With ridership slowly increasing on Pierce Transit Route 425, better known as the Puyallup Connector, Pierce Transit officials have added two additional stops along the route.
The Puyallup Connector helps to establish connections for riders to important destinations both in Puyallup and on the South Hill since it was established in June 2014.
When transit officials implemented a slight route change in September 2015, it quickly became apparent there was a lack of stops between two popular South Hill destinations.
“We realized that from Group Health to Walmart there wasn’t a stop,” said Tina Lee, Service Innovation administrator for Pierce Transit.
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With seniors and those with limited mobility relying heavily on the Puyallup Connector, reducing the length walked in between stops is vital.
On Jan. 11, a pair of new stops, one in each direction, were installed on 35th Ave. SE and between 5th Street Southeast and Meridian Ave. The eastbound stop is located near Black Angus, 203 35th Ave. SE, and the westbound stop is near Home Depot, 303 35th Ave. SE, according to a document submitted for approval at the Jan. 5 Puyallup City Council meeting.
“We made the change to the best option,” Lee said. “We want to serve as many people as possible since the Puyallup Connector was started at the request of the community.”
While Pierce Transit tries to remain consistent daily with its routes, Lee says the stop additions were a product of the realization by officials that there were not enough stops on South Hill — as well as feedback from a few riders.
Ridership on Route 425 is slowly increasing, and according to Lee, students and seniors are the primary users of the route. While ridership numbers aren’t as high as Pierce Transit officials would like to see, Lee says it takes typically three to four years for a new route to be established in a community.
“It’s highly valued in the community,” she said.