"LAHAR" Goes Pierce Transit, a Requiem

Bad News for Anyone Who Needs Mass Transit
posted Nov 12, 2012
tacoma, tacomic, pierce transit, prop 1, 2012, auto dealerships, pierce county chamber of commerce
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Unfortunately, I present this riddle to my comrade Erik Bjornson: "How can you be an urbanist and stand against transit?"  PRESENTED IN GLORIOUS RR STYLE! Lahar is a fun slurry visual no? We can see why Auto Dealerships and the hugely inept Pierce County Tacoma Chamber of Commerce is against socialist buses, but why... why the URBANIST?  Messed up yo.

PREVIOUSLY on the Tacomic...
  1. Yes on Prop 1 or else
  2. Pierce Transit Recipe for Failure
  3. Pierce Transit is Retarded by Sales Tax

by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 7:57am
catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world

by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 7:58am
I don't blame surrounding communities for not wanting to pay for our boondoggle bus circus. It's time for Tacoma to break away completely from surrounding communities. WE have bus, they don't.

by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 8:12am

by JesseHillFan on 11/13/2012 @ 8:33am
With service cut in half (hourly rather than every half hour on some busy routes) it will become unlikely to board a transit bus from many individual stops with the buses already packed full and with passengers standing in the aisles.I've already seen instances of this on the route 52 half hour route buses several times where the bus just couldn't pick up any more passengers.Halve the route times and the only possible way to expect to board one will be just at the Transit centers and be very early too .Some riders won't even be able to board the buses even there as well.Just an observation.So personally since I can't rely on the service I'll just opt for my active transportation method completely..

by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 8:41am

by The Jinxmedic on 11/13/2012 @ 8:43am
That's why I stopped riding the 500 and 501 shortly after the first time they threatened the voters and consequently cut back the number of runs. No room on the bus.

by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 8:46am
well the Restore Transit folks are saying not to give up till Thursday when the last of the votes come in... but not looking good.

by Erik on 11/13/2012 @ 8:55am
Regardless of the final vote, now is the time for the City of Tacoma to finally get serious about restoring Tacoma Streetcar:

Money is already being collected by Sound Transit from Tacomans since 2008 and the city has studied the issue to death. Some of the documents online are from 2005:

Yet, not a single foot of track in Tacoma has been built...meanwhile Seattle builds one line after another:

There was an effort for an initiative to restore Tacoma's Streetcar in 2008, 4 years ago yet nothing came of it:

by JesseHillFan on 11/13/2012 @ 9:08am
Since Pierce Transit will be cutting service quite a bit will they sell off the buses that are unused as maintaining or storage of an extra fleet would be costly as well over time.

by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 9:19am
kill buses to make room for street cars?   It's like the plot of Roger Rabbit in reverse!

by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 9:24am
Route selection for Tacoma Link expansion is in April, Erik.  There's $80m for expansion and a federal grant is being applied for to supplement the rest.

Understand that there is less likelihood that Tacoma will have the capacity to fund streetcar expansion after Prop 1, not more.  You chose a deal with the devil by aligning yourself with car dealerships and the Chamber of Commerce.  Believe me, it'll haunt you.  People here will remember what side you took in a very close election on a topic that should have been a no-brainer for "TacomaUrbanist."
Instead you chose to be completely deaf to the needs of 1/3 of Tacoma's population that cannot drive.  I am not going to support additional city funds for streetcar expansion at the expense of the poor, the elderly, and community college students.
You have to understand, that as nice as Portland's or Vancouver's or Seattle's rail systems are - those cities would completely cease to function without the capacity of their bus systems.

by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 9:25am

by Erik on 11/13/2012 @ 9:28am
kill buses to make room for street cars?   It's like the plot of Roger Rabbit in reverse!

If the PT measure passes, it would take much of the taxing ability left away.  At the end of the day, people are only going to pay so much taxes.

Plus, if the PT measure passed, it would take away any need left for more transit. Any request for a Streetcar expansion would have been met with "but we are already pouring money into the PT measure."

Yes, in the optimal world, me might have both. However, I don't see that as being realistic in these tight budget times.

Tacomans have been taxed since 2008 for a LINK / Streetcar extension, why not tap into this source of money?

Almost all of the cities outside Tacoma voted against the Pierce Transit measure.

by Erik on 11/13/2012 @ 9:36am
Also, in the bus and light rail discussion, people ride light rail much more:

It is evident that rail transit is likely to attract from 34 percent to 43 percent more
riders than will equivalent bus service. The data do not provide explanations for
this phenomenon, but other studies and reports suggest that the clearly
identifiable rail route; delineated stops that are often protected; more stable,
safer, and more comfortable vehicles; freedom from fumes and excessive noise;
and more generous vehicle dimensions may all be factors.

Planners may want people to ride buses more.  However, ridership is simply higher with light rail. That is what people want and will actually use.

Survey evidence of public's rail preference

Further corroboration of such research – and evidence of widespread public preference for rail public transport – are provided by the results of occasional public surveys. For example, as our article American Public Says: Let's Have More Rail! reports, when asked which modes they would like to see "have an increasing share of passenger transportation", 44% of respondents to a recent Harris poll selected "commuter" trains (apparently referring to both local and regional rail transit). That was nearly double the 23% that opted for "Local bus service".

