Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: buses

Feb.
26th

Pierce Transit tax needs sunset, not a gerrymander

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Pierce Transit has a credibility problem with the citizens who live within its taxing district. It should solve that problem at home, not do an end run through the Legislature.

Twice in the last two years, the transit agency has put a sales tax proposal on the ballot only to see it shot down by voters. In November, the second measure came within a cat’s whisker of success, falling short by barely more than 700 votes.

That tiny margin demonstrated that the agency could win the revenues it needs to prevent a drastic cutback in bus service. But it would have to abandon its insistence that the tax be chiseled into stone in perpetuity.

Had last fall’s measure contained a reasonable sunset clause – requiring a new vote after, say, six years – there’s little question it would have passed.

All is not lost. Pierce Transit’s leaders could still secure passage of a new sales tax by holding the agency accountable through a future vote. But transit supporters are seeking to game the process in Olympia to avoid another reckoning with the district’s electorate.
Read more »

Jan.
16th

Less than feared, transit cut are still painful

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

It’s all too easy to predict the effects of Pierce Transit’s service cutbacks scheduled to go into effect this summer: Many low-income workers, senior citizens and students will feel the pain of fewer routes and hours.

The agency’s board decided Monday to implement a 34 percent service reduction in late September rather than 36 percent by waiting until February 2014. A series of public meetings will take place first, which could convince the board to delay the cuts to the later date.

There’s not much difference between 34 percent and 36 percent, and the agency argues that so many low-seniority drivers are resigning that it will likely be short of bus operators by September anyway. So the timing probably works out better for the earlier implementation. Read more »