Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TNT Reports "Pierce Transit cuts to stay""

The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that the temporary cuts that Pierce Transit enacted due to the fueling station fire are here to stay.  The cuts, which have amounted to a 20% reduction, will stay in place until October when there will be an additional 15% reduction in service.  As it stands right now the high frequency trunk routes 1,2, and 3 will be cut by 30-40% in October from their original levels, which will directly hurt the areas that supported proposition one the most.

Safe to say, it is a tough time for transit riders & advocates in Pierce County right now.  The good news is the cuts plan is not finalized and advocates and citizens can make comments to the Pierce Transit Board about the proposed cuts at a series of upcoming public meetings.

I heard from Pierce Transit that they have not had to lay off any drivers yet at the agency because they have to have all drivers working to keep buses on the street and fueled.  That said, it is a tough time for bus drivers in Pierce County right now with massive layoffs equaling 20% of the workforce on the imminent horizon.

Pierce Transit Riders and Drivers are Running out of Options

More from the Pierce Transit Press Release:
Pierce Transit Chief Executive Officer Lynne Griffith stated, “In response to comments we heard from our riders, the focus of this service change will be to get people to jobs and school and reduce low ridership routes and trips.”  The June 2011 service change will begin to incorporate elements of the reduction plan.  These service levels will be similar to the current emergency reduced service levels.  Details of the June service change will be published in The Bus Stops Here booklet available at the usual locations in early June.

Beginning April 2, the Reduction Plan Rider Alert pamphlet will be available on-board buses, at Bus Shop locations, at Pierce Transit Headquarters, and at piercetransit.org. This pamphlet provides route-by-route information about the proposed service reductions. 

SHUTTLE paratransit service for people with disabilities will also be reduced on October 2, 2011.  This service operates on the same days and during the same time within ¾ of a mile of bus routes.  As bus service is reduced, SHUTTLE service will be reduced.

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