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Pierce Transit CEO

March 2024

Dear Community Member,

Greetings from Pierce Transit, your local transit provider. I hope this message finds you well and enjoying this spring season. Pierce Transit is gearing up to implement its biggest change in service in seven years, with improved schedules, better connections and more innovative transportation options.

For more information, please visit PierceTransit.org/Pierce-transit-routes. I hope you will jump on board soon and give it a try!  Respectfully yours,

Mike Griffus
Pierce Transit CEO

 


New Service, New Options

On March 31, Pierce Transit will make schedule improvements to most of our bus routes. The agency’s scheduling team used new software to conduct an in-depth analysis of each route based on traffic and other factors, providing more accurate schedules and better on-time performance. The changes will also bring together buses headed to the same place at around the same time, vastly improving the transit experience for riders making connections.

Also on March 31, we will launch a Runner service zone in Gig Harbor, offering a new transit option for this community. Runner is an on-demand service that uses vans and operates within a defined zone. Customers may take rides from a starting point to a destination within the zone and can make connections to other transit services at the Purdy and Kimball Park & Rides. Passengers request their ride via the Pierce Transit Runner app or, if they do not have a smartphone, by calling 253.581.8000, option 4.

The Gig Harbor Runner will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and includes areas that have been difficult to serve with a traditional bus, including Tacoma Community College Gig Harbor, St. Anthony Hospital and Tom Taylor YMCA. The Gig Harbor Runner is one of six Pierce Transit Runner zones. For information about each of them, visit PierceTransit.org/Runner.


Are You Ready for Stream?

On March 31, Pierce Transit will retire three low-performing routes – Routes 13, 63 and 425 – plus a portion of Route 409. We have already expanded Runner services in these areas, and Runner now entirely encompasses the areas covered by the retiring routes. We will use some of the associated savings to implement the South Sound’s first high-capacity transit line, which will kick off April 1.

The new service, called Stream Community Line, is offered in partnership with MultiCare, which is the line’s official naming sponsor. Stream will travel between Spanaway and Tacoma Dome Station (TDS) and offer easy access to all the other transit services offered at TDS. Stream will operate each weekday morning and afternoon and will make just 14 stops in each direction, providing a good option for commuters looking to travel up and down the corridor quickly. Stream will operate in addition to the current Route 1, which also runs along this route. Stream buses will run every 20 minutes during peak commute times and will have a distinctive paint job and header messaging to differentiate between Stream and Route 1. More information on Stream Community Line can be found at PierceTransit.org/Stream

Throughout the months ahead you will see additional improvements along the Stream Community Line, including new amenities and shelters at Stream bus stops.


Pierce Transit’s 6-year Strategic Plan

In February, Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners adopted the agency’s new 6-year Strategic Plan. The plan defines the agency’s goals, along with strategies and actions we will take to achieve them. The Strategic Plan includes four primary goals:  1) Adopt a “Customer First” mindset; 2) Engage the community through outreach, partnerships and listening; 3) Elevate the employee experience; and 4) Assure sustainability of the agency’s finances, infrastructure and environment.

Under each goal we explain how we will get there; for example, in order to adopt a Customer First mindset, we have just developed and will carry out a new Customer Experience Plan that tracks each element of a customer’s journey and identifies improvements we can make in each area. Pierce Transit is devoting a full-time position at our agency to implementation of the Strategic Plan, to ensure it is not a plan that sits on the shelf but rather a transformative document that will serve as a guide to Pierce Transit’s service over the next six years. To read the Strategic Plan, visit PierceTransit.org/documents, scroll to the bottom and click on “Strategic Plan 2024-2029.”


Join an Award-Winning Workplace

In 2023, Forbes named Pierce Transit as one of America’s Best Small Employers, ranking us 26th among the 300 companies nationwide to receive this prestigious award. Most recently, Pierce Transit received the Golden Apple award for excellence in workplace wellness, one of just two organizations statewide to receive this award.

Pierce Transit is a great place to work, and we are hiring. To see what positions are open, I invite you to visit PierceTransit.org/careers. We are offering a $5,000 signing bonus for Transit Operators (drivers) and Journey Level Mechanics, and for most positions we provide a relocation allowance.

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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

  • 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).

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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