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Pierce Transit to Consider Design Changes to Bus Rapid Transit Project

July 7, 2023

The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners will review the agency’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and consider design changes at a Study Session beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 10, 2023. Members of the public may attend the meeting in person or virtually to hear an informational presentation and to make public comment. Meeting information and an informational packet may be found at PierceTransit.org/board-meetings; the BRT presentation, which offers information on the history of the project and potential changes, can be found starting on page 2 of the July 10 Special Study Session Meeting Agenda packet.

Since the BRT project’s inception, estimated project cost have risen significantly due to several factors, including inflation; supply chain issues affecting the construction marketplace; potential property impacts and related costs as the design was developed along the corridor block-by-block; and additional time and associated expenses needed for new processes, procedures, and partner requirements. Due to these issues and the increased time required to address them, the timeline to deliver the original BRT project has been moved out, currently to 2028.

Pierce Transit is committed to delivering an express transit service to the community that is within a budget the agency can afford, as well as delivering this much-needed service as soon as possible and minimizing impacts to property owners and businesses along the corridor.

To achieve these goals, Pierce Transit is exploring ways to reduce the BRT project’s costs through value engineering work, which is a systematic and organized approach to providing the necessary functions of a project at the lowest cost. Project partners recently conducted a value engineering workshop to review design elements and processes, and examine potential cost savings. The design team and Pierce Transit staff will present the resultant approaches to the Board of Commissioners at the Study Session, along with potential design changes for evaluation.

Those unable to attend the Study Session but still wishing to submit comments may also provide them via email at brt@piercetransit.org or by calling 253.983.3407.

About Bus Rapid Transit

BRT is an innovative, high-capacity, fast transportation option that combines the speed and feel of light rail with the flexibility, lower cost, and simplicity of a bus system. BRT features easier, faster, safer ways to get on and off the bus and to a destination, including features that give buses priority traveling through traffic signals. It also reduced traffic congestion and tailpipe emissions and provides access to fast, reliable transit.

Pierce Transit’s future multi-line BRT system will be called “Stream,” and the first line, called the “Community Line,” will run 14.4 miles from downtown Tacoma to Spanaway. Partners on the BRT project include the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), WSDOT, City of Tacoma, Parkland, Spanaway, Pierce County, MultiCare, utility partners, and Sound Transit (through funding from ST3).

For information on services provided by Pierce Transit, visit PierceTransit.org.

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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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