Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: buses

Jan.
18th

BUSES: What message were voters sending?

On Jan. 14, the Pierce Transit board announced reductions in service, including eliminating weekend service totally. Service after 7 p.m. will be reduced.

We, the voters, have spoken! But what have we said? That if you work weekends in a nursing home and commute via bus you will have to walk? That if you need to go to the emergency room on the weekend, and have no car, you will have to hitchhike?

A skinny latte costs about $4. Perhaps you have one each day on the way to work: 250 lattes (minus two weeks of vacation). That’s $1,000! The

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Jan.
18th

BUSES: Pierce Transit needs to revise plan

Thinking back to the 1980s, we had weekday bus service until midnight and weekend service into the night. So why is it that Pierce Transit is trying to sell the public on the idea that weekend service must be cut out completely?

The agency told us that there would be 53 percent service cuts if the sales tax proposition wasn’t passed. Now it’s down to 34 percent. Are we to believe them when they say they must cut all weekend service?

At the Pierce Transit board meeting, Kelly Hayden stated the agency was committed to providing balance to the community.

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Jan.
16th

BUSES: What about cuts to salaries?

The CEO of Pierce Transit earns more at $177,000 than the governor, the state attorney general and the head of the state Department of Transportation. Many of the more than 400 drivers at Pierce Transit, represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union, earn $27 per hour, more than drivers in Los Angeles and on par with drivers in New York and Chicago.

In 2011, drivers paid $85 per month for full family medical and dental benefits. Back in August, the union and the agency negotiated a new three-year deal asking drivers to pay more for health care. By way of comparison,

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Dec.
28th

BUSES: How does Pierce Transit account for cuts discrepancy?

The supporters of Pierce Transit Proposition 1 stated that if it didn’t pass, service would be reduced by 53 percent by February 2014. Now Pierce Transit states that service reductions would be 34 percent if the reductions were put in place by September 2013 or 36 percent if they waited until February 2014 (thenewstribune.com).

How does Pierce Transit account for this significant difference? Is it surprising that the voters are suspicious when proposals are presented to them for their approval? Any issues that are presented to the voters need to be thoroughly vetted before they are placed on the

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Nov.
30th

BUSES: Shame on those who voted against Prop. 1

Those who voted against money for Pierce Transit should ride the bus everywhere for one week. There are many people who ride public transportation for many reasons. Some are: they choose to; they are students; they cannot afford a car; or they have physical, mental and legal reasons.

Pierce Transit is very diligent in determining who can ride shuttles. That requires filling out a six-page application, getting an extensive response from a physician and then having a personal meeting with someone representing Pierce Transit to determine the applicant’s level of ability. Even being in a wheelchair or scooter does not

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Nov.
26th

BUSES: TNT, letter writers missed two key points

All letters published from readers taking the “pro” side of the Pierce Transit revenue increment issue essentially said “public transport service is a good thing,” and a News Tribune endorsement editorial said roughly the same. I doubt that many who voted against Proposition 1 disagreed with that view.

But there were two issues concerning the requested revenue increment that the editorial board and all “pro” letter writers ignored.

• Why was the legal maximum tax increment again being requested, especially in light of the large service reduction (about one-third of bus operating hours) that had recently been put into

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Nov.
23rd

BUSES: Enough is enough; no more tax requests

Re: “Pierce Transit must regroup, rethink after Prop. 1 defeat” (editorial, 11-18).

The editorial finally provided a more balanced presentation of the pros and cons surrounding the proposed transit tax increase. Prior to this, the paper had frequently repeated Pierce Transit’s threatened “dire” consequences if the tax increase failed, without commenting on the other side of the issue.

Unfortunately, now The News Tribune is calling for yet another attempt to increase this tax. The rationale is that the transit tax was defeated by a slim majority and the transit board could tip the scales by including a sunset provisison

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Nov.
21st

BUSES: Now it’s time for transit dealmaking

Now that the opposition has succeeded in killing Pierce Transit Proposition 1 and forcing a drastic reduction in transit service on our community, I wonder if those opponents are ready to offer free rides to people left stranded on evenings and weekends. How’s that for a fantasy?

An even less likely fantasy, it would seem, is the possibility of getting the supporters of Prop. 1, the opponents, the management of Pierce Transit, the transit workers, as well as frequent and completely dependent riders, and spokespersons for the community all together in one place for serious negotiation until a truly fair

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