Pierce Transit chops routes to overcome budget woes

Pierce Transit chops routes to overcome budget woes

Pierce Transit chops routes to overcome budget woes

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on June 13, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 14 at 11:32 AM

TACOMA  -- Pierce Transit board members voted Monday to cut services by an additional 15 percent in an effort to reduce spending.

The board passed an amended resolution which cuts services and eliminates several routes, including Route 113 Key Peninsula, and Route 61 Northeast Tacoma-Brown's Point.

Route 496 Bonney Lake-Sumner was granted an extension to operate through February 2012. During that time, officials will try to figure out a long-term solution to keep it running.

On most local routes, the October plan will offer weekday bus and SHUTTLE service from approximately 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday service from about 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday service from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There will be extended hours on the routes 1,2, and 3 and related SHUTTLE service.

The board says declining sale tax revenues have helped build a $51 million budget shortfall.  Proposition One, which would have increased sale taxes by three tenths of one percent to support transit, failed in February.

“It was extremely difficult to make these decisions," said Board Chair Claudia Thomas. "The Commissioners and I realize that everyone who depends on public transportation will be impacted by these cuts, but we did the best we could with the resources we have available to us.”

Pierce Transit just reduced service by 20 percent on Sunday.  This latest round of cuts go into effect in October of this year.

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