Year In Review: Pierce Transit implements service reductions

Pierce Transit riders began to experience significant service reductions in October, when bus service underwent considerable changes throughout the county. Weekday and weekend service were reduced, segments of some routes were cut, and in some cases entire routes were eliminated. Yellow bags began covering signs at the bus stops slated to be closed. Approximately 600 bus stops, including 35 with shelters, were closed on Oct. 2. Following that, Pierce Transit Facilities Maintenance crews began physically removing the bus stops, including the sign pole, shelter structure, or bench that may be at the site. The process was completed in November.

This overall 35 per cent reduction is necessary due to a $51 million budget shortfall brought on by the economic recession and the loss of Proposition 1 at the February 2011 election, according to Pierce Transit spokesperson Jessyn Farrell. Given the current economic projections, a 20 percent permanent service reduction went into effect on June 12, with the final 15 per cent service reduction effective Oct. 2.

In June, more than 140 people attended a public hearing at Pierce Transit headquarters in Lakewood to express their concerns over the service reductions. In addition, more than 350 people provided spoken or written testimony on the reduction plan. The majority of people told Pierce Transit Boardmembers how essential public transportation is to their lives and how devastating the proposed cuts would be: keeping them from getting to work, attending school, shopping, going to church, and visiting friends.

Board Chair Claudia Thomas said, “It was extremely difficult to make these decisions. The Commissioners and I realize that everyone who depends on public transportation will be impacted by these cuts, but we did the best we could with the resources we have available to us.”

Riders can get route-by-route information on Pierce Transit’s Web site — — or by calling Customer Service at (253) 581-8000.

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Pierce Transit prepares for major service reductions (09/14/11) —

Pierce Transit board approves service reduction plan (06/14/11) —

Pierce Transit service reductions begin June 12 (06/06/11) —

Pierce Transit to further study service reduction plans (05/10/11) —

Pierce Transit service reductions begin early (05/29/11) —

Pierce Transit: 35% service reduction by October (03/01/11) —

Tacoma City Council vote supports Pierce Transit, Prop. 1 (01/27/11) —

Pierce Transit open houses focus on Prop. 1 (01/06/11) —

Management layoffs, program reductions trim another $1.2M from Pierce Transit budget (08/26/10) —