Pierce County Transit Board members approved major reductions to bus routes Monday, affecting every line and cutting service by 28 percent.
The agency said cuts were necessary after voters rejected Proposition 1 last year, which would have increased the sales tax to maintain current levels.
The decision comes after more than 80 staff members were already laid off.
Board members expressed regret over making the decision, but said there was no other way.
“We need to do a better job of informing the public,” said Board Chair Rick Talbert. “There is little empathy out there.”
There certainly is little empathy from Ken Kady, a semi-retired pastor from Spanaway who helped defeat Proposition 1.
“We’re happy,” Kady said of the cuts Monday, “Not that we’re against public transportation, but we’re against government waste. We feel Pierce Transit is wasting people’s money.”
The board did say it would look at ways to enhance service in the future, with ride-share programs and other alternatives.
For riders like Kara Lee Matheson, the cuts equal a huge inconvenience.
“It’ll take me another hour at the mall transit center to get to school,” she said from the Lakewood Towne Centre. “I have to get a job, so that’s going to limit my options.”