The Milton City Council unanimously approved a joint resolution with Fife and Edgewood that rejects Pierce Transit’s plan for cuts to service in the three cities and proposes an alternative to soften the blow of the reductions.
Last month both Fife and Edgewood city councils approved the resolution, which will move to the Pierce Transit board for review upon Milton’s approval of the resolution at a special study session Monday night.
The planned transit cuts are part of a sweeping reduction in Pierce Transit service across Pierce County. The affected routes in the Milton area include Routes 501 and 402, which link Milton and the surrounding cities with major transit centers, including Federal way and South Hill.
For Route 501, Pierce Transit has proposed eliminating a portion of the route between Milton and the Federal Way Transit Center, as well as cutting all weekend service and mid-day service during the week.
For Route 402, Pierce Transit has proposed altering the frequency of the Milton-Federal Way segment from one hour to every two hours on weekdays and eliminating all service on weekends.
Also, because paratransit service relies on having a fixed route within three quarters of a mile, the reductions would also affect the availability of shuttle service for seniors and people with disabilities.
Fife City Councilman Glenn Hull serves as a representative for all three cities on the transit board. He drafted an alternative Circulator Route as an attempt to reduce costs and eliminate redundancies in service while also providing critical public transit options to the three communities.
Milton Mayor Debra Perry said the trio of cities had to fight for representation on Pierce Transit’s board last year, and voted Hull in after the board position was granted.
Currently, Milton, Fife and Edgewood taxpayers pay about $4 million dollars to Pierce Transit and receive about $2.75 million in combined value of services, according to materials provided by Hull and the City Council. That discrepancy will increase if the original proposed reductions are implemented in September, officials said.
Kari Plog: 253-597-8682