While King County Metro, Sound Transit, and Community Transit has deployed new fall, other local transit agencies also launched new transit service this week or are poised to implement revised service soon. Rounding out our fall service change coverage is Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Intercity Transit, and Everett Transit.
On Sunday, Pierce Transit began adding 46 new trips across 18 routes (14 trips on weekdays, 12 trips on Saturdays, and 20 trips on Sundays), many of which were made possible by using “back-to-base” service hours. Schedules of many routes were also adjusted so that buses depart their terminals at easy-to-remember times on the 5’s and 10’s on the clock (e.g., 9.05am and 10.20pm) instead of odd times like 8.07am or 6.42pm. Additionally, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Connector has become a permanent fixture in the network. Notable service changes are as follows:
- Route 2 received two new trips on weekday afternoons.
- Route 3 had one new trip added at 10pm departing from Downtown Tacoma on Saturdays.
- Route 11 received one new trip on Sundays from Point Defiance departing at 5.40pm.
- Route 41 had one new trip added on weekdays at 9.15pm from Downtown Tacoma and one new trip added on Saturdays at 8.15pm from Downtown Tacoma.
- Route 45 received one new trip at 5.35pm from Downtown Tacoma on weekends.
- Route 52 benefited from an extra trip on Sundays departing from Tacoma Community College at 6.45pm.
- Route 54 received extra trips on Sunday departing from the 72nd St Transit Center at 6.45pm and one from Tacoma Mall Transit Center at 7.15pm.
- Route 55 had one new trip added from Parkland Transit Center departing at 6.45pm on Sundays.
- Route 57 benefited from a new Saturday trip departing from Downtown Tacoma at 7.23pm.
- Route 63 received more weekday service with a new trip at 9.08am, 1.50pm, and 3.00pm.
- Route 100 had a mix of weekday and Saturday service additions. From Tacoma Community College, a new weekday trip at 7.45pm and Saturday trip at 5.44pm were added. From Purdy Park-and-Ride, trips at 6.44pm and 7.44pm on weekdays were added while a 5.44pm trip on Saturdays was added.
- Route 102 had one extra morning (7.00am) and extra afternoon (5.10pm) trip added.
- Route 202 received six extra Sunday trips.
- Route 206 had a new trip added on weekdays and weekend service was improved. On Saturdays, there is new 8.45pm trip from Lakewood Transit Center and new 8.20pm trip from Madigan Hospital. On Sundays, there is a new 8.00am trip from Lakewood Transit Center and two new trips from Berkeley and Union at 6.10pm and 6.50pm.
- Route 212 benefited from one extra trip on Sundays departing from Pierce College at 6.10pm.
- Route 214 received extra trips from Pierce College on weekdays and weekends. One new trip departs at 10.15pm on weekdays while new trips at 8.15pm on Saturday and 6.15pm on Sunday were added.
- Route 409 had extra trips added on weekends. On Saturdays, a 5.30pm trip from 72nd St Transit Center and a 5.51pm trip from Puyallup Station were added. On Sundays, a 5.30pm trip from 72nd St Transit Center and a 5.49pm trip from Puyallup Station were added.
- Route 500 benefited from new Saturday and Sunday trips departing from Federal Way Transit Center at 9.55pm.
- Route 501 received new trips on weekdays. One will depart Downtown Tacoma at 8.25pm while another will depart Federal Way Transit Center at 8.30pm.
Beginning on Monday (September 30th), Kitsap will reduce service on the Kingston Fast Ferry and a companion bus route as the winter schedule is implemented. This means that Saturday service will end and that weekday service times will be slightly adjusted. However, there will not be a reduction in the number of weekday sailings on the ferry.
Routes 302 and 307, which complement the ferry and provide service to Suquamish and Poulsbo, will have their run times adjusted to match the ferry. Route 302 will continue to otherwise run as normal on weekdays. Route 307, however, will not run on Saturdays. Its run times will also be adjusted to better match the ferry.
Earlier this week, Kitsap Transit also made adjustments to the Bremerton Fast Ferry, which runs to Seattle. The transit agency is operating two-boat service for sailings to test a new fast ferry that will be added to the regular fleet and facilitate service expansion. The test will be ongoing for four weeks and could intermittently affect service if one of the boats had to go out for service during revenue hours.
In a recent notice, Kitsap Transit explained why it is running the two-boat test in greater detail:
Scientists will…measure beach conditions along Rich Passage to determine whether the service can operate the full summer schedule with two-boat commute service without harming the beaches. Kitsap Transit must run the test service before October 26, after which seasonal changes will make it difficult to discern the impact of wake wash from Kitsap Transit’s fast ferries.
Kitsap Transit will run the two-boat test service with only two vessels–Rich Passage 1 and Reliance. Lady Swift, a third vessel delivered recently, has been returned to the shipyard for additional work because it did not achieve all contractually required specifications.
On October 21st, the Bremerton Fast Ferry service will revert to the winter schedule. That means only weekday sailings will run while Saturday service ends.
Relatedly, Washington State Ferries begins its fall service for sailings on Sunday (September 29th) and King County Water Taxi will begin its winter service on October 26th meaning no weekend sailings and reduction of weekday trips.
Intercity Transit (in Thurston County)
On Sunday, Intercity Transit rolled out their fall service by adding 17,860 annual service hours. The changes were limited to just a few routes, but put an emphasis on new Saturday and Sunday service. Routes 21, 45, and 60 all got more midday frequency on weekend and earlier trips on weekend mornings. Meanwhile, Route 94 received more weekend trips and Route 41 benefited from more Sunday nighttime trips.
Route 64, which runs from Downtown Olympia to the Lacey Amtrak station via Downtown Lacey, had its all-day weekday service boosted from hourly to half-hourly. Route 612, which is an express from Olympia to Tacoma Dome Station, had one earlier trip added.
The service improvements are made possible by a sales tax measure passed by voters last year.
Intercity Transit has indicated that more service will come later this fall in the form of a bus rapid transit demonstration project. Dubbed “The One”, Intercity Transit hopes to run the serve on weekdays from the Capital Mall to Martin Way Park-and-Ride. The service will run every 15 minutes during peak hours. More details, however, are yet to come.
Earlier this year, Everett Transit implemented massive fare hikes while significantly cutting service. The fall service change did not result in any increased service levels, and the recently-published transit development plan indicates that is not likely change through 2024. The transit agency’s director, however, did boast about capital outlays to expand parking at Everett Station by 90 parking stalls in the service change guide. Much of the transit agency’s focus now is on replacing the aging bus fleet with electric buses and financial contributions to ORCA NextGen.
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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.