Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak and in an attempt to protect customers and agency employees, Pierce Transit is taking steps to increase social distancing in its operations, including in public meetings. Previously planned in-person open houses for the Pierce Transit BRT project are postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Read Pierce Transit’s coronavirus statement and the latest updates to social distancing policies.

Project overview

Welcome to the virtual open house for the Pierce Transit Bus Rapid Transit project!

Through this open house, you can:

  • Learn more about the project
  • View an interactive map with key connection and project improvement details
  • Get involved with the property owner coordination process
  • Share your feedback about draft station design concepts

Scroll on for more information. Thanks for joining us!

What is Bus Rapid Transit?

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a new line of service from Pierce Transit that is designed to carry larger numbers of riders with greater speed, reliability and frequency than a standard fixed route bus. Think the speed of light rail with the flexibility and simplicity of a bus. The first BRT route is planned to replace a portion of the current Route 1 along the 14.4-mile corridor between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway.

Pierce Transit BRT will have the following features:

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Frequent: Bus runs every 10-15 minutes

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Fast: Traffic signals prioritize transit

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Safe and reliable: Real-time information and lighting

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Accessible: Larger buses, room for on-board bicycles, easier wheelchair access

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Connections: Connecting downtown Tacoma and Spanaway with stops at key destinations

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Easy to board: Pay before boarding, raised platforms, multiple doors

Why BRT?

Route 1 is the highest-ridership route in Pierce County with 1.1 million rides taken annually. By 2040, Route 1 that runs along the BRT corridor is projected to provide 2.2 million annual rides. To keep up with the demand for transit needs while developing alternatives to driving alone by car, Pierce Transit BRT aligns with the long-term development plans for the City of Tacoma and Pierce County. Upgrading Route 1 to a BRT line will also better support the economic future of Pierce County by building connections between six Washington State-recognized Opportunity Zones with reliable and frequent service.

Pierce Transit BRT route map | Click image to enlarge

Project timeline

2017

Assess corridor conditions

Develop project purpose and need

Mode selection

Develop alternatives

2018

Select Locally Preferred Alternative

Begin FTA Small Starts application

Conduct additional traffic analysis

Begin initial environmental review

2019

Continue environmental review

Begin design

Launch BRT Community Committee

2020 – 2021

Continue design

Finalize environmental review

2021 – 2023

Begin construction

Open to service

2017

  • Assess corridor conditions
  • Develop project purpose and needed
  • Mode selection
  • Develop alternatives

2018

  • Select Locally Preferred Alternative
  • Begin FTA Small Starts application
  • Conduct additional traffic analysis
  • Begin initial environmental review

2019

  • Continue environmental review
  • Begin design
  • Launch BRT Community Committee

2020 – 2021

  • Continue design
  • Finalize environmental review

2021 – 2023

  • Begin construction
  • Open to service

BRT Facts

Be Right There Map

The Pierce Transit BRT can take you to a variety of destinations between Downtown Tacoma and Spanaway. Toggle the different categories to see what’s just a ride away with BRT.

Be Right There Map Legend

BRT Route
Proposed Bus Stops
curb bus stop icon
median bus stop icon
library icon
gathering icon
government building icon
health icon
museum icon
recreation icon
schools icon
train connection icon

Station designs

We want you to see the latest station designs that are being considered for the new bus stops for the BRT line. The two design concepts (Suspension and Mountain) are inspired by the local characteristics of the cities that make up Pierce County. Share your thoughts in the Community Feedback section.

All BRT stations will feature:

  • ORCA card readers
  • Real-time bus tracker
  • Ticket vending machines
  • Parking for bicycles and e-scooters
  • Raised platforms for improved accessibility boarding
  • Platforms spanning entire bus lengths

Suspension

The design of Suspension is inspired by the bridges of the region yet offers a sleek and innovative look.

