pierce transit, public transportation, bus routes

930 Commerce St
Tacoma, WA
(253) 581-8000

Pierce Transit holiday schedules:

SUNDAY routes and schedules apply on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, on both Pierce Transit and Sound Transit service.

SATURDAY routes and schedules apply on Presidents' Day.

routes and schedules apply on all other holidays.

FREE local Pierce Transit service on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.

Questions & Answers:

Are the stops listed on the schedules the only stops the buses make on their trips?
No, buses stop all along their routes. The stops listed in the schedules and shown on the maps are timepoints to help you determine when the bus will arrive at your stop. Express service has limited stops and the schedule and map will show where the express routes make stops.

Why are some of the schedules on your website divided into inbound and outbound halves?
With the exception of Route 26, which is a loop, all our buses run between a starting point and an end point (e.g., Tacoma to Gig Harbor, Lakewood to Steilacoom, Tacoma to Olympia, etc.) with many stops inbetween. To distinguish which way the bus is running, we call one way "Outbound" and the other "Inbound" (for the sake of simplicity, we'll refer here to "Outbound" and "Inbound" only , but the same holds true for "Northbound", "Southbound", etc.) Generally speaking, if a bus runs between a major population center (like Tacoma) or transit facility (like a Transit Center) and a smaller population center (like Gig Harbor) or lesser transit facility (like a Park & Ride), we consider the bus leaving the major center "Outbound", while the bus returning to the major center is considered "Inbound". Whenever possible, we like to present both the "Outbound" and "Inbound" halves of the schedule on the same page (example). It makes it a little easier to plan your trip when you can see the time of the bus you want to return on next to the time of the bus you're leaving on. Many of our routes, however, serve so many destinations between their starting and ending points that their schedules are difficult to view on the average computer monitor, requiring too much scrolling from side to side.

There are dashes (---) under some timepoints in the schedule. Why is that?
A dash or a colon under a timepoint means the bus does not serve that particular stop on that particular trip. We used to have dashes in our schedule book (The Bus Stops Here) as well. A few years ago, however, we switched to a different software program that wouldn't format the timetables properly when dashes were used. Colons, on the other hand, work fine.

Are monthly passes good on all buses, local and express?
Yes, monthly passes (called Puget Passes) are worth the cash value shown in the upper right and lower left corner of each pass on any local or regional bus. You pay the fare difference, if any, when you ride, and if a reduced fare ID is used it changes the amount needed.

Which bus systems honor Puget Passes?
Pierce Transit, King County Metro, Community Transit, Everett Transit and Sound Transit.

How long is the monthly pass good? If I buy one on the 5th of the month, is it good till the 5th of the next month?
Passes are good from the first to the last day of the month only. There is no "grace" period.

Are monthly passes prorated? For example, if I buy one on the 15th and it's only good until the 30th, do I pay half price?
No. You must pay full price for a pass no matter when you buy it. If you start riding the bus frequently, but too late in the month to get full value from a pass, you might want to buy a ticket book instead.

How often do I have to ride the bus to make a monthly pass worthwhile?
All Puget Pass prices are based on 18 round trips. If you ride the bus more than that, the pass is the best buy over cash or tickets.

Where can I purchase bus tickets?
Tickets are available at Pierce Transit sales offices only: The Bus Shop at 930 Commerce, The Tacoma Dome Station and The Lakewood Bus Shop. They are also available by mail order and from our web site.

Do bus tickets have expiration dates?
No, they can be used any time.

What does the Regional Reduced Fare Permit ID for seniors and people with disabilities entitle them to?
Half fare on all bus service for cash fare and monthly passes. They are available at The Bus Shop at 930 Commerce and The Lakewood Bus Shop. Senior RRFPs are also available at The Tacoma Dome Station.

What age does a person qualify for the senior reduced fare ID?
Seniors must be age 65 or older to qualify.

What is a transfer?
A transfer is a slip of a paper the driver will give you, if you ask for it when you board. It will allow you to board another bus without paying an additional fare if you board before the last time shown on the transfer.

How long are transfers good for?
On Pierce Transit and Sound Transit transfers are good for one hour past the time your bus reaches the end of its route. For example, if you took the Route 1 bus leaving Tacoma Community College at 6:05am and got off in Downtown Tacoma at 6:27am, your transfer would be good until 8:29am - an hour after the bus reaches the end of the line at the Roy "Y" at 7:29am

Are Pierce Transit transfers good on transit systems that connect with Pierce Transit and vice-versa?
Yes: King County Metro Local Metro and local PT transfers have a $1.50 value on local service. If the fare is more than $1.50, you just pay the difference.
No: Intercity Transit (Thurston County) and Kitsap Transit.