In another example, a 2001 United Kingdom survey, as summarized in Tramways & Urban Transit of June 2001, revealed that "motorists put light rail top of the list of preferred transport alternatives...." (See Motorists prefer light rail over buses, reports UK poll) The research results, contained in a UK government-sponsored document, Transport Choices of Car Users in Rural and Urban Areas, were based on a survey of households located in the Manchester, Bedford, Hull, and north Suffolk areas.

"Of the public transport options appraised in the survey, light rail was regarded as an acceptable and convenient alternative to the car and generally considered to be frequent, quick, clean and safe" explained the survey report. In contrast to the light rail results, according to the T&UT summary, "buses were perceived as falling substantially short of meeting people's needs", and buses "were seen as undesirable and low status...."

Such statistical conclusions and survey results are reflected in the fact that, on most new LRT systems, parking lots are jammed, and riders are pouring onto trains; while, in contrast, typical new "BRT" systems may experience modest increases in ridership, but certainly not the avalanche of passengers seen on LRT.

by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 9:37am
maybe people who can't drive will just self-deport... in a brand new automobile ?

by Erik on 11/13/2012 @ 9:42am
Also see:

Why streetcars are better than buses


Dan Malouff


Streetcars are big in planning circles right now. DC and Arlington have grand plans for them, as do many cities around the U.S. Every time the subject comes up, however, someone poses the question: What makes streetcars better than buses?

It's a valid question, and it has a series of valid answers. Here are the most important:

  • Streetcars are more affordable than buses. While
    it's true that streetcars require a much larger initial capital
    investment than buses, that capital cost is offset by significant
    operational savings year to year. In the long term, streetcars are more
    affordable as long as they are used on high ridership routes.
  • Streetcars have higher passenger capacity than buses (even bendy ones),
    which means that if there are lots of riders on your route, you can
    move them with fewer vehicles. Fewer vehicles means more efficient use
    of fuel and fewer (unionized, pensioned) drivers to pay.
  • Streetcar
    vehicles themselves are much more sturdy than buses, and last many
    decades longer. While buses must generally be retired and replacements
    purchased about every 10 years, streetcars typically last 40 years or
    more. For example, Philadelphia's SEPTA transit system is still using
    streetcar vehicles built in 1947.
  • Streetcars are much more comfortable to ride than buses.
    One of the big reasons why many Americans don't like buses is that they
    are so rumbly. They jerk you up, down, side to side. They're simply not
    comfortable. Streetcars glide along a rail much more smoothly, offering
    a vastly more comfortable ride. Less motion sickness, easier to hang
    on. This issue isn't often discussed in transit circles, but it is a
    really big deal. Passengers gravitate toward the most comfortable ride.
  • Streetcar routes are easier to understand.
    In any big city, buses are confusing. There are so many criss-crossing
    and competing routes that it can be intimidating and difficult to
    understand. New users are turned off because they don't want to
    accidentally get on the wrong bus and end up miles from their real
    destination. Streetcars, on the other hand, are easier to understand
    because the cost of constructing tracks inherently limits the size of
    the system. Instead of an incomprehensible jumble, you get a clean and easy-to-understand system map.
    Even if streetcar line names may be a little more complicated than "Red
    Line," they'll be a whole heckuva lot easier to figure out than "P18".
  • Streetcars attract more riders than buses.
    Partially because of the above points, streetcars are always used by
    more people than buses when all other things are equal. They attract
    more passengers, which after all is the whole point of public transit.
  • Streetcars are economic development magnets.
    The presence of rail transit nearby is one of the best incentives for
    economic development in the world. Metro stations radically remade large
    swaths of the D.C. area, and streetcars can do the same (have done the
    same, in places like Portland and Toronto). Nobody ever built a condo
    building or shopping mall because a bus stops nearby, but developers
    routinely follow rail investments with real estate ones. Indeed, the
    additional taxes generated by rail-oriented development can repay the
    initial capital investment.
  • Streetcars use electricity rather than gas.
    Although it depends how the electricity is generated, this potentially
    makes streetcars much more environmentally friendly than buses. And
    while it's true that electric buses exist, they are almost never used in the U.S., and require the same overhead wires as streetcars.
  • Streetcars are much quieter than buses.
    Because they run on electricity, streetcars are very quiet vehicles.
    They are much less disruptive to neighborhood life than buses.
  • Streetcars are iconic.
    Trains are graphic symbols for the city in a way that buses simply are
    not. Every tourist knows about the D.C. Metro, the New York subway, and
    the San Francisco cable cars. Their trains are an indispensable part of
    those city's brands, and streetcars will be too as soon as they're
    running. Nobody ever sent a postcard featuring a picture of a bus.

  • Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at
    The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C.
    region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 9:50am
    Rail within the city limits is as moronic as busses in Vaugn or Key Center. Tacomaniacs need 1 train - it goes to Seattle for work. If you live in Tacoma and do NOT commute to king county for work, you are less intelligent than you think you look in skinny jeans & a sweater. Buses in cities / trains between them ... 

