Decades ago I voted to increase my tax bill in order to bring Pierce Transit buses to Lakewood. I did not personally plan to use bus service and all these years later, I still do not personally benefit from local bus service. It is doubtful I will ever ride the bus.
Why did I vote YES for the bus idea in Lakewood? I thought it was the right thing to do. I voted YES because I thought buses would help kids, senior citizens, disabled individuals and people who might not be able to afford a car and insurance. It seemed to me that a well functioning neighborhood or city should have bus service. I believe my thoughts were valid then, and I believe they are still valid to this day.
After bus service was extended to Lakewood, I soon discovered there were a couple of negative unintended consequences. I learned of these consequences the hard way.
The first hidden negative consequence of my YES vote did not take long to present itself. Once the buses started to roll into Lakewood, large numbers of homeless, drug abusers, criminals and prostitutes, who were formerly contained inside the City of Tacoma, moved from Tacoma to Lakewood. If they did not move to Lakewood, they commuted, by bus, back and forth between Tacoma and Lakewood, freely conducting their nefarious activities in Lakewood.
The second unintended consequence followed the first in the form of the eventual obvious need to establish a transit police force. The fact that we currently have full time police officers dedicated to eradicating crime and problematic behavior on buses, bus stops and bus routes is contemporary evidence supporting my earlier premise regarding the first unintended consequence — criminal behavior.
DuPont has always impressed me as a quiet, clean city where hard working people can live in peace without being victimized by the segment of the bus riding public who can be described as carless bus riding criminals.
I recognize DuPont may choose to establish bus service, regardless of cost and consequence, in order to become a city dedicated to helping those “Dupontites” needing bus service.
If Dupont decides to establish bus service, “Lakewoodites” will enjoy an immediate benefit by sharing some of our local mischief-makers with DuPont. In fact the next time I am accosted in a parking lot, in front of a store or freeway corner or I am victimized by a car prowler or burglar, I may give the rascal bus fare to DuPont.