Pierce Transit is studying the feasibility of implementing High Capacity Transit (HCT) along a 14.4-mile corridor on Pacific Avenue/SR 7 between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway. The corridor is currently served by Pierce Transit’s Route 1, which has the highest ridership in the system with nearly 6,000 boardings per weekday.
High Capacity Transit systems are designed to carry larger numbers of riders with greater speed, reliability and frequency than a standard fixed route bus. HCT transit stations have additional amenities, such as real-time arrival information, raised platforms for level boarding, and off-board fare payment to reduce the time a vehicle must dwell at the stop and therefore speed up service.
The HCT feasibility study is intended to:
· Identify a preferred method of better connecting the southern end of Pierce Transit’s service area (Spanaway) to downtown Tacoma;
· Identify cost-effective enhancements that will increase transit ridership by improving the speed, reliability and comfort of the service;
· Support local and regional goals of stimulating urban infill projects through compact land use, transit-oriented development and targeted employment growth; and
· Improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and other corridor users.
Pierce Transit held four open houses in September to introduce the HCT concept to people and businesses along the corridor. The agency has scheduled the next round of open houses on Nov. 14, 15 and 16 to introduce preliminary alternatives and offer more details about the system’s features. Other topics will include:
· Information about the various High Capacity Transit modes being considered (Enhanced Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, Streetcar and Light Rail);
· Ways that HCT could benefit people living and working along the corridor;
· Details about the study process, including the environmental review process;
· Design concepts, including options for where HCT vehicles might operate in proximity to other traffic; and
· Anticipated timelines and next steps.
Attendees will also be asked for feedback about which design concepts best meet their needs and where they would like to see stations located. There will be pizza at each open house for attendees to enjoy.
The open houses will be held:
Tuesday, Nov. 14
4 – 7 p.m.
University of Washington Tacoma
Philip Hall; James A. Milgard Family Assembly Room, Room WPH 101
1918 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
Wednesday, Nov. 15
1 – 4 p.m.
Pacific Lutheran University
Anderson University Center, Room 201
Park Ave. S. and 122nd St. S., Tacoma
Wednesday, Nov. 15
5 – 8 p.m.
Stewart Middle School
5010 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
Thursday, Nov. 16
4 – 7 p.m.
Spanaway Elementary School
412 – 165th St. S., Spanaway
Pierce Transit expects to select a preferred HCT mode in early 2018, followed by design and construction, with service slated to begin in late 2022.