Downtown to Defiance

A Pierce Transit pilot project to connect downtown Tacoma to Point Defiance Park is slated to begin on June 2, running through Sept. 3, marking the first time a bus has provided service along Ruston Way since 1991.

Route 15 will feature special trolley buses that will run from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with a new trolley arriving every 30 minutes. Passengers can take in downtown museums, stop at Point Ruston for lunch, and head to Point Defiance Zoo for a leisurely stroll through the grounds before heading back downtown.

For now the project is only slated to last one summer, however, Pierce Transit said it will reevaluate offering it again in the future based on this pilot project.

The trolley will connect with the Link Light Rail at the Tacoma Dome Station. Passengers who wish to park and ride can park at the Tacoma Dome Station and easily access the trolley service.

Fare will be $1 for adults and youth and $.50 for senior citizens and disabled individuals with a Regional Reduced Fare Permit. All day passes can be purchased on a bus for $5 for adults, $2.50 for youth, and $2.50 for senior/disabled w/RRFP. Children 5 and younger ride free with a fare-paying passenger.

The buses are wrapped to look like trolleys and run on compressed natural gas with all the technology of modern buses, including accessible boarding, air conditioning, ORCA card readers, and front bicycle racks.

Trolley Stops

Northbound – From Downtown Tacoma toward the Zoo and Aquarium
1. Pacific Avenue and Hood Street (near the Tacoma Art Museum)
2. Pacific Avenue and S. 14th Street
3. Pacific Avenue and S. 11th Street
4. Dickman Mill along Ruston Way
5. Les Davis Pier along Ruston Way
6. Point Ruston
7. Point Defiance entrance at Pearl Street and North 54th Street
8. Point Defiance Visitors’ Center (near Pagoda)
9. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Southbound – From Zoo and Aquarium to Downtown Tacoma
1. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
2. Point Defiance Exit at Pearl Street/North Park Avenue
3. Point Ruston
4. Harbor Lights along Ruston Way (requires building a temporary stop)
5. Pacific Avenue and South 11th Street
6. Pacific Avenue and South 14th Street
7. Commerce Street, South of 15th Street near the Convention Center (tentative; requires permitting)
8. Pacific Avenue and Hood Street (near the Tacoma Art Museum)
*More stops may be added

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is a staff writer at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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