Mr. Johnson was joined by other panelists Brock Howell of Transportation For Washington, Lars Erickson from Pierce Transit, and Tacoma Councilmember and newly reappointed Pierce Transit Board Member - Lauren Walker.
Rob Johnson’s remarks are sobering for transit advocates in Tacoma, who were told just last week by City officials to ‘look to the legislature’ for help because Councilmember Mello indicated that funding from the TBD is for MoMap (bike/ped) buildout. While I don’t disagree with City officials that lobbying legislators to ensure that a robust transit component is included in the next transportation package, that does nothing to address the looming 34% service cut to Pierce Transit that is planned for Sept. 29th.
Why is the City not taking more action?
|Where does City Hall actually stand on transit?|
So there you have it folks. I’m not sure what’s going on with the City Council. I’m not sure if Council is uninformed about what they have the ability to do with TBD authority or if they don’t want to stick their necks out because it’s a City Council election year and they think that transit is a losing issue with their constituents. I have tried to show Council maps of how much support there was for Prop 1 in Tacoma. I have spoken with them about how it is within their power to see that this does not happen. I know that they are hearing from constituents about the impact of these cuts - painful, heartbreaking stories of being stranded, with nowhere to turn. I would have thought that Tacoma’s local government would be more apt to step up to the plate.
What we do now? Organize.
The best thing we can do now is to gather more people together to speak more loudly so we can be sure that the City Council is hearing us. For organizing purposes, please "like" the RestoreTransitNow Facebook page, as we'll be using that to get further mobilization messages out.
The next Citizens Forum for the City of Tacoma is on February 12th. The same day is also Transportation Advocacy Day which involves lobbying down in Olympia for the day. If you can make either event to advocate for transit, please do.