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 9:55am
    would you say that a bus in hand is better than two trains in a bush?

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:01am
    but hey,  cheaper new cars and soda pop!

    by fredo on 11/13/2012 @ 10:07am

    but hey, lavish paychecks and benefits for the remaining Pierce Transit staff!

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 10:09am
    A bus in the bush sounds dirtiest.  Don't worry tacomanians, WE can buy busses with the new TBD $20 car tab tax.

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 10:11am
    We can't recreate the 125 mile streetcar network overnight with a 0.2% or 0.3% sales tax.  It's not a 1:1 exchange of killing bus service to building streetcar lines.  We can raise maybe $8m a year using the 0.2% tax authority from a Tacoma TBD.  Even if you bonded the money to construction - where are you going to find the operating dollars while you're paying the debt service?
    PT was planning on operating Tacoma Link after the extension is complete.  PT should be our ally in making streetcar service to Tacoma's neighborhoods a reality.  It was shortsighted to kill one mode in exchange for another.
    Two more thoughts: I know streetcars attract more riders than buses, I don't need to be told that.  A street utility as a dedicated funding source would be a better option for funding road maintenance and gradual track construction.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:11am
    lavish paychecks until PT is dissolved, right friendo ?

    by JesseHillFan on 11/13/2012 @ 10:13am
    Even if you replaced buses with streetcars it would take decades of years to cover the city with an implemented approved plan.They could be phased in over time and bus routes replaced but you still need service during the meantime.What good is there with a crippled and chaotic (for riders) Public Transit service that's soon to transpire in the next months.I like the streetcar idea but again it would take decades from now to cover the city.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:18am
    I can see how the auto dealers and the chamber of commerce profit from fucking over Pierce Transit.  What was in it for the Tacoma Urbanist I wonder?  30 pieces of silver?

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 10:19am
    This is a good time to remind everyone of my lifelong project: segwacoma For 1billion dollars, WE can provide a Segway for every man woman & child in Tacoma. 

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:20am
    unstable public transportation... increased strain on marriages = higher divorce rate = profits? 

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:22am
    the batteries of a segway fleet would be fueled with conflict minerals no?

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:24am
    let's kill all the jobs in Seattle/King County so that all the jobs will be in Pierce County/Tacoma!

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 10:26am
    An offer of a Segway upon arrival would entice the right kind of people to move here...those kind of people would vote yes on busses.

    by JesseHillFan on 11/13/2012 @ 10:31am
    Here is a much cheaper alternative to the

    Need the Hill climbing accessory though.

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 10:33am
    I repeat my question to Erik:
    Even if you bonded the money [from a TBD] to construction [of streetcar track] - where are you going to find the operating dollars while you're paying the debt service?

    by fredo on 11/13/2012 @ 10:37am

    The voters have spoken:Affordable tax rates are MORE important than enhanced transit services.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:38am
    oooh  I know, reduce Minimum Wage!

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 10:45am
    The "voters" were from surrounding areas, tacomanians voted for more taxes to support busses.
    *the super scooter is nice, but tacoma's problem is that WE are a super scooter city in a Segway world*

    by JesseHillFan on 11/13/2012 @ 10:54am
    Even the citizens of Fircrest voted in favor of Prop 1 and they were inundated with no on Prop 1 signs. 

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 10:57am

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 10:58am
    Prop 1 results from yesterday.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 11:01am
    fun trivia: the people getting shot out of the bus are real bus riders i've seen during my time on a bus, back when I had a job downtown in Tacoma.

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 11:02am
    Oh Puyallup
    @RR please what is creating the pressure that "shoots" the drivers out of the bus???

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 11:05am
    war criminal spawning Lake Tapps is pretty impressive

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 11:19am
    If Pacific is "de-cityified" who gets their 33 votes ???

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 11:20am
    For those interested, here are the top 20 precincts in Tacoma "by margin approve".Here's a map of the precincts:

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 11:33am
    Top 20 in WHAT ?

    by Jesse on 11/13/2012 @ 11:53am
    A person can be for transit and still have voted no on the Prop 1 measure.  How?  Well, what if they don't like how the new money for transit  is being collected through the sales tax?

    How about the money be collected through a parking stall tax on surface level parking lots?  

    I personally think transit should be awesome inside city limits and less so in places like Sumner - places way out in the suburbs/exurbs. The voters agree with me by looking at which areas want transit and votes yes and which areas don't care so much about it and voted no.

    It's ok to be car centric South Hill but I think someone who lives there ought to recognize that most people who live there are there because they like their car... And if you want awesome transit, move to the city!

    by Erik on 11/13/2012 @ 11:55am

    There are multiple wonky solutions to locate the funds for expanding and maintaining a streetcar system / LINK expansion. Money has already been collected by Sound Transit from Tacomans since 2008.

    Tacoma might be able to use the car tab tax as well.

    Seattle has figured it out multiple times as they build one line after another.  I have confidence that if Tacoma truly made it a goal, they would shortly be able to expand LINK without another 8 years of studies. Tacoma finds millions of dollars each year for every imaginable type of project from parking garages, million dollar parking lots and rain gardens:

    They could certainly find money for LINK expansion if they tried.

