The failure of Proposition 1 — which would have funded Pierce Transit by raising the sales tax 3 cents for every $10 spent — to pass in November means a reduction in service provided countywide, including Gig Harbor.
Pierce Transit currently operates 417,000 annual service hours. A recently revised service plan will reduce annual service hours to approximately 300,000, or a 28 percent reduction from current levels. The original plan adopted in January reduced service to 275,000 annual service hours, or a 34 percent reduction from current levels.
While that's an improvement of sorts, the fact remains service reductions will hit those who depend on public transportation in Gig Harbor and the surrounding area especially hard.
Gig Harbor City Council member Derek Young, who sits on the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners, described the coming cuts — plans call for them to go into effect on Sept. 29 — as "brutal."
Their timing is also not helpful, he noted, in terms of the struggling economy and the employment picture for the working poor.
"In a recovering economy, we want people to get back to work," Young said.
Check out next Wednesday's Gateway for more details on looming service cuts, what Pierce Transit is doing to bring in more money and incur savings, and Young's prediction on how the situation will ultimately play out.