The final measures of Pierce Transit’s bus route cuts took effect Oct. 2, worrying many students who take the bus to the Puyallup campus.
It began with the February 2011 election when voters rejected Proposition 1, which would have raised sales tax .3 percent.
Now, 600 bus stops have been closed in an effort to lessen a gap in the budget of $51 million. This leaves students and hundreds of bus riders to scramble and re-organize their schedules according to the new transit guide. However, some have been largely unaffected by the changes.
Running Start student Lindsey House depends on the 402 route for her commute from Bethel High School to the South Hill Mall transit center. Once there, she takes the 410 bus to Pierce College.
“My bus schedule hasn’t been changed very much. I leave a little earlier from school but other than that, it’s alright,” House said.
House’s situation is similar to many Pierce College students who have found their bus schedules to be largely unchanged. This is because the 410 route from the South Hill Mall transit center has undergone very few changes.
The 410 bus is the bus route connecting the South Hill transit center to Pierce College. The Pierce College stop is located right outside the entrance of the Administration building.
The 410 comes every half hour from 7:29 a.m. to 9:51 a.m. At about 10 a.m. the service is reduced to hourly transportation until 1:51 p.m. After 1:51 p.m., the bus resumes its normal route that includes stops every half hour.
As far as the hourly buses are concerned, the times can be troubling for the student who takes a bus that leaves on the hour for classes that begin on the hour. The last bus leaving Pierce, now at 5:59 p.m., also is troubling for students whose 5:30 p.m. classes end at 7:40 p.m.
An ever persistent trouble, as many bus riders know, is that missing a bus or just a late one can have a ripple effect that throws off times throughout the entire schedule of the day. Even a single route change can have a huge impact.
In the aftermath of the budget shortfall, Pierce College students must fine tune their bus schedules again with the adaptable spirit that riding the bus sometimes requires.
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