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Envisioning the EZRA

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on Feb. 18, 2009 at 11:06 am with No Comments »
February 18, 2009 11:06 am

Puyallup officials have a dream.

As part of their plan to connect South Hill and downtown Puyallup, they’d like to start up rapid bus service up and down Meridian.

They’d want the bus line to have a name, much like the MAX light rail line in Portland.

It’s still preliminary, but city officials have a name they’ve been gravitating toward. They want to call the rapid bus line the “EZRA” — short for “Easy Rider Area,” and also honoring Puyallup’s first mayor, Ezra Meeker.

The line would stop every 15 minutes or so, making it a reliable transportation option for people looking to stop in downtown Puyallup, then quickly go to the South Hill Mall or Pierce College’s Puyallup campus and back, said city spokeswoman Glenda Carino.

“It wouldn’t be just a bus,” Carino said. “It would be a branded bus that looks like a trolley or something like that. It would help with traffic congestion.”

The rapid bus line was a key component of the city’s proposal for a state LIFT grant, which they won last year and will reap $1 million a year from for the next 25 years.

The city will be asking the federal government for $1.5 million in 2010 to complete an engineering study for the EZRA. I’m writing about the project for a weekend edition of the paper.

Pierce Transit is partnering with the city on the project.

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