    Our last City Manager Eric Anderson was convinced that streetcars should only be expanded after multiple parking garages were placed at each stop.  This stuck the process for years.SOUTH LAKE UNION many other lines:

    Project StatusView November 6 Construction Update – Broadway SegmentView November 6 Construction Update – 14th/Yesler SegmentView November 6 Construction Update – Jackson SegmentInterested in the anticipated construction timeline? Click here


    They even have their own Faceook page:


    Here is the current Seattle Streetcar system that is continuously expanding:

    Since LINK was installed in 2003, 9 years ago, Tacoma has not added a single foot of streetcar or LINK expansion and has nothing more than conduct studies, meetings and hand wringing.

    How about if we made it a goal to simply add a short LINK expansion from downtown to the Stadium District and connect a huge density node to get Tacoma's confidence up and gain a little momentum?

    by Erik on 11/13/2012 @ 12:02pm
    How about the money be collected through a parking stall tax on surface level parking lots?  Good idea. 

    Increasing car tab tax is good idea as well as taxes cars and does not harm businesses.

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 12:38pm
    Commercial parking tax:

    -SeaTac $5,278,931
    -Bainbridge Island $508,772
    -Bremerton $293,874
    -Mukilteo $57,355
    -Tukwila $152,701

    Let's say that Tacoma raised a commercial parking tax proportionate to three times that of Bremerton - that's about $1m/yr - that's maybe 9,000 service hours - about what we're operating right now.  With that as the only source of operating besides what ST is putting in now, would limit us to another couple miles of track.  If you're using that as the funding source for operations, the system can't be that extensive unless the tax on parking spaces is exceptionally high.

    A $100 vehicle license fee, though, might be an interesting concept.  The City of Tacoma Transportation Task Force indicated that a $20 fee would raise $13.75m over six years.  If that were to be $100/vehicle, it would raise $11m/yr.

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 12:49pm
    Could we make more people happy by going big and funding road repairs, streetcars, and ensuring no cuts in bus service with a 0.2% sales tax, a $100 vehicle license fee, and a commercial parking tax?  Total revenue from a package like that would be $20m/yr.
    We'd be able to fund streetcar operations, maintain existing bus service levels, and invest in repairing roads.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 1:18pm
    road tolls? 
    bail bonding tax?

    i'm looking forward to the anti-austerity riots

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 1:23pm
    @Chris K

    Do you pay streetcar drivers less since there is no steering wheel?  

    by cisserosmiley on 11/13/2012 @ 1:26pm
    $100 car tabs is a great idea.  I'm sooo tired of poor people driving...remember when tabs were $300's ??? Those were the days !

    by tacoma_1 on 11/13/2012 @ 1:33pm
    Go big!  No guts, no glory! 

    by The Jinxmedic on 11/13/2012 @ 1:36pm
    A $100 vehicle licensing fee?  I don't think so.

    by fredo on 11/13/2012 @ 1:38pm
      Here is some basic economics some of you should try to acquaint yourselves with.

    There is an inverse relationship between service levels and operational costs per mile or operational costs per hour for the transit system (or any system)

    As operational costs go DOWN then service levels may go UP. That's how inverse relationships behave.

     It makes no sense to advocate for both INCREASED service levels AND INCREASED salary levels. Please pick which one is important and advocate for that.

    We can't maintain high service levels and high salary levels at the same time. That should be obvious.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 1:48pm
    do orca cards work with the aloha singing taxi company?

    also, you might not have to worry about paying any salaries at PT soon.

    by fredo on 11/13/2012 @ 1:57pm

    If we stop paying Pierce Transit salaries I will be hoping that the sales tax rate will drop to 8.9%. SWEET!

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 2:00pm
    they could sell all the buses and you could get a $10 refund check !

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 2:11pm
    Fredo, what are you saying, that we decouple labor costs from bus operations?  We need self-driving buses or grade-separated rail in order to do that.
    No transit service in exchange for 8.9% sales taxes.  Ok, well if you really want Tacoma to go back to 1898 before there was any transit service...

    by Jesse on 11/13/2012 @ 2:18pm
    I'm not talking about a commercial parking tax like you'd charge a company that runs parking lots. Im talking about a tax on businesses with giant surface level parking lots like the mall or Target PLUS all those surface lots downtown.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/13/2012 @ 2:21pm
    parking lot toll  I like it!

    by Jesse on 11/13/2012 @ 2:27pm
    Sorta like that RR, but in their property taxes. Tax per stall on ground level stalls. Not on street parking or second level (or more) parking spots. I'd like to see the fee large enough, city-wide, to offset some transit funding loss but also to eliminate b and o tax in the downtown grid. That way downtown would have exceptional transit and no b and o tax. Surely that would get some businesses /shopping wanting to move into the core. No?

    by Chris.Tacoma on 11/13/2012 @ 2:35pm
    I like the concept, but I don't think it works with the commercial parking tax as defined by the legislature.
     (3) "Commercial parking business" as used in this section, means the ownership, lease, operation, or management of a commercial parking lot in which fees are charged. "Commercial parking lot" means a covered or uncovered area with stalls for the purpose of parking motor vehicles.

    by Jesse on 11/13/2012 @ 2:38pm
    The parking lot at Target is not its own business.

    by Erik on 11/13/2012 @ 3:36pm
    Great ideas.

