Pierce Transit expanding routes to serve Sumner

Sumner’s industrial parkway will soon have the convenience of bus transportation.

Sumner’s industrial parkway will soon have the convenience of bus transportation.

Pierce Transit is extending Route 409 to accommodate the increased number of people traveling in the area since businesses began expanding there.

Kelly Hayden, Pierce Transit director of planning, said talk of the route extension began about the middle of 2008 to find a way to respond to the increase in employement in the area.

“It appeared to be an area that needed service,” Hayden said.

Hayden said 70 percent of operating funding is from sales tax and, due to the economy, there has been a loss in revenue. To provide transportation and keep costs down, there are no bus stops constructed, but people will still be picked up.

“We’re hoping this will work and reduce some of the costs as well as add to the benefit of the patrons,” Hayden said.

The extended service begins Feb. 9 and is an experimental run. Two bus trips are in the morning and there are two afternoon trips.

Hayden said after the trial period, which is not set, but may be about six months to a year, the city will determine if there is a demand for permanent stops and shelters.

The 409 route is between Fryar Avenue, 142nd Avenue and 138th Avenue. Since there are no physical stops on the extension, people are encouraged to wave their hands to flag a bus. People may also order blinking lights from Pierce Transit to flag down a bus.

Chaz Holmes can be reached at cholmes@courierherald.com or 360-802-8208.

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