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Pierce Transit Plans Runner Expansion, Route Retirements

Based on feedback gleaned during a robust public engagement campaign in 2023, Pierce Transit is working towards more frequent bus service, and expanded hours of service. 

To make those changes with finite resources, we looked at lower-ridership routes and determined how we can continue serving those riders in a more efficient way, while reallocating resources to provide more frequent service and expanded hours on higher-ridership routes. 

Pierce Transit’s on-demand Runner service is an efficient way to move people when a big bus isn’t a practical option.  

On March 3, 2024, Pierce Transit will expand Runner service in Northeast Tacoma, Tacoma’s North End and Puyallup.  

On March 31, 2024, we will retire three low-performing routes in those areas: Routes 13 (North End Tacoma), 63 (Northeast Tacoma Express), and 425 (Puyallup Connector). We will also retire the eastern segment of Route 409 in Puyallup. The expanded Runner zones in these areas will completely cover the areas previously served by these routes.  

Runner service will offer many additional benefits for those who have been riding the retiring routes. It operates within a zone; can be called when needed via an app or phone call; provides curb-to-curb service; offers expanded hours and days of operation over the retiring bus routes; and offers direct connections to other transit services.  

We are expanding Runner service a month ahead of retiring the routes, to give people time to get acquainted with this new service.   

Why are the routes being retired?  

  • Pierce Transit’s service is defined by a fixed number of operators, vehicles and budgeted hours of service. 
  • We plan our routes and schedules based upon ridership levels, and staff and vehicle availability. 
  • Some routes or segments of routes are considered low-performing when they have minimal ridership over time. 
  • To make best use of available resource, Pierce Transit is eliminating some low-performing routes and route segments. 
  • Resources from those eliminated routes and segments will be reallocated to higher-ridership routes where service needs to be more frequent and/or have a longer span of service. 

For more information on Runner and how to use it, visit PierceTransit.org/Runner.

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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.

Addresses

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  • 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.)
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Intersections

  • 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.

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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