Pierce Transit: 35% service reduction by October

Pierce Transit officials announced today that nine of the 10 Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners participated in a work session Monday with the goal of ensuring that they had all the information they needed to make a decision about next steps after the failure of Proposition 1, which asked voters to approve using the final 0.3 percent sales tax authority available to Pierce Transit to preserve existing service levels.

The Board directed staff to go forward in reducing the system by approximately 35 percent by October 2011. All service and staff reductions will occur by that date. According to a statement released today by Pierce Transit, these actions will stabilize the agency’s finances and allow for short and long-term sustainability.

Public hearings will be held in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Lakewood, and Bonney Lake in April. Dates and times for the public hearings will be announced in a later communication. The Board will take formal action for the October service reduction at its meeting May 9.

“The Board is deeply regretful about the impacts of this decision on Pierce Transit riders, the community and employees,” said Claudia Thomas, Board of Commissioners Chair. The Board will not pursue exercising ballot authority at this time but did not rule out using it in the future.