By Lars Erickson, Public Relations Officer, Pierce Transit
Lakewood, WA – Pierce Transit is holding open houses for the public to ask questions and learn what will happen if Proposition 1 is approved and what will happen if it is rejected. Open Houses:
GIG HARBOR/KEY PENINSULA
Wednesday, January 12, 5 – 7:00pm
Gig Harbor Civic Center
3510 Grandview St
On Routes 100, 102
SUMNER/E. PIERCE COUNTY
Tuesday, January 18, 4 – 6:00pm
Sumner City Hall – Council Chambers
1104 Maple St
On Routes 408, 409
Wednesday, January 19, 4 – 6:00pm
Pierce Transit Training Center
3720 – 96th St SW
On Routes 48, 300
Monday, January 24, 4 – 6:00pm
The Evergreen State College (Commons Area)
1210 – 6th Ave
On Routes 1, 16, 26, 28
Tuesday, January 25, 4 – 6:00pm
Tacoma Goodwill Industries
Milgard Work Opportunity Center
714 S 27th St
On Routes 3, 26, 45, 48
Wednesday, January 26, 4 – 6:00pm
Puyallup Library (Board Room)
324 S Meridian
On Route 402
Pick up a Facts & Info brochure on buses, at Pierce Transit Bus Shops, or by visiting PTTomorrow.org.
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.
Since 2007, the effects of the economic recession have impacted Pierce Transit with the decline in sales tax revenue. Pierce Transit receives 70% 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 percent, delaying and/or eliminating capital projects, and reducing bus service by nearly eight percent. 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% of the service that we operate 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 our riders and the general public, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners adopted the Preservation Plan on July 12th, 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 February 8, 2011 election that asks voters to approve using the final 0.3% sales tax authority available to Pierce Transit (0.3% is 3¢ on a $10 taxable purchase) to fund the Preservation Plan.