Pierce Transit secures MultiCare Health System as BRT sponsor

Sept. 15, 2021
MultiCare’s name will appear on BRT buses, at stations and on other BRT items, such as tickets and ticket vending machines.

MultiCare Health System will be the sponsor of Pierce Transit’s bus rapid transit (BRT) line, which is scheduled to open in 2025.

As the BRT’s official sponsor, MultiCare’s name will appear on the buses, at stations, as well as tickets and ticket vending machines. Additionally, the organization will have naming rights to two BRT stations near MultiCare locations and at the Tacoma Dome Station transit hub.

Pierce Transit explains other organizations may sponsor stations along the line, but MultiCare remains the exclusive sponsor of the line itself.

"Building healthy communities is about more than just access to medical care,” said MultiCare President and CEO Bill Robertson. "That's why we are committed to doing all we can to ensure the mental, physical, economic and other social needs of the people we serve are met, including access to transportation."

BRT is a new type of service from Pierce Transit. The 14.4-mile route is being planned for a portion of Pacific Avenue/SR-7 between downtown Tacoma, Wash., and Spanaway. Pierce Transit says the route will feature pre-paid fares, raised platforms and multiple door boarding, bus headways of 10-15 minutes, traffic signal prioritization, larger buses, easier wheelchair access and real-time arrival information at stations.

“Transit not only provides a great way to travel, it also promotes a healthy lifestyle, so the partnership between Pierce Transit and MultiCare is a natural one,” said Pierce Transit CEO Mike Griffus. “This new transportation option will give people a fast and convenient way to get to medical appointments, jobs and other important destinations while also supporting a cleaner environment.”

The 28-year agreement between Pierce Transit and MultiCare will see MultiCare making annual payments starting at about $300,000 and increasing to $512,000 in the final year of the agreement. Pierce Transit will use the funds for general operation and maintenance of the BRT line.

Pierce Transit explains MultiCare will also work with the agency on an official name for this BRT line, which will be distinct from the name “Stream,” selected by the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners to apply to Pierce Transit’s BRT system overall, including this and future BRT lines.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.