TACOMA — The Pierce County Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to cut service by 34 percent in September because voters did not pass a proposed sales tax increase on Nov. 6.
The board voted to make the cuts effective Sept. 29.
“We understand these reductions will deeply impact thousands in our communities,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, chairwoman of the Pierce Transit board. “This was a difficult decision. Reducing service in September allows our riders time to make plans in advance and the agency to provide stable service.”
Pierce Transit currently operates 417,000 annual service hours. The revised service plan, with the September implementation, will reduce annual service hours to approximately 275,000. The plan will be made available for riders and the public to review on the agency website. Pierce Transit will distribute information through print materials, open houses, and presentations. Look for information in the coming days regarding agency outreach efforts. A public hearing on the implementation plan will happen in May.
Elements of the reduction plan include elimination of Saturday, Sunday, and holiday service and the Route 62 in northeast Tacoma. Primary impacts to weekday service include reductions in service past 7 p.m. and midday service (9 a.m.-3 p.m.).
The News Tribune of Tacoma noted the cutbacks won’t be as drastic as what the agency had projected in mailers sent to voters before the Nov. 6 election. Pierce Transit said then that annual service hours would be reduced by 53 percent if voters failed to approve an additional three-tenths of 1 percent sales tax.