With the new transit boundary map now adopted by the PTIC, the clock starts ticking about what to do about the new budget hole that will be created because of the lost revenue from the departing cities. Without a new ballot measure, it will mean additional reductions in service throughout the remaining service area - on top of the 42% in total cuts since 2007. Pierce Transit still retains 0.3% of its sales tax authority due to the failure of Proposition 1 in February 2011.
As of this writing, the local option public transit funding bill (SB 6582) is still up in the air, but could represent an opportunity for Pierce Transit to reestablish a 1% motor vehicle excise tax as part of their funding mix. Additional analysis will be necessary to determine what that might represent in terms of dollars for the new Pierce Transit boundary. If the bill does pass the legislature and the governor signs it, it would be foolish for the Board to not take the opportunity to ask for a more stable funding source from the voters.
Contact your representatives on the PT Board to let them know that you want them to seek full funding as soon as possible. The PTIC gave us a gift of a fighting chance at the ballot box in November. It would be a tragedy to see Pierce Transit lose this opportunity to rise up out of the ashes.
More info: Pierce Transit Board Packet March 12, 2012
Here's a look at some upcoming post topics:
- New PTBA voting and demographic characteristics
- Budget increase and Start Date for Tacoma Link Alternatives Analysis
- The case for a Tacoma Transit Master Plan