The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Proposition One — the Save Our Buses measure on the February 2011 ballot. The Chamber, Pierce County’s largest business group joins civic, education, labor, and community leaders across the County in the effort to avoid a drastic 35% reduction in Pierce Transit services. Pierce Transit is the only large transit agency in the region that hasn’t asked voters to approve new revenue in the wake of initiatives 695, 747, and the recession.
“Workers, students and shoppers use Pierce Transit to reach jobs and opportunities,” said Terry Hayes CEO of Goodwill Industries – Tacoma, an organization with several hundred employees in the South Puget Sound. “We understand that linking communities and people is essential to a healthy economy and we urge voters to support Position 1.”
Business leaders also praised Pierce Transit’s internal cost cutting measures and long range reform efforts– already trimming nearly 15% of its budget, freeing wages and streamlining routes and services. But they also recognize that cutting alone will not save important countywide services.
Cuts in service of 35% are simply too much– it will harm businesses, commuters, seniors, students and adds more congestion to our roads,” said Mike Hansch, Interim President and CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. “Preserving bus service and access to jobs for thousands of workers in Pierce County is vital for economic growth.”
The measure will be on the February ballot and organizers plan a broad based, grass roots campaign demonstrating the true breadth of community support.
“We are grateful for the support of the Chamber and organizations throughout the county,” said campaign manager Nic Van Putten. “This endorsement is a true demonstration of the critical role Pierce Transit plays in the economic vitality of our region.”