Olympia-Tacoma Express Service Changes Effective June 12

Effective Sunday, June 12, Intercity Transit and Pierce Transit will make route name changes and schedule revisions to long-distance Express service operating between Olympia and Tacoma.

Bus Route Names Change

Several transit routes operating between Olympia and Tacoma will change route numbers in June, based on specific origin and destination.

Pierce Transit Route 602 (Olympia to Lakewood and Tacoma):  Pierce Transit’s Route 603A will be renamed Route 602 to reduce passenger confusion with Intercity Transit’s Route 603.

Intercity Transit Route 605 (Olympia and Lacey to Lakewood and Tacoma):  Intercity Transit’s Route 603 trips that serve the Lacey Transit Center will be renamed Route 605.  Current Route 603 trips that do not serve Lacey will remain Route 603.

Schedule Adjustments 

Intercity Transit will add two northbound and two southbound weekday trips to its Olympia Express service.  These trips and other schedule adjustments help fill service gaps created by Pierce Transit’s service reductions, also effective June 12.

Intercity Transit Route 603 (Olympia to Lakewood and Tacoma) weekday service:  

Southbound:  An additional departure from 10th & Commerce in Tacoma at 8:05 a.m.
Northbound:  An additional departure from the Olympia Transit Center at 6:30 p.m.

Intercity Transit Route 605 (Olympia and Lacey to Lakewood and Tacoma) weekday service:

Northbound:  An additional departure from the Olympia Transit Center at 6:30 a.m.
Southbound:  An additional departure from 10th and Commerce in Tacoma at 8 p.m.

Pierce Transit Olympia Express:  Reductions by Pierce Transit to its local and Olympia Express service will also take effect Sunday, June 12, including service between Pierce and Thurston Counties. Visit www.piercetransit.org for details. 

New Schedule Information

Intercity Transit’s latest Transit Guide, to be distributed broadly the week of June 6, shows the June service changes, has information on all of Intercity Transit’s 23 routes, and includes an extensive listing of public transportation services provided in the region.  The guide, dated June 12, is available beginning the second week of June at area Timberland Library branches, local Safeway stores, on buses, and at the Customer Service center located in the Olympia Transit Center.  Intercity Transit information is also available online at www.intercitytransit.com or by calling Customer Service at 360-786-1881 or 1-800-287-6348.  Please note that these transit changes will not appear on Intercity Transit’s online trip planner until June 12. 

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2 Responses

  1. I’ve been riding the bus from Olympia to Tacoma for over 10 years and have never felt the need to voice my opinon on this latest change to the express run. The changes made to the north to south run are frightening to myself and other reqular riders as I’m sure you have already heard. Tuesday we had a trip of eleven people standing in the isles clearly handicaped with canes these people had to stand all the way to Olympia. Wednesday there were 17 people and one dog. People waiting at the Lakewood Center stop but no room. When we arrived at the Martin Way park and ride it was chaos trying to get off the bus. The driver was not helpful, asking the people standing to get off the bus so others could get off would have been helpful and alot safer. There were people trying to climb over other people and there belongings. Isn’t that door supposed to be clear at all times. The back door was blocked buy a man dog and large backpack. My greatest concern is for our safty if an accident should happen. This is not safe. Alot of people have voiced that they are thinking of driving again. Where would that put the award winning Intercity Transit. I’m really suprised that the news has not been notified of the safty issues involved here. I strongly hope that this issue is being addressed.

  2. Thank you for using our service and taking the time to share your comments. We understand your concern about what Pierce Transit’s (PT) reduction in Olympia Express service has done to your commute. As you may know, we (Intercity Transit) added two northbound and two southbound weekday trips and made a few schedule adjustments to our portion of the Olympia Express service in June to try and fill some of the voids created by PT’s cuts. We also made some minor adjustments last Monday. We made the adjustments we could afford to make and do not have the resources to replace all the eliminated service. We’ve temporarily put a back-up bus on the first morning southbound trip from Tacoma but we don’t have the resources to sustain the additional service. Please consider talking with Pierce Transit and your local Representatives about the impact of the service reductions on your commute.

    As an option to riding the bus, you might consider vanpooling. Three new groups have already formed due to the service reductions and everyone gets a seat! If you are interested, you can contact our Vanpool office at vans@intercitytransit.com, 360-786-8800, or 1-866-330-7033. In fact – we have a great incentive program right now. You can check it out here: https://intercitytransit.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/your-commute-only-better-vanpool/

    As far as your concern about safety – our buses are safe and designed to carry this type of passenger load. However, we do realize that ‘standing room only’ trips might not be comfortable for long periods of time. Until now, Olympia Express riders have not had to deal with this too often. However, it’s actually a fairly common occurrence on many other transit systems. Many trips between Tacoma and Seattle frequently have “standing room only” capacity.

    Finally, I apologize that the driver was not more helpful in this situation – he/she might have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by it as well. We will definitely work with our operators to help improve their interaction with customers and provide better control of the situation.
    Again, thank you for your comments.

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