However, in another way PT is much better off than Metro and Community Transit, because they don’t have to go to the legislature to get more funding. Yesterday, the Pierce Transit board took advantage of that by unanimously sending a measure to the ballot that would raise their sales tax take from 0.6% to 0.9%, the maximum allowed by state law. The tax only applies in the Public Transit Benefit Area (PTBA), which includes most incorporated areas in the county.
Evan Siroky at Tacoma Tomorrow suggests that a 0.9% taxation level supports not just current service, but actually more or less the “growth alternative” that amounts to a 5% increase, actually eliminating a few routes in favor of increasing frequency throughout the system:
More details on the new plan will be at this website on Friday. The vote itself would be February 8, 2011, unfortunately a low-turnout election and not the young electorate likely to vote strongly for transit.