Pierce Transit open houses focus on Prop. 1

Pierce Transit will hold open houses for the public to ask questions and learn what will happen if Prop. 1 is approved and what will happen if it is rejected. Since 2007, the effects of the economic recession have impacted Pierce Transit with the decline in sales tax revenue. Pierce Transit receives 70 per cent of its funding from local sales tax. In late-2007, Pierce Transit started to make adjustments to address the decline in revenue. These efforts included two rounds of layoffs, reducing management by 22 per cent, delaying and/or eliminating capital projects, and reducing bus service by nearly eight per cent. Those actions have saved over $89 million from projected budgets through 2012. In addition, Adult fares were increased in January 2009, and again in November 2010. Even with these cuts and fare increases, a shortfall of $51 million will occur by the end of 2012.

Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners directed staff to develop comprehensive plans that depict two funding alternatives. The first is to manage a system with existing revenue. This would result in a reduction in the amount of service provided to the community. Approximately 35 per cent of the service today would need to be eliminated. The second is to preserve service at the current levels, which would require additional funding.

Following a year of public involvement and comment from riders and the general public, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners adopted the Preservation Plan on July 12, which preserves current service levels with the goal of providing financially sustainable public transportation that the public values and uses. The Board directed staff to put forward a ballot proposition for the Feb. 8, 2011 election that asks voters to approve using the final 0.3 per cent sales tax authority available to Pierce Transit to fund the Preservation Plan.

The open house schedule is as follows:

Weds., Jan. 12, 5 – 7:00pm
Gig Harbor Civic Center
3510 Grandview St
On Routes 100, 102

Tues., Jan. 18, 4 – 6:00pm
Sumner City Hall – Council Chambers
1104 Maple St
On Routes 408, 409

Weds., Jan. 19, 4 – 6:00pm
Pierce Transit Training Center
3720 – 96th St SW
On Routes 48, 300

Mon., Jan. 24, 4 – 6:00pm
The Evergreen State College (Commons Area)
1210 – 6th Ave
On Routes 1, 16, 26, 28

Tues., Jan. 25, 4 – 6:00pm
Tacoma Goodwill Industries
Milgard Work Opportunity Center
714 S 27th St
On Routes 3, 26, 45, 48

Weds., Jan. 26, 4 – 6:00pm
Puyallup Library (Board Room)
324 S Meridian
On Route 402

If you can’t attend an open house in your area, you are welcome at any location. Registered SHUTTLE customers may obtain specialized transportation to and from an open house can be obtained by calling SHUTTLE at (253) 581-8100 from one to five days in advance of the workshop. Pick up a Facts & Info brochure on buses, at Pierce Transit Bus Shops, or by visiting http://www.PTTomorrow.org .