MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: Pierce Transit Limited Access Connections Evaluation Plan

Authors: Gustave Cordahi, Susan Shaheen, PhD, Elliot Martin, PhD

Date: June 2018


The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations are sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation is sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), jointly by the Intelligent Transportation Systems – Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) and the FTA. All documents are USDOT publications. You may access the document at:

Pierce Transit (PT) provides public transportation services in the urbanized area of Pierce County, Washington, Washington’s second largest county. This area includes the City of Tacoma; and the communities of Edgewood, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Puyallup, Ruston, Steilacoom, Tacoma, University Place; portions of Auburn and Pacific; and some unincorporated portions of Pierce County. The service area population is 557,069.

PT is proposing a three-pronged approach to address the issues facing its community. The issues include park and ride lot congestion, fixed route service ending before night classes finish, and concentrated population living outside a walkable distance from fixed route bus service. Based on an average Lyft trip cost using various zones and times of day, PT calculated an average trip cost of $11 for their rideshare partners. All trips are subsidized and offered in the following ways:

  • The first approach is a first/last mile solution, and refers to those riders needing transportation to or from transit because their start or end point lies beyond a half-mile from nearest transit access. Pierce Transit is collaborating with their rideshare partner to provide first/last mile service in and between select zones, and these trips are subsidized.
  • The second approach is a guaranteed ride home, which refers to those riders traveling home after service has stopped for the night. These rides will be subsidized and covered by grant funds.
  • The third approach will provide trips to and from park and ride lots and Sound Transit stations to reduce congestion. These services will increase throughput at stations served by parking-constrained park and ride lots, provide connections to existing bus routes, and provide rides home outside of regular service hours. These trips, like the others mentioned, are also subsidized.

Total funding for this project is $206,000 in U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) funds and $51,500 in local matching funds.

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Posted on

March 16, 2020