I lost an item on the bus. How do I get it back?
Lost & Found is located in the Downtown Tacoma Bus Shop, 930 Commerce St. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 am to 4 pm. Closed on holidays. Availability of items may vary depending on time of day and weather conditions. Lost and Found items are kept for two weeks only. If making a special trip to pick up an item, please call ahead to verify availability: 253.581.8149 or 253.581.8000

Why don't all buses connect at 10th & Commerce in Downtown Tacoma?
10th and Commerce is a "transfer area", not a Transit Center. Transit Centers have timed connections where the buses arrive and depart at the same times. More than twenty routes arrive and depart from 10th and Commerce - there just isn't room for them all to meet at the same time. Therefore, there are no "guaranteed" connections at 10th and Commerce. Can I bring my bike along on Pierce Transit? Yes - unless the bus's bike rack is full and there's not enough room on board the bus. All Pierce Transit buses are equipped with bike racks. If the rack is full, bikes may be brought aboard PT buses - but not Sound Transit buses (For Sound Transit's bike policy go here). Cyclists are responsible for handling and assuring the security of their bikes, and must hold them throughout the trip. Your transit operator has the authority to ask you to take your bicycle off the bus should the bus become too crowded. Pierce Transit assumes no responsibility for bikes stolen or damaged while parked at a rack or locker.

Can I leave my bike at a Transit Center or Park & Ride when I ride the bus?
Yes, but Pierce Transit assumes no responsibility for bikes stolen or damaged. We strongly recommend locking your bike to a rack or renting a locker. Lockers are available for a $25 deposit and $10 per month rental fee. Keys for all lockers must be picked up at the Lakewood Bus Shop, 5815 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd SW, Suite B.

How many pieces of luggage can I take aboard the airport bus?
Common sense is really the only guide; as long as they don't block the aisles or take up too much seat space, take as many pieces of luggage as you think you can comfortably handle.

Can I take an animal aboard the bus?
Only guide dogs and other certified helper animals are allowed to accompany passengers; all other animals must be in carriers.

What are the boundaries of Pierce Transit's service area, and why do I care?
When Pierce County voters created the Public Transportation Benefit Authority (PTBA-later known as Pierce Transit) in 1980, its sponsors realized there were parts of the county too sparsely populated to make bus service practical. For the sake of efficiency, those areas were excluded when the boundaries of the PTBA were drawn. If you live outside the PTBA, the bad news is you probably don't have a bus route nearby. The good news is, you don't have to pay the tax that supports the PTBA.

Who does the advertising on your buses?
Currently, the contract is held by CBS Outdoor. If you're interested in advertising your firm or service on our buses, contact Jennifer Brooks at 253.591.8595

Riding the bus may cut down on the number of cars on the road, but aren't diesel emissions bad for the environment?
True, but fortunately not a problem at Pierce Transit. Way back in 1986, we were the first transit agency in the nation to put a compressed natural gas (CNG) bus in service, and, as of 2004, our entire fleet is fueled by clean-burning CNG.

Why do I see so many empty buses on the road?
An empty or almost-empty bus may indicate a route with low ridership; often, however, you're seeing a bus at the beginning or end of its run (either before gathering most of its passengers, or after dropping most of them off). And even our most popular routes tend to see lower ridership before and after the peak commuting hours in the morning and evening.

Do you use smaller buses or vans on routes with low ridership?
There are a few low-ridership routes, like our Key Peninsula, Midcounty and Northeast Tacoma Bus PLUS routes, and our Orting dial-a-ride service, that use vans exclusively. And recently, we have purchased a number of smaller buses for use where practicable. However, in most of our system, buses circulate among routes; after finishing a low-ridership route, a bus may immediately go on to serve one of our more popular routes. As far as expense is concerned, the cost of the fuel saved by using smaller vehicles is offset by our more rugged and reliable (and, therefore, less expensive to maintain) larger vehicles.

Does Pierce Transit connect with the ferries that cross Puget Sound?
There are two ferry runs PT connects with - Point Defiance-Vashon Island (routes 11 & 13) and Steilacoom-Anderson & Ketron Islands (route 212).

The 212 also connects with the McNeil Island Prison boat which is for use only by employees and pre-approved visitors to the island.


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