Pierce Transit is hosting a series of open houses about September’s service cuts. The first of nine meetings is tomorrow afternoon in Lakewood:

Almost all Pierce Transit routes will be affected. The primary impacts of the proposed service reductions are:

Reduced local bus service:

WEEKDAYS

  • 36 routes operating 1250 daily trips
  • Limited service after 7:30PM
  • Limited service during mid-day

SATURDAYS

  • 25 routes operating 456 trips
  • Limited service after 7PM
  • Limited service during mid-day

SUNDAYS

  • 17 routes operating 271 trips
  • Limited service after 7PM
  • Limited service during mid-day

OTHER

  • Service will be eliminated on or around the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
  • Elimination of Route 62, and SHUTTLE, which serves Northeast Tacoma.
  • No restoration of special service to events like the Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair).

SHUTTLE USERS: As per federal ADA regulations, SHUTTLE paratransit service for eligible people with disabilities operates during the same days and times as bus service. As bus service is reduced or eliminated, SHUTTLE service will also be reduced or eliminated.

The full meeting schedule is below the jump.

LAKEWOOD
Wednesday, March 6th 12 – 2PM
Pierce Transit Training Center (Rainier Room)
3720 96th St SW, Lakewood
Served by Routes 48, 300

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON – TACOMA
Thursday, March 7th
Two meeting times to choose from:
• 11AM – 1PM
• 6 – 7:30PM
William W. Phillip Hall (Jane Russell Commons)
1918 Pacific Ave, Tacoma
Served by Routes 1, 48, 53, ST 590 (Northbound),
ST 594, ST Link light rail

NORTHEAST TACOMA
Wednesday, March 13th 4 – 6PM
Northeast Tacoma Police Substation
4731 Norpoint Way NE, Tacoma
Served by Route 62

PARKLAND / SPANAWAY
Monday, March 18th 5 – 7PM
Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library
13718 Pacific Ave S, Tacoma
Served by Route 1

PUYALLUP
Thursday, March 19th 11AM – 1PM
Puyallup Library (North Room)
324 S Meridian, Puyallup
Served by Routes 400, 402, 409

GIG HARBOR
Wednesday, March 20th 5 – 7PM
Gig Harbor Civic Center (Council Chambers)
3510 Grandview St, Gig Harbor
Served by Route 100

PUYALLUP
Tuesday, March 26th 5:30 – 7:30PM
Puyallup Library (North Room)
324 S Meridian, Puyallup
Served by Routes 400, 402, 409

UNIVERSITY PLACE
Tuesday, April 9th 6 – 7:30PM
University Place Library
3609 Market PL W, Ste 100
University Place
Served by Route 2

14 Replies to “Pierce Transit Open Houses This Week”

  1. So, when September comes, then will Northeast Tacoma still pay the tax (on, for example, purchases in the NE Tacoma QFC), but with no PT routes serving it?

    1. Jeez, I might be the only one at the NE Tacoma one. I plan on taking the 4:30 62 there, and get a ride arranged to get back.

  2. It’s troubling to watch a major decline in the quality of transit service in Pierce County, and not be able to identify the culprit – and NO, it’s not for a lack of funding.
    To dispel that thought, look back starting in 1996 when PT took in $19M in local tax, providing transit to 13M riders using .7M service hours.
    In 2004, that had risen to $46M in local taxes of a $75M total operating budget, providing 15M rides on .9M service hours.
    In 2012 local tax rises to $55M of $122M total budget, (incl STEX), providing 13M rides on .8M service hours.
    During that same 16 year period, operating cost rose from 40 cents a pax/mi to $1.30 per pax/mi.
    Sound Transit will spend another $400M on CR operations in just Pierce Co alone over the next 14 years (’09-’23 -ST ’12 budget), and $420M on Regional Express in PT’s service area.
    Sorry for all the numbers (FTA database), but it’s important to look at ALL the transit service costs over the long haul to get a picture of what’s going on in Pierce County.
    I haven’t even looked at past and planned capital costs.
    Operations have risen in cost (OE/PaxMi)over three times in 15 years.
    Riders and Service hours are Flatlined.
    Total operating budget is 3x higher in 15 years and so are local taxes revenues.
    Inflating the 1996 budget of $43M at the CPI-U would yield $63M in 2012 dollars.
    My Point:
    PT and partner agency ST have not done an adequate job of justifying more tax increases.
    Out of control spending and relatively flat service delivery is not a great poster child for ‘WE MUST HAVE MORE’ – just because of the crappy economy -just because we say so.
    The voters aren’t buying it.

    1. Costs have gone up, and that is why they need more money. Also, the sales tax they collect includes real estate purchases, so it makes sense that they had a huge drop off in service after the recession. Now they have to deal with .3M service hours, which they never had to deal with in recent history, and distribute that to the whole county.

      So they are justified.

      1. I’m trying to understand the components of the cost increase Alex.
        Inflation is up 50% over the 16 year period while total operating costs are up 300%.
        Wages, Benefits, Admin, Fuel ?? What’s the reason, and why such a huge increase over what normal inflation provides for?
        I hope PT has some real explanations and thereby a plan to ratchet down costs in the future. Or maybe everyone is just happy as clams and there’s nothing wrong therefore nothing to be done.

      2. Medical insurance costs would be a biggie. Increasing environmental regulations, and regulation creep generally. Oil prices. Union power. Also, have you accounted for all service improvements, such as one route here or there doubling its daytime frequency?

      3. Medical costs are huge. I was once told off the record that PT pays $1400+/month per employee for healthcare, or 60% higher than the $10K annual threshold for Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac Tax.” Past 2018, then, PT would have to start paying a 40% tax on those premiums. The spiral winds only upward.

      4. Wow, your saying the docs and nurses killed public transportation in Pierce County?
        That will go down in history with GM and a rabbit killing the LA Red Line.

      5. It’s not about anti-transit doctors. It’s about medical costs rising faster than inflation for two decades or longer, and this has affected all companies across the economy. Eventually it has to lead to major cuts or bankrupcies in a few organizations and then increasingly in others, and Pierce Transit may be an early casualty. Not that I believe this is mostly about medical-insurance costs, but it would typically be a significant factor.

      6. So I was right (in my comment below) — it’s health insurance.

        SINGLE PAYER NOW.

      7. Bellinghammer, FWIW individual health insurance rates in NY are in the same ballpark as what Pierce Transit is paying for health insurance — well over a thousand dollars a month.

        There are only two solutions: (1) A national health service like the UK; (2) single-payer, like Canada. Either would get costs back into line.

    2. “in 1996 when PT took in $19M in local tax, providing transit to 13M riders using .7M service hours.”

      “Inflating the 1996 budget of $43M at the CPI-U would yield $63M in 2012 dollars.”

      “In 2012 local tax rises to $55M of $122M total budget, (incl STEX), providing 13M rides on .8M service hours.”

      Um. So the budget has roughly doubled (adjusted for CPI-U) while the service hours have increased by 1/7 th. This does seem a bit off.

      Yeah, there is something odd here. It’s worth digging into the cost structure to figure out what’s increased. If it’s fuel… well, that was only avoidable by electrification. If it’s wages, there’s a union negotiation issue.

      If it’s health benefits, SINGLE PAYER NOW, PLEASE. There are other possibilities, including pensions, insurance, management, liability.

      If I were to guess blind, I would bet on health insurance. It’s usually health insurance. The lack of single-payer health insurance is causing massive economic problems all over the country for private and public agencies alike.

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