    A restored streetcar system would take up some of the need PT currently serves.  Then Tacoma could finally access some of the funds Sound Transit has been collecting from Tacomans since 2008, yet, we have not been getting any benefit to date from.

    Parking fees for private surface level parking lots could certainly be looked at comparing them to other cities.  The city should have long ago extended paid parking to high demand areas such as around the County-City Building.  Yet, the city should not charge more than the smallest amount to create a 15 percent vacancy.

    As noted above, car tab tax is a good narrowly tailored way to address transit and extending LINK. One can avoid this tax completely by not buying a car and it does not threaten Tacoma's economy like a general sales tax increase would as it does not effect buying decisions nor force Tacoma to have the highest sales tax rate in the state.

    do orca cards work with the aloha singing taxi company?

    Interesting subject as cab companies already contract out a lot of their services for social service agencies. Perhaps there are some users that could be served in different ways so PT does not have to provide the super expensive rides.

    As for Pierce Transit, they should keep their same size service area and reduce the subsidization of the super expensive rides for people living the the exurbs of Tacoma which may be exasperating sprawl in the county, and eviscerating Tacoma in an entropic heat death manner, currently a lose-lose situation.

    by low bar on 11/13/2012 @ 9:32pm
    How is anything Fredo says even relevant anymore? LOL

    Business doesn't print money. The Feds do. The Feds answer to government. And the government answers to the people. And if the majority of the people's wages are keeping them in the low and middle class by the private sector, who you think the people are going to come after? 

    Thats why business wants small government. 

    The financial sector needs to prepare for tax hikes. Thats for sure. 

    by ChrisTopher on 11/13/2012 @ 10:47pm

    I'm pretty sure Feedtacoma features more pooping comics than any other website out there.   

    by Maria on 11/14/2012 @ 1:45am
    Pierce Transit is soliciting applications
    from individuals residing or employed within Pierce Transit's service
    area who are interested in serving on an advisory panel, the Community
    Transportation Advisory Group. The Group consists of nine (9) members
    from a cross-section of the community who are willing to become
    involved, study the issues, and serve in an advisory capacity to Pierce
    Transit's governing board.

    The Community Transportation Advisory Group meets quarterly and a copy of the Group's charter is enclosed.

    Applications are available at Pierce Transit Headquarters, 3701 96th
    Street SW, Lakewood, WA 98499 and on Pierce Transit's website:
    ( Applications are due November 16, 2012.

    Pierce Transit will review all applications received and schedule
    interviews. It is anticipated that a selection will be made by the
    Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners at the December 10, 2012 Board of
    Commissioner's meeting. All applicants will receive acknowledgment and
    notification of his or her status in the selection process.

    For more information about the Community Transportation Advisory
    Group or the selection process, contact Terence Artz, CTAG Liaison at

    by NineInchNachos on 11/14/2012 @ 7:45am
    true patriots pay taxes

    by JesseHillFan on 11/14/2012 @ 9:47am
    Yeah it's very unlikely that Prop 1 can pass now.Only 1,658 ballots left to count and the score is

    Approved 99,437 49.81%
    Rejected 100,188 50.19%
    Total Votes 199,625 100%

    by fredo on 11/14/2012 @ 10:35am
    Current score:

    Tacomans for affordable sales tax rates and reasonable service levels: 1
    Tacomans for unaffordable utopian tax rates and unsustainabe Pie in the sky service levels: 0

    by NineInchNachos on 11/14/2012 @ 10:42am
    Tacomanians had nothing to do with it Friendo,  look at the stats table it's all the dipshits in puyallup!

    by The Jinxmedic on 11/14/2012 @ 11:27am
    There you go, name calling again.

    by fredo on 11/14/2012 @ 11:31am

      Maybe if they reduce the service area to just the few precincts where people like this sort of thing they can get it passed.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/14/2012 @ 11:39am
    It is clear from the prop 1 results,  that Tacoma's voters want better transit and care willing to pay for it. 

    It is also clear that Puyallup, and the voters in the outlying burbs don't care enough about transit to pay for it. 

    I've already sent an email to the council about establishing a TBD.  A city wide TBD is probably the next logical step IMHO, and should pass. 

    by fredo on 11/14/2012 @ 11:42am
     " It is clear from the prop 1 results, that Tacoma's voters want better transit and care willing to pay for it. "

    Every precinct in Tacoma want's to pay more for transit? Is that true?

    by cisserosmiley on 11/14/2012 @ 11:44am
    They did it ... at the election night city council meeting they made a TBD using the city limits as "district" boundary. Isn't a district, by definition, only part of the larger area it is included in? Fredo, you should be steamed that on the night pt was voted down by the people your council pulled an end-around on you. I'm mostly entertained.

    by tacoma_1 on 11/14/2012 @ 11:59am
    Fortunately. Fredo lives in a community that values transit. 

    by cisserosmiley on 11/14/2012 @ 12:06pm
    Please be diligent in watching the TBD development, it has been marked as an "emergency" to implement. That just means that it is SUPER-FAST-TRACKED and will be in effect by the 20th. There is NO emergency, and using the emergency clauses here is NOT in the spirit of that rule.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/14/2012 @ 1:18pm
    TBD ...  Transit Bus District?  right?

