Pierce Transit launched the Pierce Transit Runner, a new kind of on-demand transportation service, on Aug. 1.

In partnership with MedStar, the goal of the one-year pilot program is to reduce traffic, alleviate parking issues, and provide more connections to underserved areas near the Tacoma waterfront. A zone map and instructions for using the service can be found here. The Runner operates seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The vans pick up and drop off passengers anywhere a car can go. Through the month of August, the Runner is free to use. Beginning in September, regular Pierce Transit fares will apply. Riders may pay using Pierce Transit’s mobile app, PiercePay on the Hopthru app, to purchase one ride tickets, all-day passes, or a 30-day pass. They may also show the Runner driver their valid ORCA card or paper All Day Pass.

Runner service has special protocols in place to keep riders safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Penny Grellier, Community Development Administrator at Pierce Transit, said in a COVID-19 business information series hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber.

Trips on Runner will not be shared with other parties until social distancing restrictions are lifted. After each ride, team members spray and disinfect surfaces with which they and passengers have frequent contact. Team members practice all health protocols, including frequent hand washing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wearing masks. All passengers are required to wear masks in order to use the service.

To learn more about the Runner, click here.