Pierce Transit Route 1 Bus and Tacoma Link Streetcar
Pierce Transit Route 1 Bus and Tacoma Link Streetcar

The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to raise its discount fares from $0.75 to $1, and its Shuttle paratransit fares from $0.75 to $1.25, effective March 1, 2016. The discount fares include the Regional Reduced Fare Permit — for seniors 65+ and riders with disabilities — and youth 6-18. The regular fare of $2 was not impacted. Pierce Transit does not have a low-income fare at this time.

Meanwhile, STB has received word from Sound Transit spokesperson Kimberly Reason that a proposal to create a low-income fare on Tacoma Link will be going to its board in the near future. Tacoma Link is currently free, but is scheduled to start collecting fares as early as September 2016. The fare is set to start out at $1.50, or $0.75 for RRFP cardholders and youth.

Sound Transit’s board voted in November to implement fare changes on ST Express and Sounder, including introducing a low-income fare, to take effect on March 1, 2016. With a $1.50 low-income fare already in effect on Link Light Rail, that leaves Tacoma Link as Sound Transit’s only service not yet scheduled to have a low-income fare.

Fares for all fixed-route transit services that accept the PugetPass are below the fold. Washington State Ferries is the only agency that accepts ORCA, but not PugetPass. There is a customer satisfaction survey underway for ORCA. You can take the opportunity to urge the expansion of ORCA, PugetPass, and ORCA LIFT (the low-income fare program). Bikeshare is explicitly listed as an expansion option. The monorail is conspicuously not, but you can write it in.


Agency Service RRFP.. Youth LIFT… Full Adult
Community Transit local bus $1.00 $1.50 n/a $2.25
Community Transit commuter south/Everett $2.00 $3.00 n/a $4.25
Community Transit commuter north/east $2.50 $4.00 n/a $5.50
Everett Transit local bus $0.25 $0.75 n/a $1.00
Everett Transit commuter (Route 70) $1.00 $1.50 n/a $2.25
KC Water Taxis West Seattle ORCA $2.00 $3.00 $3.00 $4.00
KC Water Taxis West Seattle cash $2.00 $4.75 $4.75 $4.75
KC Water Taxis Vashon ORCA $2.50 $3.75 $3.75 $4.75
KC Water Taxis Vashon cash $2.50 $5.50 $5.50 $5.50
King County Metro off-peak $1.00 $1.50 $1.50 $2.50
King County Metro 1-zone peak $1.00 $1.50 $1.50 $2.75
King County Metro 2-zone peak $1.00 $1.50 $1.50 $3.25
Kitsap Transit buses and foot ferry $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 $2.00
Pierce Transit bus $1.00 $1.00 n/a $2.00
Seattle Streetcars streetcar $1.00 $1.50 $1.50 $2.25
Sound Transit Link Light Rail minimum $1.00 $1.50 $1.50 $2.25
Sound Transit Link Light Rail maximum $1.00 $1.50 $1.50 $3.25
Sound Transit Sounder minimum $1.50 $2.50 $2.50 $3.25
Sound Transit Sounder maximum $2.75 $4.25 $4.25 $5.75
Sound Transit ST Express intra-county $1.00 $1.50 $1.50 $2.75
Sound Transit ST Express inter-county $1.75 $2.75 $2.75 $3.75
Sound Transit Tacoma Link $0.00 $0.00 n/a $0.00

Monthly PugetPasses cost 36 times the single ride fare.

11 Replies to “More Fare Changes for Pierce County Coming in 2016”

  1. More than one Pierce Transit driver has told me that in their county, every transit vote faces the fact that voters who drive cars absolutely refuse to vote money for people forced, at least in their minds, onto buses.

    Any comment on how thoroughly that’s true?


    1. Not sure, but if true it means we have a long way to go in convincing Pierce County folks that high quality transit is worth paying for…

    2. There were plenty of people who drive cars that voted for Pierce Transit service in the 2012 Prop 1 vote that only lost by 704 votes out of 200k. Tacoma voted for it by a significant margin. I remember being surprised that, Fircrest, University Place, Lakewood and Steilacoom also supported it. I think it also passed in Gig Harbor, but failed everywhere else. Anyway only 12% of work trips in Tacoma’s Downtown were made by transit in 2013, so there are a lot of people who drive cars that vote in favor of Pierce Transit; just not enough to win an election.

      This post shows results by precinct.

      This document shows work trips in Tacoma’s Downtown:

  2. Or we could keep Tacoma Link free until the extension opens, and just not worry about the low income fare…

      1. Look at Tacoma LINK this way. With a very short ride, it makes it possible to keep Tacoma Dome Station at its best location, close to the tracks that the Sounder and shortly AMTRAK as well.

        So see the streetcar for what it really is: a moving walkway from the main transit center to downtown. Pretty much what the Airport should add if they glass in the bridge from LINK to the terminal, and give it the moving walkway it would have in any First World city.

        Tacoma Dome has a very clean and safe parking garage at the farthest south place where I can reach by transit from Seattle that arrives in Tacoma after ten minutes to nine at night.

        Without which, given the scarcity of Olympia’s Intercity Transit service much after six, I’d have to drive a hundred twenty miles round trip, rather than sixty.

        So rather than suffer over streetcar fares let’s talk about charging passengers like me for my parking space. Fare readers at entrance and exit could let me use my e-purse to pay my fair share for something I really need.

        A fee which should go up when Olympia becomes part of Sound Transit, making Tacoma Dome parking a choice, rather than a necessity.

        Mark Dublin

      2. It is, but only until Sept 2016 it looks like. This is a huge sign that a fare-free Link provides a ton of value to the neighborhood, and just confirmation in my opinion that ST should keep it free until it gets extended like a real streetcar line.

        Although at the moment they are subsidizing it only until September, they could do this indefinitely as long as they keep renewing it. I don’t know if they plan on doing that however.

      3. Mark Dublin, good point. I’m not sure if and when ST would include Thurston Co., but if it did that would be interesting. I personally would love to see the current Olympia Express routes replaced with an hourly 7-day ST route that combines the stops from the 600 series routes and terminates at TDS. Olympia express as it stands is confusing, and spaced very irregularly and seemingly randomly, with trips ranging from 85 minutes to 8 minutes apart. Plus it doesn’t serve DuPont. Combine this with the 592 trips to Olympia that have fewer stops, and you get a true Olympia-Seattle express in the peak, or a longer, one-transfer trip off peak with the 594.

      4. Correct, the local business association paid for the difference in LINK fares vs the cost of installing the equipment. Once they start charging fares on LINK It will be interesting to see how it affects the “free” parkers at TDS who park there and take the train downtown instead of having to pay a fare for bus or train. Granted, the fare should not be too high since right now the line isn’t that long, I cant see going over $1.25 for that short of a line. It will also be interesting to see if the LIFT fares spread to more local agencies (CT and PT), and how ST handles requests for LIFT from outside king county. Somehow I think by not having LIFT service centers outside King County they could be opening themselves up for potential liability by not having the service center very accessible for those who don’t live in King County.

      5. @alexkven I think about that every time I have to drive through the JBLM corridor, how nice it would be to have rt 591 running straight through from Oly-Seattle with a stop at TDS at least every hour, and every 30 minute TDS-OLY stand alone service, with added peak service to Lacey and Olympia from TDS and East Pierce County. Thurston county would probably have to have verbiage added to ST’s authorization to vote in, and more than likely would have to vote in at the current tax rates (save maybe the MVET which was used for bonding on phase I projects)

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