On August 1, Pierce Transit will launch the Pierce Transit Runner, a new kind of on-demand transportation service. The Runner will provide people who live, work and play on the Tacoma waterfront a link to fixed route transit and a quick and car-free way to access many waterfront businesses, attractions and activities, including locations where people can get outdoors and exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ruston Way in particular is a challenging area to provide traditional bus service, with few safe and accessible bus stop locations, and demand can fluctuate greatly depending on time of day and day of the week. Nevertheless, the area is growing and there is a need to provide transportation services that have bus connections and can reduce traffic and parking in the area. With on-demand service, Runner will be there when needed and, because it uses vans, can pull into any location accessible to a personal vehicle.
The zone served by Runner encompasses Ruston Way, Point Ruston, parts of the town of Ruston, a section of Dock Street and part of the Tideflats along the Foss Waterway. The zone includes Commerce Street Transit Center Zone A in downtown Tacoma and the Tacoma Dome Station, where riders can make transit connections. A zone map is included at the end of this news release for reference. You will also find instructions for using the service at PierceTransit.org/Runner. The Runner is active seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Pierce Transit Runner vans are wheelchair accessible and equipped with a ramp so mobility devices can come on board. Each vehicle is equipped to accommodate one mobility device and bikes are welcome on board as space allows. The Runner uses the “Goin” app to book trips. After a rider downloads the app, opens it and selects Pierce Transit Runner, they will choose their pick-up and destination locations within the zone. Anyone who does not have a smart phone may call 253.270.1340 to schedule a trip.
The first month of Runner service will be offered fare-free to introduce it to the riding public. Beginning in September, regular Pierce Transit fares apply. Riders may pay using Pierce Transit’s mobile app, PiercePay on the Hopthru app, to purchase One Ride Tickets, All Day Passes or a 30-Day Pass. They may also show the Runner driver their valid ORCA card or paper All Day Pass. No cash is accepted on Runner.
Pierce Transit Runner service will have special protocols in place to keep riders safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trips on Runner will not be shared with other parties until social distancing restrictions are lifted. After each ride, team members spray and disinfect surfaces with which they and passengers have frequent contact. Team members practice all health protocols, including frequent hand washing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wearing masks. All passengers are required to wear masks in order to use the service.
Pierce Transit Runner is a one-year pilot, which will help inform Pierce Transit about the value of future on-demand connective service in areas that are cost-prohibitive or difficult-to-serve with regular bus routes, with the goal of reducing congestion and providing people with easy connections to transit.
Pierce Transit Runner Zone (in blue)