Pierce Transit has launched a new public outreach campaign to help re-envision the agency’s route structure and system planning. The outreach campaign seeks to get feedback on how riders think that Pierce Transit should prioritize system design and functionality. Pierce Transit is taking a unique approach by using an interactive survey where riders can build their own system.

Riders can choose their own adventure. (Pierce Transit)
Riders can choose their own adventure. (Pierce Transit)

Survey respondents get to put on the shoes of service planners and choose from a menu of different different system improvement strategies. But respondents are faced with the same constraints and realities of service planners: competing priorities and limited resources. To demonstrate this, respondents are given a maximum budget of $20 in which to make their spending choices and buckets of community benefit priorities to achieve.

Respondents can track their progress with a calculator that changes as different strategic inputs are chosen, which range from increased weekday frequency and stop consolidation to more bus shelters and wifi on buses. Each system improvement strategy is weighted with differing costs and community benefits like access, ridership, and reliability. Ultimately, the idea behind all of this is to help riders understand the tradeoffs between different strategies and determine what they think are the highest priorities for investment.

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Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.