Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

BUSES: Consider de-annexing areas that don’t support transit

Letter by Chris Karnes, Tacoma on Feb. 11, 2011 at 11:53 am with 25 Comments »
February 11, 2011 11:56 am

I am surprised that News Tribune reports have been so quick to judge Proposition 1 by looking only at the total results (TNT, 2-9).

While I don’t dispute that voters in outlying areas like Buckley, Graham and Orting weren’t enthusiastic about Proposition 1, it was quite a different story in Tacoma proper where voters in many precincts approved Prop. 1 by 2:1 margins.

Up-to-date results at the precinct level are conveniently available for the public to view and download on the auditor’s web page. When mapped, the election results conclusively show that voters in Tacoma, University Place, Lakewood and Puyallup were more supportive
of Prop. 1 than other areas. In fact, if one restricts the boundary of Pierce Transit to legislative districts 27, 28 and 29, Prop, 1 comes out ahead.

Pierce Transit should explore de-annexing those areas that don’t want and can’t support local bus service. If whole areas of people don’t want and don’t use services, they shouldn’t have to pay for them.

I also encourage the City of Tacoma to look into proposing a transportation package that would restore transit service and fund street repairs. The City of Bellingham did that just last year under similar circumstances.

Tags:
Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. How about just cutting wages and benefits of transit employees to match the revenue.

  2. For once I see a letter from Chris Karnes that I agree with.

  3. tree_guy says:

    “The City of Bellingham did that just last year under similar circumstances”.

    Well Chris, as the saying goes, the grass is always greener. Like Bellingham and its tax structure and services better? Why not just move there and leave the rest of us who prefer lower taxes alone?

  4. Please de-annex Puyallup ASAP from PT and save us the sales tax.

  5. olympicmtn says:

    Stay outta my wallet!!!!

  6. hansgruber says:

    What exactly is your definition of “don’t support transit”?

    PT collects .03% tax from the entire COUNTY sales tax for their revenue.

    Less than 5% of the population uses the bus (Based on daily ave gross boardings of 37,259 (Jan 2010) vs county pop 796,836 (2009) is 4.67%) which doesn’t include multiple boarding by riders or net boardings. Yet any one who is charged sales tax in the county IS supporting PT.

    The recent vote shows that out of 334 voting precincts, 245 votes against the tax increase while only 89 voted for it.

    No PT should have already been effectively managing this budget shortfall instead of crisis management running to the voters crying the sky is falling.

    I see they are already trying to add $30 to your vehicle registrations in an effort to get more money…they are not listening.

  7. BlaineCGarver says:

    They better start charging more. I will not willingly or quietly pay one cent more than I am now.

  8. TheOutlawJoseyWhales says:

    How about this: “De-governmentalization” of the entire transportation sector. And by that I mean, get the government the heII out of our business! All the way out! We can do far, far better without their “help.” But what would I know about it, I only ran an aviation fixed-base operation for four years.

  9. mrenchirito says:

    O’Reilly asked the same exact question about being hated to GW Bush. I guess he’s racist against whites too. More nonsensical remarks from Judas who loves to play the race card at every opportunity. That’s common for people who are intellectually bankrupt.

  10. alindasue says:

    If people living in the outlying areas had looked at plans on PT’s site prior to voting on Proposition 1, they would have already seen that they had the most to lose if it didn’t pass and the most to gain if it did. I would have thought, since they are already paying for it, that they would have welcomed improved service in their areas – but I guess not.

  11. tree_guy says:

    “If people living in the outlying areas had looked at plans on PT’s site prior to voting on Proposition 1, they would have already seen that they had the most to lose if it didn’t pass and the most to gain if it did” alindasue

    If people voting in all areas had looked at the costs prior to voting they would seen that Pierce Transit was proposing a permanent tax increase to address a temporary revenue shortfall.

