The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners passed a resolution on Monday evening directing staff to revise service reduction plans that would restore limited bus service on Saturdays and Sundays. The cut in service is due to the loss of Proposition 1 in November 2012.
Pierce Transit currently operates 417,000 annual service hours. The revised service plan will reduce annual service hours to approximately 300,000, or a 28 percent reduction from current levels. The plan adopted in January 2013 reduced service to 275,000annual service hours, or a 34 percent reduction from current levels.
The agency has received $6.2 million in revenue through two Federal Transit Administration “State of Good Repair” grants and congressional approval of the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit. In addition, the agency will extend the useful life of buses from 14 years to 16 years and eliminate some planned improvements to its maintenance facilities, redirecting a total of $19.5 million from the Pierce Transit capital plan. These efforts combined will add $25.7 million for bus operations over 10 years.
“We have been working very hard for the last couple of months to find these savings,” said Lynne Griffith, Pierce Transit CEO. “There is some risk in using these dollars for service today, but given the strong need for service in this community and the repeated desire of our Board Members to find a way to provide service on the weekend, we feel this is the right choice.”
Almost all Pierce Transit routes will be affected. Detailed service reduction plan information will be available online in the coming days at www.piercetransit.org. A public hearing on implementation of the revised plan will happen on May 13 as well as at public meetings around the county.