Intercity Transit (IT) is the largest non-school public transit agency in Thurston County. As of December 2020, the agency operates 18 fixed bus routes throughout the urban areas of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and Yelm, including an express routes to Pierce County. In addition, the agency offers a robust vanpool program, door to door Dial-A-Lift services for people with disabilities, and a mix of educational programs.
In 2018, IT’s ridership decreased for the fourth consecutive year. In 2019, ridership began to grow again, and was expected to continue this trajectory in 2020 when IT suspended fare collection (zero-fare). However, 2020 saw IT’s overall ridership drastically reduced as the transit provider and its ridership responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, total ridership dropped 51%. Ridership increased in 2021 and 2022 but remains 45% below the 2019 total.
ruralTRANSIT (rT) provides accessible general public transportation services for the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and the communities of Rochester, Tenino, Bucoda, Yelm, and Rainier. rT operates four variable fixed bus routes and connects to Intercity Transit in Tumwater and Twin Transit in Centralia. Some routes are scheduled to support after-school programs. rT moved to zero fare in 2020.
After a steep drop in 2020 — due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic — rT boardings have increased 13% from 2021 to 2022. Ridership is expected to continue to increase thanks to the introduction of Saturday service in 2023.