The Gig Harbor City Council voted 6-0 Monday night to provide $10,000 from the city’s nondepartmental budget as part of a community partnership that will bring two Pierce Transit trolleys to Gig Harbor for the summer months. Council member Tim Payne was not in attendance.
This trial project — in partnership with Uptown businesses, the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Waterfront Alliance — would, if successful, see trolleys adding to Pierce Transit’s operating fund next year, thereby precluding any need for monetary support from the Gig Harbor community.
The estimated cost to operate the program this summer is $257,257. If each community partner, including Gig Harbor, pitches in with cash and in kind help with marketing and advertising, the fare box recovery rate would be 16 percent — or a total of $41,161.
The farebox recovery ratio — also called fare recovery ratio — of a passenger transportation system is the fraction of operating expenses which are met by the fares paid by passengers. It is computed by dividing the system’s total fare revenue by its total operating expenses.
As of Monday evening, Uptown businesses have already committed to a $10,000 donation, the Downtown Waterfront Alliance has stated it will give as much in kind work as possible and the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors was expected to make a commitment.
“We have an opportunity as a city to make a contribution to this,” said Council member Derek Young, who also sits on the Pierce Transit Board of Directors, who spoke of a tentative 25-cent fare.
It’s part of cash-strapped Pierce Transit’s strategy of looking into innovative ways to support outlying communities, Young said, via “non traditional, big-bus, fixed route lines.”
The “Get Around Gig Harbor!” program will connect the historic downtown waterfront district to the Uptown shopping district.
Beginning July 9, trolley service will offer trips every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with extended service to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
This trial project will conclude on Sept. 28.
This project will not reduce existing service on Pierce Transit’s Routes 100 and 102, which currently serve Gig Harbor.
Reporter Brett Davis can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @gateway_brett.