    Update: Transportation Benefit District!

    by cisserosmiley on 11/14/2012 @ 1:21pm
    I wish, it'd be great to have a bus only tax.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/14/2012 @ 1:25pm
    wasn't road maintenance directed to be lowest priority?   the TBD will probably go to filling potholes. lame

    by fredo on 11/14/2012 @ 1:26pm

    Not surprised that the council would try to pull a fast one. Why do we need an emergency transportation benefit district? What's the emergency? Even Pierce Transit has said that transit cuts won't occur until spring of 2014.

    by cisserosmiley on 11/14/2012 @ 1:28pm
    Exactly, patience & busses...democracy in action!

    by tacoma_1 on 11/14/2012 @ 2:54pm
    As long as it pusses fredo off, I'm all in!

    by tacoma_1 on 11/14/2012 @ 3:26pm
    Pisses, but pusses. 

    Freudian slip perhaps.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/14/2012 @ 4:22pm

    by fredo on 11/14/2012 @ 4:53pm

    by tacoma_1 on 11/14/2012 @ 5:24pm
    Actually, 2 big unapposable thumbs, one little iPhone, and typing while on a bus tends to produce typos. 

    by fredo on 11/14/2012 @ 5:57pm

    Ha, OK I'll cut you some slack today tacoma1

    by NineInchNachos on 11/15/2012 @ 3:02pm

    RR ,Thank you for your commitment to public transportation.
    Unfortunately the votes to approve Prop 1 came up just short by a very
    slim margin. We believe the closeness of this race shows how much the
    community supports transit during difficult economic times, even if the
    measure did not win a majority.

    We know this will mean an
    uncertain future for many of our neighbors with no other transportation
    options; access to jobs for low-income individuals, health care for
    people with disabilities, and schools for students.

    We will continue to advocate on their behalf and work hard to keep buses rolling in Pierce County.

    Best wishes,
    Kate Whiting
    Campaign Manager, Restore Transit Now

    by fredo on 11/15/2012 @ 3:05pm
      "We know this will mean an uncertain future for many of our neighbors with no other transportation" 

    Does this mean that if Prop 1 had passed that our neighbors with no other transportation would enjoy  a "Certain Future?" 

    What is the meaning of a certain future?. Sounds pretty existential to me.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/15/2012 @ 3:16pm
    after 2014  who knows!

    by NineInchNachos on 11/15/2012 @ 3:18pm
    you know that old saying...  don't worry if you don't catch the bus another will soon follow?   well now that we're going to be hourly ouch.

    by fredo on 11/15/2012 @ 3:21pm
    Prop 1 proponents didn't say that passage would guarantee any schedules or any routes. All it guaranteed was higher sales tax rate. The future is equally uncertain regardless of any election outcome.

    by NineInchNachos on 11/15/2012 @ 3:27pm
    okay grandpa... "zzz"

    by fredo on 11/15/2012 @ 3:37pm

    darn tootin' you should listen to your elders whipper snapper.

    by JesseHillFan on 11/15/2012 @ 3:40pm
    Let's just hope for global thermonuclear war on Dec 21,2012.Then we won't have to worry about this issue or global warming (especially from those NAZI personal ICE motor Vehicle users/owners/drivers).

    by fredo on 11/15/2012 @ 3:51pm
    cuckoo for cocoapuffs

    by The Jinxmedic on 11/15/2012 @ 4:06pm
    No global thermonuclear war until after midnight, otherwise you'll miss the End of the World Ball (which I highly recommend you attend)...


    by The Jinxmedic on 11/15/2012 @ 4:07pm
    Here is another (perhaps more readable) version:

    by low bar on 11/15/2012 @ 4:16pm
    Its easy to let a discussion spiral into nonsense. Its bc your sub-conscience knows something you don't about the quality of the previous level of discussion. 

    by JesseHillFan on 11/15/2012 @ 4:18pm
    Here is a great doomsday song.One of my

    by NineInchNachos on 11/18/2012 @ 9:43am
    this cartoon has SOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLDDDD! 

    by fredo on 11/18/2012 @ 9:49am
    everybody wants an original RR cartoon, you know that. someday I'll own one too!

    by NineInchNachos on 11/18/2012 @ 9:56am
    awe thanks fredo!


    by cisserosmiley on 11/19/2012 @ 6:50am
    Did one of the poopers buy it ?

    by NineInchNachos on 11/27/2012 @ 11:21am
    behold!  the future of Pierce Transit

    by NineInchNachos on 12/14/2012 @ 9:06am
    uplifting podcast of the day...

    by JesseHillFan on 12/14/2012 @ 10:44am
    This will be my Pierce Transit replacement.Man this is fast.This I will get.Only $4,000.

