Some Pierce Transit buses in Puyallup are now running more frequently and at later hours, providing more accessibility and travel options for riders.
The changes were implemented on Sunday as a result of Pierce Transit’s year-long comprehensive analysis of its entire bus system, which included taking feedback from the public.
Peter Stackpole, service planning assistant manager for Pierce Transit, said that there were two main themes among the feedback: more frequent service and later service.
“One of the great things about this change is more frequent service,” Stackpole said. “By increasing the frequency of service, we’re decreasing the transfer window.”
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One of the great things about this change is more frequent service. By increasing the frequency of service, we’re decreasing the transfer window.
Peter Stackpole, service planning assistant manager for Pierce Transit
Many riders take more than one bus for their daily commutes. If they’re late and miss a bus, they have to wait — sometimes for an hour — for another bus to come.
Route 402 follows Meridian on South Hill to Federal Way, and has improved daytime service to every 30 minutes and with an additional seven trips to and from both South Hill and Federal Way.
Buses on Route 400 travel to and from downtown Tacoma from South Hill. There’s a new trip to South Hill at 2:48 p.m. and to downtown Tacoma at 3:45 p.m.
Route 4, from Lakewood to South Hill, has one additional trip to South Hill and two additional trips to Lakewood. Its service now extends to 10 p.m.
Before the change, some buses would cease service after about 6 or 7 p.m., Stackpole said, which made it difficult for riders getting off work late to find a bus.
“We’re trying to hit that market … that typically hasn’t been able to take the bus because it (stops running) too early for them,” Stackpole said.
The amount of people using bus systems has declined nationally, Stackpole added, in part due to a decline in gas prices. The Pierce Transit route restructures could potentially increase ridership.
In total, Pierce Transit added 35,000 service hours to its routes. Other routes through Puyallup, including Puyallup Connector Route 425 and Route 409 from Puyallup to 72nd Street, did not have any changes.