Perspective view of Suspension’s station design | Click image to enlarge
Axonometric drawing of Suspension’s station design | Click image to enlarge

Median station design of Suspension

38th Street & Pacific Avenue | Click image to enlarge

Curbside station design of Suspension

Generic location | Click image to enlarge

Mountain

The design of Mountain is inspired by Mt. Rainier and brings a rugged and robust look that reflects the hard-working character of the community. 

Perspective view of Mountain’s station design | Click image to enlarge
Axonometric drawing of Mountain’s station design | Click image to enlarge

Median station design of Mountain

38th Street & Pacific Avenue | Click image to enlarge

Curbside station design of Mountain

Generic location | Click image to enlarge

Your turn – community feedback

Pierce Transit has developed two initial design concepts for the future BRT stations. They are called “Suspension” and “Mountain”. Please share your feedback about each station design below.

Share your input

Pierce County BRT- 169-002-000 - Design survey

Suspension Design

Mountain Design

Station amenities
3. Which of the below station features are most important to you? Please rank from one to ten, with 1 being most important to you.
Space Cell 12345678910
Real-time arrival
Safety features
Weather screening
Seating
Buffers from noise
Ticket vending machines
Waste receptacles
Bike lockers
Parking
Bus features
4. Which of the below bus features are most important to you? Please rank from one to seven, with 1 being most important to you.
Space Cell 1234567
More stability poles for standing passengers
Charging ports
Overhead storage space
Reading lights
Adjustable air conditioning vents
Bike space

Property owner coordination

The Pierce Transit BRT route will operate in the public right-of-way. Right-of-way is defined as land used for transportation and other purposes (i.e., roads and sidewalks). For this project, the right-of-way needs include providing enough space for road designs, BRT station locations and sidewalk installations.

In places where there is no right-of-way or not enough room for the project improvements, Pierce Transit will need to purchase strips of land. We’ve made every effort to reduce impacts on private property throughout our early project planning and preliminary engineering. We will work with property owners to purchase these strips of land so that we can build project improvements that will enhance transit speed and reliability in the future while also respecting quality of life for people who live and own businesses in the community.

Pierce Transit is ready to meet with property owners to begin discussing project improvements and individual property owner needs. If you own a property along the project corridor, our real estate team may get in touch with you in the coming weeks and months. Please stay tuned for more details.

These conversations with property owners will be guided by federal and state regulations to provide consistent and equitable treatment to all affected property owners.

If you would like to see how the project may interact with your property, please view the preliminary design maps below:

If you would like to sign up for our property owner interest list, please complete the form below

Pierce County BRT- 169-002-000 - Property Owner

1. Property owner contact form
3. Are you interested in project staff connecting with you?

Community engagement

BRT Community Committee

Pierce Transit organized a committee of local community members with varied interests for several reasons. One purpose of the committee is to identify how BRT investments in the region could serve all users and provide insights and information related to issues and trends impacting communities and businesses in the region. The BRT Community Committee also serves as a platform for existing transit users to understand the BRT project and share their input on proposed project plans. Pierce Transit looks to the BRT Community Committee to advise on engaging and hearing key interests as well as assisting the agency’s understanding of impacts and trade-offs associated with the planning process.

BRT Community Committee Meeting #1 – November 12, 2019

BRT Community Committee Meeting #2 – February 19, 2020

Briefing requests

Would your group or organization like a briefing on Pierce Transit BRT? Contact us at BRT@PierceTransit.org.

Environmental review

The environmental review process for Pierce Transit BRT is currently underway, and we expect the full environmental phase to be complete in Fall 2020.

Pierce Transit has been notified by the Federal Transit Administration Region X that the project qualifies as a Documented Categorical Exclusion (DCE) under guidance of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The DCE effectively determines that a proposed project will not have significant effects to the project environment. Pierce Transit will complete the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist this fall.

The SEPA process will provide a more detailed review of the transportation analysis and project impacts, and will also provide an additional opportunity for the public to comment on the Pierce Transit BRT project.

Stay engaged

Pierce Transit has developed a short survey to gain insight on ridership and the communities we serve. Participation in this survey is completely voluntary. Data collected from the survey is confidential and will be used to inform future project outreach.

Demographic survey