    by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 7:59am
    here they come...

    here come the bastards

    by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 9:12am

    by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2013 @ 9:51am


    by JesseHillFan on 1/15/2013 @ 2:54pm
    Thanks RR for the update  I guess my bus routes are pretty much safe from cuts at least the first set of cuts.

    by NineInchNachos on 1/25/2013 @ 10:33am
    thanks Chris! another update...

    by JesseHillFan on 1/25/2013 @ 7:43pm
    I wonder what stand Will Baker and the Traveller have on restoring the public transit bus services.The Traveller unlikely to be a candidate because he will likely be on probation so he can't legally run for office I don't think.He would have to finish his probation and pay off all of the fines he owes (unlikely).

    by NineInchNachos on 3/7/2013 @ 10:33am
    good times

    by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2013 @ 8:13am

    by NineInchNachos on 5/14/2013 @ 8:17am
    chickens are coming home to roost

    by JesseHillFan on 6/10/2013 @ 9:51pm
    Bad news a 28% cut ordered.So this Sept 2013 the cuts will be

    by NineInchNachos on 6/10/2013 @ 10:14pm
    king 5  !

    by JesseHillFan on 6/10/2013 @ 10:39pm
    On the bright side of things you know if I were a bicycle shop owner I would be expecting a lot of new business opportunity from this cutback.Also used scooter salesman as well as junker car salesmen could likely expect a lot more business too.

    by JesseHillFan on 6/10/2013 @ 10:42pm
    Now at the newstribune

    by tacoma_1 on 6/11/2013 @ 6:09am
    No weekend service at all for my neighborhood.  Very little to no weekday midday or late evening service either.  60 minute head ways when there is service.  Pretty sad.  With the newest cutbacks, I won't able to use the bus in Tacoma anymore.

    by JesseHillFan on 6/11/2013 @ 9:17am
    Same here.I used the mid day service mostly,rarely used the early morning service and never used transit past 3 pm

    by fredo on 6/11/2013 @ 9:33am

    Maybe if the administrators and employees would agree to some modest wage cutbacks these routes could be restored.

    by NineInchNachos on 6/11/2013 @ 9:56am
    BACK TO THE '80'S !

    by JesseHillFan on 6/11/2013 @ 10:42am
    Thanks NineInchNachos.Looking at the service reduction link on closer examination I'll still be able to use the number 53 bus though not the number 52 bus anymore.I also used the number 3 bus too.
    So for me just with adaptation and longer waits I can still use Pierce Transit to get around.Whew! lucky I guess.

    by tacoma_1 on 6/11/2013 @ 10:49am
    For the folks that can't drive, or can't afford to drive, this will be devastating.  I feel bad for the elderly, disabled, and poor that are dependant on public transportation.

    Any and all choice riders (like me) will make other transportation plans.  The more service levels erode, the harder it will be to get funding for good service back.

    by Jesse on 6/11/2013 @ 11:05am
    I expected more leadership on this issue than I've seen.  How about taxing business parking lots to pay for transit?  Because of surface level parking lots, everything is far apart, and the average pedestrian needs transit to get from place to place.  So, they are the reason transit is often needed... make them pay!!

    I don't think a vote against the sales tax measure was necessarily anti-transit.  It was more about the it not having a sunset clause with the 0.06% to 0.09% (50%) increase, anti-highest sales tax in the state, and against the non-sustainable and wildly fluctuating method of paying for transit with the sales tax.

    So, if any of these boobs in power are saying that "the voters spoke and they didn't want to pay for transit" is short sighted and complete bull. I think people want it funded sustainably. I do. And the people who say it can't be done, are usually the same lawmakers that could change the law to allow change... so don't use that excuse either!

    by tacoma_1 on 6/11/2013 @ 11:54am
    The PT board has proven to be completely inept in the arena if county wide public opinion. Something as simple as a sunset clause could have changed the poll results completely. 

    by fredo on 6/11/2013 @ 12:43pm

    a vote against a transit tax increase isn't a vote against TRANSIT but rather a vote against a transit TAX INCREASE. The voters didn't say they didn't want a transit system. They said they wanted a transit system that would be funded with a .06% sales tax subsidy. Let's be careful with our conclusions.  

    by JesseHillFan on 6/11/2013 @ 4:39pm
    A much cheaper alternative to Pierce Transit. Pedal Buses I've found some images here.Ha Ha. No need for fuel either.Looking at the pictures some of them hold quite a few people.

    Here is a way to have a much less costly transit system plus much more environmentally friendly too.

    by fredo on 7/25/2013 @ 1:23pm

    Services returning to near normal...with NO increase in sales tax rate. Apparently the Prop 1 OPPONENTS claim that no tax increase was needed was in fact.... correct! The transit "experts" got it wrong. You did too, RR. 

    by JesseHillFan on 7/25/2013 @ 2:19pm
    Just luck with the increase in sales tax revenue.Had that not occurred the cuts would still have happened.Of course with this increase General Fund revenue stream from increased local sales tax 
    the city of Tacoma's other program to tax utilities to pay for road,bridge maintenance is unnecessary too as the General funds now can cover that as well.

    by fredo on 7/25/2013 @ 2:25pm

    Luck wasn't involved. The economy is cyclical in nature. Pierce Transit knew or should have known this. Just because sales tax revenues dropped below expectations for a couple of years didn't mean that revenue would be substandard for all eternity.

    by JesseHillFan on 7/25/2013 @ 2:26pm
    "The turnabout is due to an 11-percent increase in sales tax revenue during the first four months of this year, said Chief Executive Officer Lynne Griffith."

