Pierce Transit announcement.
In a ceremony attended by elected officials and local dignitaries, Pierce Transit today broke ground on its new Spanaway Transit Center. The property, located at 20702 Mountain Highway East in Spanaway, will serve as the southern terminus for the current route 1 and the agency’s first Stream Bus Rapid Transit line, which is nearing 60 percent design. While the agency has recently renovated transit centers and Park & Rides throughout its system, this is Pierce Transit’s first new transit center since 1998, recognizing the increased need for services to support the significant growth in South Pierce County.
Residents of south Pierce County will be able to catch Pierce Transit buses to destinations around the local service area, as well as to regional transit hubs for connections to the greater Puget Sound area and beyond. The Park & Ride at the facility will allow commuters to drive fewer solo miles as they will be able to catch the bus or a vanpool to work from the Transit Center.
The facility will be built in two phases. Phase 1, beginning construction this fall, will feature a bus turnaround, a 38-car Park & Ride lot, comfort station for bus drivers and passenger drop-off area. Phase 2, currently in planning, will increase parking to 250 stalls and include enhanced entrance/exit infrastructure.
The site’s location on Washington State Route 7 will enhance transit access to a portion of the region that is heavily car-dependent. Project partners include: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Congressional Representatives, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Pierce County, Joint Base Lewis McChord, the Washington State Legislature and others.
As noted by Pierce County Councilmember and Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners Chair Marty Campbell, “this transit center will serve a low-income and high-minority area. According to the US Census, more than 11 percent of people in this area are living in poverty, compared to 9.4 percent across Pierce County; more than one-third of the population is minority, and nearly 12 percent have no vehicle at home. It is exciting – and the right thing to do – to put our resources into this community.”
Funded jointly by WSDOT and the FTA, $3 million in federal support was championed by Representative Marilyn Strickland and Senator Maria Cantwell. Both attended the groundbreaking event, speaking of their ongoing support of transit and the importance of facilitating connections within our communities. Other dignitaries in attendance, some of whom took to the podium to support transit, included Senator T’wina Nobles; Representatives Jake Fey, Dan Bronoske and Mari Leavitt; Pierce County Councilmembers Marty Campbell and Amy Cruver; WSDOT Olympic Region Administration Steve Roark; Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm and Joint Base Lewis-McChord Lieutenant Colonel James Bloom.
“This transit center is the first new transit center in Pierce County in decades, and that is long overdue,” Sen. Maria Cantwell said. “That is why Representative Strickland and I both fought very hard to secure a $3 million Congressional Direct Spending award for the Spanaway Transit Center. This is a perfect location to spend these dollars. Let’s make sure that commuters here in Spanaway get to their workplace, get where they need to go – so that it can keep the economy growing in the future.”
“As a long-time advocate of high-quality public transit, I was pleased to secure federal funding to make it more accessible for those who need it most – including residents of south Pierce County,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland. “I thank Pierce Transit for making this project happen. This key transportation and commercial corridor will improve transit access and connections for seniors, students, and working families.”
Phase 1 of the Spanaway Transit Center is expected to open to the public in late 2023 or early 2024.