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You can weigh in on proposed Pierce Transit cuts and their effect on you at public meetings in Gig Harbor, Tacoma and Olympia this week

Post by Kris Sherman / The News Tribune on April 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
April 17, 2011 1:50 pm

Pierce Transit’s date for making service cuts permanent is less than 60 days away, and public meetings are scheduled in Gig Harbor and Tacoma this week to discuss the plans.

A public meeting also is set in Olympia for members of the public to get information about how the Pierce Transit reductions will affect express bus service to the capital.

Some 150 people attended a meeting on the proposed cuts last week, and more than 50 talked about “hot important transit is to their lives,” according to Pierce Transit’s website.

The agency, its operations crippled by an explosion at its natural gas refueling station in February, has said it will slash service by 20 percent June 12 and then another 15 percent on Oct. 2.

The cuts are necessary due to increased costs coupled with weak sales tax revenues, CEO Lynne Griffith has said.

Agency officials say they don’t see any way out of the cuts, which were set in motion after a three-tenths of 1 percent increase in the sales tax failed at the polls in February. The accident at the refueling station in Lakewood compounded the problem, they have sais.

The meetings are scheduled to hear from the public about the effect of the proposed cuts and to discuss planned route eliminations and changes to service times. The agency’s rules require such hearings before cuts are made, spokeswoman Jessyn Farrell said last month.

But the hearings aren’t meant to determine whether cuts will come; that decision has already been made.

The Olympia meeting, to be held by Intercity Transit, is to gauge the effect of the Pierce Transit cuts on Olympia service, according to a note on the Pierce Transit website. The meeting also was called to discuss “whether or not Intercity Transit can alter its express service to alleviate the effect,” the Pierce Transit website says.

In addition to the meetings in Gig Harbor, Tacoma and Olympia this week, public sessions are set in Puyallup and Bonney Lake next week.

Here’s the schedule:

Gig Harbor
Monday, 4 to 6 p.m.: Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St.

Olympia (conducted by Intercity Transit):
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.: 526 Pattison St.S.E.

Tacoma
Thursday, 5 to 7 p.m.: Tacoma City Hall, first floor Council Chambers, 747 Market St.

Puyallup
April 25, 4 to 6 p.m.: Puyallup City Hall, Council Chambers, 333 S Meridian, Puyallup

Bonney Lake
April 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Interim Justice Center, 9002 Main St. E.

If you can’t attend a meeting, you may send written comments to the Pierce Transit Operations Planning Division, P.O. Box 99070, Lakewood, WA 98496-0070. Make them ATTN: Tina Lee, principal planner. You also can send them by email to pttomorrow@piercetransit.org. Written comments must be received by April 27.

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