    Read more here:

    by fredo on 7/25/2013 @ 2:32pm luck involved!

    by tacoma_1 on 7/25/2013 @ 8:10pm
    PT service  isn't returning to near normal at all. It's already been reduced, it's  just not getting worse again this time around.

    The way I see it is that this is good news/bad news.  The good news: PT service isn't gonna get more worse like they said it would.  The bad news: it's gonna stay the same for a while, then it might get worse or stay the same. 

    Btw, please pardon my bad grammar, but "isn't gonna get more worse" seemed to be the best way to describe the situation at hand.

    by fredo on 7/25/2013 @ 8:27pm

     " PT service  isn't returning to near normal at all" tacoma1According to the news tribune, current service levels are down 4%. That sounds close to normal. Certainly not the dire consequences that administrators warned would happen if voters didn't give them their tax increase. Apparently administrators didn't want to let a good 'crisis' go to waste.

    by NineInchNachos on 7/25/2013 @ 9:19pm
    I want my bus service back.  I'm never going to buy a car in Tacoma ever.

    by fredo on 7/26/2013 @ 8:19am

     " I want my bus service back"What bus service did you lose specifically?Also, what if Max asks you someday, "dad, why can't we have a car like everybody else?"

    by tacoma_1 on 7/26/2013 @ 9:27am
    Service has been cut by 30-35% since pre recession. I used to have service till 8pm weekdays.  Now it ends at 5.  A bus to work does little good if I can't get home after. I no longer have service on Sundays.and Saturday service is only one way,, meaning to get to DT T town from old town, I have to go via proctor. I can walk backwards and beat the bus. 

    by NineInchNachos on 7/26/2013 @ 10:46am
    if i had a dollar for everytime i've been stranded in Downtown Tacoma after coming home from SEATAC...
    "Oh yeah, I forgot our transit system BLOWS!!!"

     a pox on your houses !

    by fredo on 7/26/2013 @ 12:23pm

    You complainers need to learn how to read a bus schedule or arrange your personal life a little more carefully. If you are only paying two bucks for atwelve dollar trip I don't think it's too much to expect some waiting around at bus stops. That's called a tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, then call a cab. For twelvedollars they'll take you home pronto. Tacoma1, that 30-35% figure you're citing represents the reduction in the basic service area which was overimagined and had buses driving way out into the country.The 4% I mentioned is the reduction in basic service to Tacoma. If you lost service because you live in the sticks well that's just too bad. Next time don't buy a housein Bumf#$k with the expectation of city type services.

    by tacoma_1 on 7/26/2013 @ 12:59pm

    I live in Old Town, about 2 miles from downtown.  Certainly within the city limits, and not in Bumf#$k.  When I moved here, I had reliable bus service 7 days a week.  Now I have bus service that essentially only runs one way.  I've made adjustments personally, but it is a hardship for many of our citizens that are elderly, disabled, or on a fixed income. 

    by fredo on 7/26/2013 @ 1:16pm

    The paper said 4% reduction in service tacoma1, so you should call Pierce Transit and discuss your concerns.  Maybe if they hadn't spent so much on administrators, fancy administration buildings,and lavish union wages and benefits perhaps PT could afford more plentiful service levels as you desire.  Think of it this way: When you are standing there forever waiting for the next bus you canrevel in the fact that all those PT employees are earning middle class + wages. Now doesn't that make things better?

    by tacoma_1 on 7/26/2013 @ 1:27pm

      It's not a 4% reduction in service. Service levels are down over 30%. The TNT, as are you, is misrepresenting the extent of the bus service reductions that have occurred over that last couple of years.   

    by fredo on 7/26/2013 @ 1:45pm

     " Now, Pierce Transit wants to keep operations at the current, slightly reduced level of 399,000 service hours. (Operations were reduced from 417,000 to 399,000 hours in June, a cut of 4 percent, because of attrition among bus drivers.) Tacoma News Tribune 7/25/13Since the system is almost entirely SALES TAX dependent and gets virtually nothing at the farebox then the service level is mostly dependent on the health of the retail sector. If people don't spend then service levels have to be adjusted. Try being practical instead of obtuse.
    Read more here:

    by tacoma_1 on 7/26/2013 @ 2:05pm
    Service hours were at 600,860 in 2008.  Now they are at 399,000.  That is a 33% unobtuse reduction in service.

    by fredo on 7/26/2013 @ 2:44pm

    There was a major reduction in the service area during the last 5 years. You're comparing apples to oranges.  There was no 33% reduction in service here in Tacoma and you know it. In the big scheme ofthings the inconveniences you're always complaining about are really just trivialities.

    by NineInchNachos on 7/30/2013 @ 10:58am