We’ve heard some odd, and often contradictory, arguments from the No on Proposition 1 campaign. One real head-scratcher is that Metro should have acted more like Pierce Transit and Snohomish Community Transit.
Let’s check in on Community Transit. Here is CT’s 2014-2018 Transit Development Plan. As Martin reported, CT made 160,000 hours of service cuts (37% of service) from 2008 to 2013. The service restoration plan based on sales tax revenue going up only brings back 45% of that service between now and 2019.
The plummeting of annual boardings from 12 million in 2008 to 9,096,544 in 2013 is shown on page 59:
Now, let’s look at what happened to Pierce Transit. Sightline Daily put together this chart showing that PT ridership dropped by 30% as service was cut back by 43% from 2008 to 2013.
Just to get a sense of scale, CT’s total system boardings in 2013 ended up lower than Central Link’s total 2013 boardings (9,681,432). Link will pass PT’s total annual boardings in 2014 if the current ridership trends continue.
Try as the No on Prop. 1 campaign might, there is no putting lipstick on the situation in Pierce Transit and Community Transit. Their ridership has tanked.
Meanwhile, Metro’s ridership has grown to 118.5 million boardings per year, nearly equal to its 2008 record from right before the recession hit. If Metro were to follow PT’s and CT’s pattern, a 17% cut to Metro service would likely lead to a ridership drop roughly equivalent to the total ridership of Community Transit and Pierce Transit combined.