  12. alindasue — Most people understand that choosing to live in an outlying area means you will be dependent on your car. When I was a renter I lived in the Harbor. It was beautiful and when it came time to buy a house I looked there first. I weighed the beauty of the forested areas and the low density with the lack of convenience and decided to buy a house in town instead. I can walk 1 mile to the grocery store, where it used to be a 15+ minute drive. There are two parks within walking distance to my house. The library is less than 3 miles away. I miss the trees, but I don’t miss having to eat popcorn without butter because I didn’t feel like driving 30 minutes to the store and back. My car will last 10 years longer than it would if I lived in the Harbor.

    If you ask people from Gig Harbor or Graham why they live way out where they do they usually say it’s because they want to be away from the noise and all the people in the city. Limited or nonexistent bus service is one of many things to consider when you decide where to live. If you need or want to ride the bus, maybe it’s not a good idea to choose a home in a rural area.

  13. “PT collects .03% tax from the entire COUNTY sales tax for their revenue.”

    That’s not what I’m seeing. I’m see a tax of .06% on almost the entire county.

    Tax location codes 2700 and 4100 apparently don’t pay the PT sales tax.

  14. “How about this: “De-governmentalization” of the entire transportation sector. And by that I mean, get the government the heII out of our business! All the way out! We can do far, far better without their “help.” But what would I know about it, I only ran an aviation fixed-base operation for four years.”

    That’s funny.

    Who do you think runs the FAA? Who do you think runs SeaTac, Thun Field, Boeing Field, and the Narrows airport?

  15. Maybe the less populated parts of the county could quit paying for busses, because apartently they don’t use them. And maybe the more populated areas of the county should quit exporting their tax dollars to pay for roads in the less populated areas. After all, most of the tax dollars in the county are generated in the cities, why should someone from the city support a little used county road that they will never drive on? Really people, if we only pay for exactly what we use alot of areas would get no funding at all. If it is reasonable for someone from the city to subsidise your out of the way county road, then why can’t those in the county subsidise the busses that benefit mostly the cities?

  16. direx — They can, and they already are. Pierce Transit collects 0.6% sales tax on every taxable purchase made throughout the entire county.

  17. ronniew is right. We’ve lived out in the Graham area…more Kapowsin..for 20 years. We moved out here to get away from the crowds. I don’t want buses, it’s getting too crowded out here as it is.

  18. It’s about the poor, disabled and elderly versus some 25 year old
    in a black, 4X4, jacked up truck who thinks he indestructible.
    Simple.

  19. the3rdpigshouse says:

    And here is a novel concept – how about we charge a fare for riding the short little rail line within Tacoma?? – the rest of Puget Sound is tired of subsidizing Tacoma’s downtown workers transportation costs!!!

  20. “Pierce Transit collects 0.6% sales tax on every taxable purchase made throughout the entire county.”

    That’s not true.

    There are still parts of the county that do not pay the 0.6% sales tax on purchases. There’s not a lot of folks living in those areas, but tax location codes 2700 and 4100 apparently don’t pay the PT sales tax.

  21. fatuous — I did not know that, thanks for pointing it out. I’m curious — where are those tax location code areas? Are there areas PT serves that don’t pay the tax? Are there areas PT doesn’t serve that do pay the tax?

  22. steilacoomtaxpayer says:

    If you are going to advocate cutting the service to remote areas (not a bad idea) then those affected by the service reduction should not pay any part of the PT sales tax.

  23. gerry0416 says:

    The reason that the people in or near Tacoma voted for the increase is because they get the best service. Why do you think Strickland is such a big supporter. They only provide minimal service to the outlying areas to be able to justify collecting taxes from them to support better service in the cities. We said no new taxes – we meant no new taxes. Fire the CEO and Board of Directors of Pierce Transit and eliminate the union. Get control of the costs of running the operation.

  24. speaking of buses..just curious. whats the deal with the EMPTY bus I saw this afternoon, taking up the HOV lane, climbing up the hill from the bridge, with no one on board but the driver, that was clearly marked “TO GARAGE”?

    dont tell me that bus drivers in a hurry to park and go home, can use the HOV for their own purposes can they?

  25. alindasue says:

    Dcr628,
    The HOV lanes are generally designated for busses or carpools (and often also marked “motorcycles OK”). They do not indicate “busses only when they are full”. The HOV lanes originally were built specifically to accomodate the transit systems. They just let carpools use them also.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0