Pierce Transit’s refreshed service begins March 12

After extensive outreach and an analysis of its existing service, Pierce Transit will debut a restructured, more efficient system plan on March 12, 2017.

Pierce Transit has completely restructured its route system in North Tacoma.

The new system delivers more direct routes with faster travel times and longer service hours.

Urban routes will offer 30 minute headways and service until 10 p.m.

The new system will include one new seasonal route: the Point Defiance Demonstration Trolley, which will connect people from downtown to the park as well as scenic spots along Ruston Way during the summer months.

Pierce Transit has also partnered with JBLM’s Go Transit to connect the SR-512 park and ride to the base.

All of this was accomplished through the re-routing of eight routes and the elimination of four. One bus will no longer have Saturday service.

Find out more at piercetransit.org!

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Transit integration agenda: seamless transportation network

Continued coordination and integration must be front and center for transit agencies in the region.

King County Executive Dow Constantine kicks off the transit integration summit.

King County Executive Dow Constantine kicks off the transit integration summit.

That was the consensus of regional leaders at Thursday’s Regional Transit Integration Summit at PSRC.

“The issue before us is how can we all work together to provide a seamless, efficient transportation network to serve our growing region,” said Executive Dow Constantine.

“One of the ways we get more and better transit is by being as aggressive as we can about achieving these efficiencies,” he said.

Coordination will be critical as the region deals with major construction and changes in the next decade, including construction of the Elliott Bay Seawall and deconstruction of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Extension of light rail north, south, and east will mean buses will need to move out of the downtown transit tunnel to make way for more light rail trains.

Representatives from region’s transit agencies and the Washington State Department of Transportation highlighted current transit coordination efforts and emphasized plans to build momentum for even more integration to deliver an efficient, high performing regional transit system.

Some of the integration efforts already underway:

Route 497 in Auburn provides service from the Lakeland Hills neighborhood to the Auburn Sounder station, with trips timed to meet Sounder train trips. Pierce Transit, King County Metro, and the City of Auburn worked out the funding plan necessary to make this route happen.

Sound Transit is collaborating with Pierce Transit and Community Transit to develop coordinated services and changes in the transit network that anticipate the completion of ST2 projects and help prepare for potential ST3 projects.

At the same time, Sound Transit and King County Metro are coordinating development of ST3 and the King County Metro’s long-range plan.

Summit participants discussed actions to take over the next year to improve integration.  Some of the suggestions included an integrated parking management strategy, expanding the Orca Lift low-income fare to other parts of the region, and developing common performance metrics.

The Transportation Policy Board will discuss results and next steps from the summit at its meeting next month.

PSRC’s 2015 Transit Integration Report  gives more information on efforts to better integrate transit service and planning in the region.  You can watch a video of the Transit Integration Summit here.


Transit integration gains steam

King County Executive Dow Constantine will kick off a meeting of regional transit leaders next week focused on better integrating transit.

Work is underway to get the Seattle transit tunnel ready for light rail service to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium.  Agencies are working together to integrate new service expected in early 2016.

Work is underway to get the Seattle transit tunnel ready for light rail service to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium. Agencies are working together to integrate new service expected in early 2016.

Thursday’s Transit Integration Summit at PSRC will follow a big weekend for regional transit riders:  New service comes online, and preparation continues for more.

Weekend events:

PSRC’s 2015 Transit Integration Report  highlights regional efforts to better integrate transit service and planning.  The summit is intended to review integration that is underway and explore next steps.

In 2014 transit ridership in the region set a record with over 203 million boardings.

Sound Transit boardings were up 7 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 2014.

New leaders at region’s transit agencies

Community Transit and Pierce Transit have both recently named new chief executive officers.

New transit leaders: Community Transit's Emmett Heath and Pierce Transit's Susan Dreier

New transit leaders: Community Transit’s Emmett Heath and Pierce Transit’s Susan Dreier

Emmett Heath was appointed to lead Community Transit last month. Heath served as Director of Administration at Community Transit for 10 years before taking over as CEO in an acting capacity last summer.

On April 13, the Pierce Transit Board approved Susan Dreier as Pierce Transit’s new CEO. Dreier’s first day on the job will be May 26. Dreier previously served as the chief of Salem-Keizer Transit in Salem, Oregon.

Both Pierce Transit and Community Transit are adding service hours this year to meet growing demand.

“We’re back in growth mode. Today, we have every driver and every bus out on the road, yet we know there are still unmet needs in our community,” Heath said.

Community Transit is seeking legislative authority to go to the ballot with up to 0.3% sales tax increase.

Both transit agencies are members of the PSRC.  Half of the local elected officials on PSRC’s Executive Board also serve on the governing boards of the region’s transit agencies.

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Pierce Transit is alternative fuels pioneer

Pierce Transit was recently honored by Western Washington Clean Cities for the transit agency’s long-standing commitment to powering its buses with natural gas.

Pierce Transit fuels all its buses with compressed natural gas, improving air quality and saving money.

Pierce Transit runs all its buses on compressed natural gas, improving air quality and saving money on fuel costs.

On December 5, the agency received the 2013 Alternative Fuels Sustainable Commitment Award at the Western Washington Clean Cities annual meeting.

Pierce Transit began the move from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas in 1986, and converted its entire fleet by 2004.

It was one of the first transit agencies in the nation to make the switch.

The compressed natural gas fuel reduces nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions by 90% and virtually eliminates particulate emissions when compared to conventional diesel.

Earlier this year, Pierce Transit signed an agreement to run most of its bus fleet on renewable natural gas from the Cedar Hills landfill.  Read more here.

Western Washington Clean Cities is an organization dedicated to promoting the use of cleaner domestic fuels and efficient vehicles.

The organization is part of a network of more than 80 communities within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program.

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