On Monday, Washington's Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce endorsed Proposition One — "the Save Our Buses measure" — on the February 2011 ballot. The Chamber, Pierce County's largest business group, joins civic, education, labor and community leaders across the county in the effort to avoid a drastic 35 percent reduction in Pierce Transit services.
Pierce Transit is the only large transit agency in the region that hasn't asked voters to approve new revenue in the wake of initiatives 695, 747 and the recession.
Business leaders also praised Pierce Transit's internal cost cutting measures and long range reform efforts — already trimming nearly 15 percent of its budget, freeing wages, and streamlining routes and services, however, they recognize that cutting alone will not save important countywide services.
"Cuts in service of 35 percent are simply too much-- it will harm businesses, commuters, seniors, students and adds more congestion to our roads," said Mike Hansch, Interim president/CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. "Preserving bus service and access to jobs for thousands of workers in Pierce County is vital for economic growth."
The measure will be on the February ballot and organizers plan a broad based, grass roots campaign demonstrating the true breadth of community support.