Meet the Staff: Emily

Name:  Emily Nakada-Alm
Occupation: Events Coordinator
Employer: Downtown: On the Go!
Gets around by: Walking, Biking, Bus

Where do you live and where do you work?
I live near Stadium High School and work in downtown Tacoma.

How do you get there?
I bike or walk when the weather cooperates, or take bus route 16 when it doesn’t! The bus stop is a short walk from my home.

How does it all add up? How much money or time do you save?
Expenses for driving to, and parking in downtown can definitely add up!  If I were to drive to and park in downtown, it would cost approximately $20/day. Overall, I save around $400 per month by leaving my car at home.

What’s in it for you?
Taking the bus only adds a few more minutes to my commute, and luckily my job provides me with an ORCA card so I save money and don’t have to search for parking. I live a short distance from downtown and other surrounding neighborhoods, so I can always easily walk to where I need to go. Even though it takes a bit longer, walking or biking allows me to become more familiar with my neighborhood, and I always feel great afterwards!

Do you have any tips for people who may be trying these modes for the first time?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with bus schedules and routes, but I would suggest jumping in and finding one that works for you. Once you go through the experience a couple of times, you’ll feel more and more comfortable in navigating public transit options. Walking or biking to work will show you more of your community, and help support a more livable downtown.

Posted in Commuter Profiles, Staff Commuter Profiles, Work | Leave a comment

Use of Parks during a Pandemic with Rubén Casas

Rubén Casas of the University of Washington Tacoma discusses how parks are used and by whom during the COIVD-19 Pandemic.

“Music:” or “Royalty Free Music from Bensound”

Posted in Moving Forward Video Series 2020 | Leave a comment

Reclaiming Streets with Rubén Casas

Rubén Casas of the University of Washington Tacoma discusses who streets are designed for and some of the contradictions arising during the COIVD-19 Pandemic and protests demanding accountability for the murder of black people by police and other injustices.

“Music:” or “Royalty Free Music from Bensound”

Posted in Moving Forward Video Series 2020 | Leave a comment

Transit Use after a Pandemic with Rubén Casas

Rubén Casas of the University of Washington Tacoma discusses what transit use will look like after the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Music:” or “Royalty Free Music from Bensound”

Posted in Moving Forward Video Series 2020 | Leave a comment

COVID-19 and Public Space with Rubén Casas

Check out more of our Moving Forward Series here!

Rubén Casas of the University of Washington Tacoma discusses the long-term impacts of Tacoma’s reluctance to rethink public space.

“Music:” or “Royalty Free Music from Bensound”

Posted in About, Moving Forward Video Series 2020, news-events | Leave a comment

Thank you Transit Drivers!

We love the transit operators in Tacoma and Pierce County! We miss seeing them and cannot wait to ride the bus safely again.


Posted in About, news-events | Leave a comment

Injustice in Our Streets

This week, there was a continuation of murder and violence against black people in the United States. These events highlighted the ways that racism is baked into our systems. We invite you to join the conversation starting with this article from Transportation Advocate and Author Tamika Butler. We invite you to read, donate, and protest in the ways that you can. We can’t advocate for a livable Tacoma when the streets are uninhabitable and unsafe for so many.

Posted in About, news-events | Leave a comment

Moving Forward with Downtown On the Go

Programming is moving online – but transportation and urban planning changes are still very much happening. We are having conversations with leaders and experts throughout Tacoma to talk about public space, transportation, transit, and how we can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that doesn’t leave people behind.

Check back for more videos and email us if you want to join the conversation.

Posted in Moving Forward Video Series 2020 | Leave a comment

Walk Tacoma Musical History Walk

June is Walk Tacoma Month, and to celebrate, Downtown On the Go is offering virtual programs to keep you walking.  Don’t miss out on the June Walk Tacoma event, Tacoma’s Musical History Walk, sponsored by Fehr & Peers.  It is now an active, online tour you can take at any time, through the free GeoTourist app.

The Walk Tacoma: Musical History in Downtown Tacoma Walk is a 1.3-mile educational tour led by musician and local history researcher, Kim Davenport.  On this tour, Kim takes you back in time and tells stories about historic music venues, musicians, and music businesses right in the heart of downtown Tacoma.  Download the free GeoTourist app and follow the walking tour, which starts at Frost Park at S. 9th & Pacific Ave.  The audio portion of the tour will take a few minutes to get started at the beginning of the tour.

Walk Tacoma: Musical History in Downtown Tacoma on GeoTourist app

Thank you to the Walk Tacoma series sponsor, MultiCare.  This program would not be possible without their support.

For more information on the full Walk Tacoma series visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Posted in About, news-events | Leave a comment

Step It Up Walk Challenge

What is step it up:

Step It Up is a collaboration among local organizations, community leaders, and advocates to make Pierce County more walkable. This initiative is centered around equity and building trusting relationships with underserved populations.

Why walkability is important:

Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. Despite these benefits, most of the population does not get the recommended amount of daily exercise. However, walking is an easy way to start and continue a physically active lifestyle –  and a walkable community makes it easier for people of all ages to be active!

What is the challenge:

The 30:30 Walk Challenge encourages Pierce County residents of all ages and abilities to get outside and walk! This challenge is designed to increase awareness about the positive physical and mental health benefits associated with walking, such as the reduced risk of disease (i.e. obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes) and enhances the ability to cope with stress and depression, anxiety. 

The first 300 participants to complete 30, half-mile walk trips in June will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. After completing 15, half-mile trips, participants will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Users may complete up to five half-mile trips per day, all gift cards will be awarded virtually through the Miles App. 

Why now:

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many of us may feel restricted in our ability to be physically active. However, being active now is important to boost physical and mental health. Walking as a form of physical activity is appropriate for all ages and abilities, and benefits both the body and mind. In addition to relieving muscle strain and improving blood flow, walking can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Walking also improves mental health by reducing the risk of anxiety, stress, depression, and improves overall feelings of well-being. 

How do you participate: 

Current Miles App users in Pierce County will automatically be enrolled to participate in the challenge. To learn more about the challenge, open your Miles app and the Walk Challenge will be under “Rewards”.  New Miles app users may also join — Simply download the app to get started!

Helpful tips for using the Miles App:

-You must allow the app to track your location, the app is designed to work in the background and cannot log your trips if location services are not on

-The app will automatically detect your mode of transportation. However, if the app does not classify your trip as the correct mode (i.e. it says you rode a bike when you were walking), you can change the mode. If you continue to experience issues, please contact and a Miles representative will help you log your miles

Posted in About, news-events, Step It Up | Leave a comment