Photo Provided with Permission from Karly Siroky
As with nearly everywhere with the concepts for PT Tomorrow the changes are drastic. Downtown Tacoma is no exception. There are changes in bus routing in the downtown core, at Tacoma Dome Station and there are more considerations to think about with the new strategy. PT Tomorrow has maps of what downtown service would look in each scenario.
Today in the downtown core, sixteen bus routes travel along Pacific and Commerce, and one bus route each excluding route 26 travels along Market, Tacoma, Yakima and MLK. In the current funding concept, this is cut to seven bus routes with only three of those being Pierce Transit buses. Market, Tacoma and Yakima would all have at least two bus routes depending on the scenario. MLK south of 12th would only have bus route 26.
Yet with the spreading out of routes through downtown, there is an increasing convergence of bus routes at Tacoma Dome Station. Today, just six PT routes go to TDS. In the current funding scenario six routes still use it, however that is because of the 16 and 26 going there and the 500 and 501 being cut. In the new funding scenario, fifteen routes would now converge upon Tacoma Dome Station. Also quite interesting is that of these fifteen, most of them wouldn't go downtown. The new 11/13 and the 16 would go near downtown, but the 3 and 57 would skip straight down 25th to TDS and all PT buses coming from the east would just end at TDS.
Also interesting is the creation of S 25th Street as a major new transit corridor. Four routes would now climb up the hill fanning out northward onto Market, Tacoma, Yakima and MLK under current funding with the 3 and 57 continuing west in the new funding scenario.
This new strategy is moving away from using Commerce Street as the focal point of downtown bus transfers. However, there are sure a lot of hills that riders may have to climb in order to make a transfer. There is also the issue of security. Commerce Street has a lot of security in place, but now with transfer points dispersed about downtown it may be a little harder to manage.