Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Pierce Transit


TRANSIT: You don’t want me on the road with you

Re: “3 small Pierce cities protest transit cuts” (TNT, 6-10).

Do the people of Pierce County who rejected the transit tax increase last fall realize what that will do on all the major roadways? I can only visualize people, like myself, who have very poor vision, driving and being the cause of more accidents than we already have due to the fact that these people can’t distinguish colors such as traffic lights and have slower reflexes. These are the people who depend on public transportation or shuttle service to get them to doctor appointments or grocery shopping, amongst other

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TRANSIT: Consumers can vote with their wallets

Last fall, we had the option to support Pierce Transit with .03 percent sales tax increase, which I supported. Many car dealerships came out against Proposition 1 and made financial contributions to the opposition campaign. Their stance was that with the increase, potential customers would shop at dealers where the sales tax rate is lower.

As one who believes I can also vote with my wallet, I checked the state Public Disclosure Commission’s website to see which dealers made contributions. Now that I’m in the market for a new truck, those that decided to make their political views public and

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TRANSIT: Cuts are shameful

Re: “As transit cuts loom, public tells board: ‘You’re messing with our life’” (TNT, 5-14).

I cringe at the idea of the upcoming Pierce Transit service/job cuts. One online comment I read spoke of the need to take care of the elderly and disabled. I can’t agree more!

Public transit, while “nice” for a lot of us, is necessary for many people. When tax increases have been on the ballot for Pierce Transit subsidy, it’s been no secret who would – and wouldn’t – suffer the most if they weren’t passed.

Public transit, for all the services it provides, is a

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TRANSIT: Agencies’ services need to be consolidated

Re: “Transit may eliminate 40 vanpools” (TNT, 3-11).

The elimination of vanpools is a sad indication of a well-meant government program sinking into the morass of multiple bureaucracies.

These vanpools – created to reduce traffic, the need for parking and a reduction of pollution – are a good idea. But as the region grew, each municipality needed a transit agency. Eventually, as these communities grew, we were left with overlapping and redundant systems.

Pierce County, King County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County and Sound Transit each has a territory with resulting management and bureaucracies fighting to survive. Each has six-figure management

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TAXES: Added car tab tax causes misuse of funding

Legislators are proposing a .7 percent excise tax in addition to a $40 tax on tabs cities and local transit authorities want to require. This means car tab taxes will be raised on an $18,000 car to about $300 from about $93.

I don’t see the exact need for doubling (or tripling) the price of license tabs. The state and local agencies did fine after Initiative 695 was passed. Bus service won’t change as a result. I was told by Pierce Transit that my power chair is inaccessible for buses and eligibility for Shuttle is not an option.

What will

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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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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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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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