After finalizing the 35% service cuts in October resulting from the failure of Proposition 1 in February, the Pierce Transit Board has signaled that it is time to consider redrawing the service boundary.Last week the Board gave direction to staff to draw up a resolution calling for a Public Transit Benefit Conference. The Conference of officials from incorporated cities and the County Council will hammer out a new transit service boundary over a period of six months.
Several key issues are at play here:
- Taxation without Service - Communities that are paying significant amounts in sales taxes and not receiving any service don’t want to see that situation continue indefinitely, (Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier Herald)
- High Costs in Suburban Pierce County - High per-rider costs of service in East Pierce County detract from Pierce Transit’s desire to focus resources where riders can be served efficiently, (here) and
- Current transit service is not meeting demand - Tacoma and Lakewood riders periodically experience overcrowding and service spans that curtail mobility. Many want to go back to the ballot to restore service levels, but such a move is unlikely to succeed without significant boundary revisions.
|Red areas are more transit hostile.|
Further GIS analysis indicates that at least 100 of the most transit-hostile precincts will need to be removed to give Pierce Transit a shot at passing a ballot measure. If the City of Bonney Lake decides to stay within the district, it will present a barrier to restoring service.