LAKEWOOD, Wash. — Following the defeat of a proposal to raise a local sales tax to help pay for bus service on Tuesday, cuts being made by Pierce Transit in response to budget woes could cause a 20 percent reduction in October and another 15 percent in early 2012, according to the News Tribune.
Needing a simple majority to pass, the measure was defeated 54 percent to 46 percent and would have raised about $30 million a year to further subsidize the public transit system. The agency's board will meet February 28 to discuss how and when to implement a reduction plan. For the full story, click here.
Following the defeat of the measure, Pierce Transit CEO Lynne Griffith, released the following statement:
"While I am disappointed the voters did not approve Proposition 1, I remain proud of all Pierce Transit employees. They have a well deserved national reputation of being some of the best in the public transportation industry. I am grateful for their commitment to serving our communities.
We will wait for all the votes to be counted before analyzing yesterday's election. We know current economic conditions continue to present challenges for families and businesses across the region. It was a difficult time to ask for an increase in sales tax.
Our Board of Commissioners will be meeting at the end of the month to discuss the results of the election and determine the best way to move forward at our current funding level. The reduction plan that was developed with extensive public outreach over the last year includes service cuts of approximately 35 percent.
With nearly 50,000 passenger trips on an average weekday and over 1,500 SHUTTLE rides for people with disabilities, we are committed to keeping our riders informed and involved in the coming weeks and months.
We will continue to seek further cost cutting measures, building on the nearly $90 million we've already cut, to meet the challenges of this severe economic recession."