Earlier this week I wrote about the budget crunch currently facing Pierce Transit. Pierce Transit officials say if voters fail to approve a three-tenths of one percent sales tax hike in Pierce Transit's borders this fall it could spell disaster for the already struggling transit agency.
One of the aspects of this debate that failed to make my post was Pierce Transit's internal efforts to reduce spending and prove its worthiness as the beneficiary of a sales tax increase to voters. On its website, Pierce Transit touts the fact that the agency has already employed a 31 percent reduction in management, a 43 percent reduction in bus and paratransit services, and froze wages for management and non-union employees. Pierce Transit also recently negotiated a new contract with its drivers' union that provides no raises and reworks benefit packages to save the agency money.
However, these touted budget reductions obviously haven't been enough to win over everyone.
As commenter rejectprop1 writes:
Pierce Transit is failing due to a lack of leadership. Their finances are fine. Last year as PT was crying about how it would have to slash services if it didn't get more tax money, it was having the highest grossing income on record. This measure is political, not financial.
(Another thing that didn't make the post yet is still worth mentioning: Given Pierce Transit's reduced service area - with the loss of some rural areas that have voluntarily left the Pierce Transit district - the area that will now vote on Prop 1 in November is denser and more urban than the area that rejected an identical measure in February, 2011 - which gives Pierce Transit officials hope that this year's measure will fare better.)