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January 20, 2013 at 10:12am

Pierce Transit cuts will affect students

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Friday, I caught the 400 Bus from Puyallup to Downtown Tacoma to meet with fellow Tacoma School of the Arts students. Besides the school, we share dependence on Pierce Transit. The topic of our roundtable was the defeat of the Prop 1 measure and the resulting outcomes.

"It is going to be a hassle for people trying to get to and from work," says Leah. "I work on the weekends."

The people around her nodded in agreement. A shared concern was the 34 percent reduction in service beginning in Septemeber, including the reduction of weekend Pierce Transit bus service.

"It is also hard for the disabled people who can't drive," Leah continued.

"What about the elderly?" asked another student. "Most just like to take the bus to the supermarket to shop on weekends."

Passengers aren't the only people affected by the defeat of Prop 1. Many Pierce Transit employees will be losing their jobs in September when the budget cuts go into effect. One student said, "If you know you won't have a job why work? I would just quit."

Sadly, that's the plan for many bus drivers.

My friend Emma McCrummen expressed her frustration about her bus being cut. "My route will be cut because of Prop. 1. My only way to downtown is gone. And that is a big issue - especially for SOTA and UWT students who live out of district, like myself. With the times changed and routes cut most students have no way to get to school on time."

As of now frustrated bus riders are complaining and trying to get the word out to find ways to lessen the oncoming blow.

A What's next for Transit? panel discussion will be held at noon Thursday, Jan. 24 inside the UWT Carwein Auditorium about the future of public transportation in Tacoma.

LINK: Hi, I'm Mckenna. I'm a student at the Tacoma School of the Arts. Thanks for following my Daily Trip

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