People interested in checking out Pierce Transit’s revamped and expanded service can do so for free next week.
Rides will be free from Sunday, through the end of service Saturday (March 18).
CEO Sue Dreier said she hopes the free rides coax people who don’t normally use the system to give it a try.
“The last time Pierce Transit was able to provide new service on a comparable level was in the 1990s,” she said.
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The agency’s board voted in December to restore 35,000 service hours cut when sales taxes and other revenue dried up during the Great Recession.
In doing so, the board also approved changes that extend frequency and hours of operation on many routes while streamlining or eliminating a few others.
The $4 million to pay for the extensions and restoration is coming from the agency’s reserves and increasing sales tax revenue.
A complete schedule can be found at piercetransit.org.
One change of particular note is the elimination of Route 300, which provide service to Joint Base Lewis-McChord along South Tacoma Way.
In response, Pierce Transit is working with GO Transit, a JBLM transit service, to offer an “on-demand connector” for riders who wish to take the bus to the base.
The connector will run weekdays from 7-9:30 a.m. and 3-6:30 p.m. and serve six stops.
The stops are Lakewood Transit Center, Lakewood Sounder Station, Pacific Highway and Bridgeport Way Southwest, Bridgeport and San Francisco Avenue Southwest, the McChord Base Exchange and the McChord Commissary.
Riders should call 253-377-4380 to request a pick-up.