th Street and S. 72nd Street would continue to be served by a restructured Route 56. Route 56 would be interlined with Route 42, so that a one-seat ride from Portland Avenue to Downtown Tacoma is still available.
Improve Route 42 span and frequency so that it operates every 30 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays and has service until 10 p.m.
Interline Route 42 with Route 56. The interline with Route 56 gives McKinley Avenue residents the ability to access the Tacoma Mall area without needing to transfer. The deviation into the 72nd Street Transit Center would no longer be made to improve speed and reliability.
Improve Route 45 span and frequency so that it operates every 30 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays and has service until 10 p.m.
Coordinate Route 45 and the restructured Route 48 schedules so that between S. 38th and downtown Tacoma, Yakima Avenue has all-day 15-minute service on weekdays. Creating a high-frequency corridor on Yakima Avenue between downtown and S. 38th Street will improve transfers and attract more riders.
Route 53 currently operates like two separate routes that have been added to each other. At the Tacoma Mall Transit Center, two thirds of the existing ridership turns over. Between the Tacoma Mall Transit Center and downtown Tacoma, Route 53 duplicates multiple other routes. It does not have a unique market connecting the Mall to either East Tacoma or from East Tacoma to downtown Tacoma. In order to reduce duplication of service, Route 53 would operate only between TCC and the Tacoma Mall Transit Center. It would also be rerouted along Oakes Street to provide coverage where Route 3 was realigned along S. Tacoma Way.
The restructured Route 41 would continue to provide a link between the Tacoma Mall Transit Center and East Tacoma. Routes 1, 45, and 48 would continue to provide service between East Tacoma and downtown Tacoma.
Route 53’s frequency would be improved to every 30-minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and would operate until 10 p.m. Later evening service would be available, allowing Mall employees to work the evening shift and still catch the bus home. This will reduce the duplication of service between Route 53 and other routes will result in Routes 41, 45, and 48 operating more efficiently.
Route 56 is a crosstown connecting the 72nd Street Transit Center and the Tacoma Mall. It duplicates segments of Route 41 on Portland Avenue. In order to reduce duplication of service, Route 56’s eastern alignment would be adjusted to cover more of Portland Avenue. The route would deviate from E. 56th Street via McKinley and E. 48th Street to Portland Avenue. Also, the western portion of the route alignment would utilize Tacoma Mall Boulevard to serve the businesses on that segment. The Tacoma Mall Boulevard recommendation presumes that bus stops will be able to be placed on this roadway. Route 56 would be interlined with Route 42, so that every patron on Portland Avenue would still have a one-seat ride to downtown Tacoma. Route 56 would not directly serve the 72nd Street Transit Center, but pass by it on E. 72nd Street. This will improve the reliability of the route, and improve customer travel times.
Route 56’s frequency would be improved to every 30-minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and would operate until 10 p.m. This provides more frequent service, an earlier start time, and later evening service benefit all customers. This change will allow the Route 56 to serve more employment opportunities along Tacoma Mall Boulevard. Passengers on Oakes would continue to have the option to use the restructured Route 53. Existing passengers on E. 56th Street between McKinley and Portland would need to walk further to access service.