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Pierce Transit to Implement Service Change Mar. 31

March 19, 2024

On March 31, Pierce Transit will make schedule improvements to most of its bus routes. Some changes will be minor; others will be more significant. The schedule changes will allow buses that stop at the same place to come together at a similar time, and arrive on time more often, significantly improving the transit experience for riders, especially those making connections.

There will be three additional elements to Pierce Transit’s March 31 service change:

  • Launch of a Runner on-demand service zone in Gig Harbor, offering a new transit option in this community, including in areas that are difficult to safely serve with a bus, plus extended hours and connections to other transit services.
  • Retirement of three low-performing routes (and a portion of one other route) and transitioning those riders to Runner zones. Runner zone expansions, launched March 3, entirely encompass the areas of the retiring routes, plus offer on-demand, curb-to-curb, accessible rides.
  • Using some of the savings associated with retiring these routes to add Stream Community Line, a high-capacity transit service offered in partnership with MultiCare. Stream will travel between Spanaway and Tacoma Dome Station, offering a frequent, rapid and convenient weekday morning and afternoon service.

“The changes we are making to Pierce Transit’s services this spring are the most significant in seven years,” said Pierce Transit CEO Mike Griffus. “With schedule and connection improvements on most routes, the South Sound’s first high-capacity bus line, and expanded Runner service, we are excited to bring new and improved transportation options to the people of Pierce County.”  

Details on all Pierce Transit service changes can be found at PierceTransit.org/pierce-transit-routes.

The new Gig Harbor Runner zone joins five other zones serving Pierce County (providing connections to Ruston and along Ruston Way; the Tideflats; JBLM; in the Spanaway/Parkland/Midland area; and in Puyallup). This new zone serves the City of Gig Harbor including St. Anthony Hospital, Tacoma Community College Gig Harbor Campus, and the Tom Taylor YMCA. The Gig Harbor Runner is available seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will also serve the Purdy and Kimball Park & Rides, where riders can make transit connections to local and regional transportation.

Pierce Transit is retiring some routes that have historically low ridership and limited schedules. Routes 13, 63, 425, and portions of route 409 are retiring March 30 and transitioning to Runner. Rather than a Pierce Transit bus, customers will see Pierce Transit Runner vehicles serving those areas. Runner service will provide riders with expanded hours, on-demand availability, curb-to-curb service, and ADA accessibility, all for the same fare as riding a regular bus. Rides can be requested via the Pierce Transit Runner app. Those who don’t have a smartphone may call 253.581.8000, option 4, to book a ride. Information on all Runner services can be found at PierceTransit.org/Runner.

Stream Community Line, which kicks off April 1, will run on weekdays from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m., and from 4 to 7 p.m. to help those riders who commute to/from downtown Tacoma and who connect to other local and regional transit services. This service will be provided in addition to the existing Route 1, providing another option on weekday mornings and afternoons for commuters looking to make a quicker and more direct trip.

The Stream bus will stop at just 14 major bus stops in each direction, saving significant travel time between Spanaway and Tacoma. Buses will run every 20 minutes during peak commute times and Stream buses will have a distinctive paint job and Stream-specified header messaging to allow riders to differentiate between Route 1 and Stream service. Stream service will also offer a new and vital connection to Tacoma Dome Station where riders can access a host of other transit services, including T Line light rail, Sound Transit Express buses and timed connections with Sounder trains. Stream Community Line is a partnership with MultiCare, which is the official naming sponsor of the line.

“Ready access to transportation is an important indicator of the overall health and vitality of a community.” said Bill Robertson, CEO of MultiCare. “It helps ensure people can get to work, buy food — and get the health care they need. This new Stream Community Line will serve a very diverse population and MultiCare is proud to be able to support efforts to expand transportation options for these neighborhoods.”

More information on Stream Community Line can be found at PierceTransit.org/Stream

Pierce Transit provides free Wi-Fi on buses and has invested in other technology that helps riders understand system conditions, such as bus departures and how to locate their bus in real-time. Riders can get up-to-date information through:

1.    PierceTransit.org offers complete schedules (to view, download or print by route), maps, trip planning, service alerts and real-time bus arrival information.

2.    Monitors at major boarding hubs, showing real-time arrival information.

3.    Transit app for trip planning and real-time information.

4.    Route alerts by subscription: Sign up at PierceTransit.org/StayConnected.

5.    Call (from any phone) or text (from a smartphone) your bus stop number to 253.533.7084 for real-time arrival info.

6.    Call Pierce Transit’s Customer Service Center for assistance, call 253.581.8000 (option 2, then option 2 again). Customer Service can also print and mail individual route schedules.

About Pierce Transit:

Founded in 1979, Pierce Transit is a nationally recognized leader in the public transportation industry. The agency’s service covers 292 square miles of Pierce County with roughly 70 percent of the county population. Serving Washington’s second largest county, Pierce Transit provides four types of service: traditional bus, SHUTTLE paratransit, on-demand Runner and Rideshare that help get passengers to jobs, school, appointments and other critical destinations.
 

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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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