Pierce Transit is challenging people to ride the bus! And even better, they have a fun, new way to reward people for doing so through a new partnership with a rewards platform and app called Miles.

Miles is available on Android and iOS, and allows anyone with a smartphone to earn miles points as they travel, redeemable for rewards with merchants, retailers and transportation providers. The loyalty platform rewards daily movement, with healthier and more eco-friendly modes of transport, such as public transit, biking or even walking, earning even more miles points than modes such as driving a car.

Pierce Transit is conducting a two-month pilot program with Miles, through the end of November. Anonymous travel data received from the pilot program will help the agency with future transportation planning efforts and encourage sustainable travel options.

Pierce Transit Rewards Program
Miles app offers rewards and challenges, including a Pierce Transit challenge to ride the bus once and earn a $5 coffee gift card. Photo courtesy: Pierce Transit

Pierce Transit’s first challenge to the people of Pierce County is to download the Miles app and hop on a Pierce Transit bus route. The first 300 people who do will be rewarded with a $5 Starbucks gift card. There will be more challenges throughout the pilot, with more rewards for people who complete them.  

Anyone can participate in the Miles program and signing up is as simple as downloading the app. Pierce Transit is exploring the partnership with a few goals in mind, the largest being increased transit ridership.

“We’re interested in building ridership, and we’re looking for new ways to reward people who are ready to try transit or are already using it,” says Ryan Wheaton, Executive Director of Planning and Community Development with Pierce Transit.

Because Miles rewards users with items like gift cards or coupons, the app has partnerships with several online businesses, such as Starbucks and Amazon. If the Miles program catches on with Pierce County users, local businesses could also participate within the app.

“If we see success with it, the hope is that we can work with local businesses that are along the major routes to provide rewards, like discounts,” Ryan says.

Pierce Transit Miles App
Pierce Transit is challenging people to ride the bus through a partnership with a rewards platform and app called Miles. Photo courtesy: Pierce Transit

For several years Pierce Transit has participated in a rewards program offered through Pierce Trips. Both Miles and Pierce Trips have the same goals of increasing transit ridership and reducing single-occupancy vehicle commutes. To earn points and prizes through Pierce Trips, users manually log their trips into an account they’ve created on the Pierce Trips website. With Miles, the mobile app runs in the background, automatically logging each trip from point A to B, noting the mode of transportation being used and adding miles points for rewards, all while keeping the data completely private. 

Of course, not all who wish to participate in a transportation rewards program will want to track their transit and carpooling trips in the same manner. Part of the goal of the two-month trial period is to gauge public interest in using an app to track trips and earn rewards.

“By piloting this is new program, we want to see if people want to log trips and get rewarded for them, even if they don’t necessarily want to input their trips themselves.” To find out more about the partnership with Miles and begin earning rewards and participating in challenges, visit Pierce Transit’s website. To sign up for the Miles program, download the app for Android and iOS.

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