The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Monday, March 10, 2008

About Pierce County Transit

12/31/07 Pierce Transit From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pierce Transit, in full "The Pierce County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation", is a mass transit agency serving Pierce County, the second most populous county in Washington state.

Pierce Transit was formed in 1979 when voters passed a 0.3 percent sales tax to fund public transportation. By authorizing this taxing authority, a municipal corporation (Pierce Transit) was formed under Chapter 36.57A of the Revised Code of Washington. In 2002, voters passed an additional 0.3 percent sales tax to replace revenue lost when Initiative 695 cut off the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax as a source of funding for public transportation.

Pierce Transit provides transportation services over a 450-square-mile (1,200 km²) area with an estimated population of 675,000. Pierce Transit's service area includes the cities and towns of Bonney Lake, Buckley, DuPont, Fife, Edgewood, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Orting, Puyallup, Ruston, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma and University Place, along with extensive unincorporated areas of Pierce County. Administration.

The agency is governed by a Board of Commissioners. The Board is composed of nine elected officials representing the City of Tacoma, Pierce County, Lakewood, University Place/Puyallup (a rotating appointment) and the smaller towns and cities of Pierce Transit's service area. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for implementation of the policies legislated by the Board of Commissioners. In order to provide overall management for the Authority, six departments have been established: Executive; Transit Services; Policy, Planning, and Public Affairs; Capital Development; Human Resources; and Finance, Audit & Administrative Services.

Pierce Transit provides 50 local bus routes, SHUTTLE (specialized transportation for people with disabilities), vanpool, ridematching and intercounty express service (provided in cooperation with Sound Transit and Intercity Transit) to Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport and Olympia. Pierce Transit's fixed-route system includes routes that operate on more than 900 miles (1,400 km) of city streets, county routes and state highways from Seattle through Tacoma and on to Olympia. Serving these areas is a fleet of over 250 buses, all wheelchair accessible and all running on compressed natural gas. Seven Transit Centers, over 3,000 bus stops, more than 200 covered bus shelters and 19 park-and-ride lots are provided for patrons. Pierce Transit's fixed-route service carried more than 13 million passengers in 2003. Pierce Transit's demand-response service, SHUTTLE, provides transportation for people certified eligible for the service because they are functionally unable to ride a fixed-route bus. Rides are organized on a subscription, group or call-in basis. More than 500,000 trips were provided in 2003, with nearly 70% of these trips provided by a private contractor.

Alternate Fuels
Pierce Transit's exploration of alternate fuel options began in 1986 when the agency launched a four-year demonstration project to test the feasibility of using compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel source for its bus fleet. CNG was chosen for its environmental benefits and safety record. Working with the Washington State Energy Office and Washington Natural Gas (now Puget Sound Energy), Pierce Transit converted two 1974 GMC buses to run on both diesel and CNG. When results were compared with six diesel buses of the same age, the agency found it cost less per mile in most cases to operate CNG buses. The engines also ran quieter, helping curb noise pollution in neighborhoods. In 1992, a fast-fill compressor station was built, capable of refueling three CNG buses simultaneously in less than 10 minutes; a second station has since been added. The agency bought the first low-floor buses in the state powered by CNG in February, 1999. By 2004, the agency's entire fleet had been converted to alternative fuels. While the fueling stations and their accompanying natural gas detectors and ventilation systems in the shop are expensive, fuel costs for CNG-powered buses can be much lower than for diesel-powered vehicles. In 2000, the CNG buses cost 7 cents per mile to fuel while diesel buses cost 13.6 cents per mile. Pierce Transit's clean-air efforts have garnered a number of awards from such groups as the American Lung Association, the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, American Gas Association and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Energy honored Pierce Transit with a Clean Cities National Partner Award. The Department of Energy's Clean Cities awards promote the use of alternative, nonpolluting fuels. Pierce Transit was nominated for its award by the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition, a regional government/industry partnership led by the City of Seattle to promote the use of alternative fuels.

Cities served Tacoma,Puyallup,Lakewood,Gig Harbor,PurdyFort, Lewi,sOrting,South Hill,Bonney Lake,Sumner,Milton,Federal Way

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