Port Authority Eliminates Plum-Oakmont Area Bus Routes
The Port Authority approved a plan that would eliminate local bus routes if it doesn't receive more funding from the state.
If the Port Authority Transit of Allegheny County doesn't receive more funding, services in the Plum-Oakmont area will be eliminated completely by the time September rolls around.
Port Authority’s Board of Directors voted Friday to authorize a fare increase and 35-percent service reduction scheduled to go into effect later this year. Port Authority is legally obligated to balance its budget, and these actions are prompted by a $64 million deficit projected for the Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget, according to a press release.
The plan is calling for the elimination of the 78 Oakmont route; and the P78 Oakmont Flyer and the P12 Holiday Park Flyer, express routes in Oakmont and Plum, respectively. The P16 Penn Hills Flyer (which services parts of Plum and Oakmont) and the P67 Monroeville Flyer also would be cut.
The vote, which authorizes Port Authority staff to begin preparing for changes, is reversable. Preparation includes writing new schedules, preparing for staffing reductions and a garage closure, and other actions.
While staff must prepare for the worst, the service reductions may be scaled back or rescinded entirely if Port Authority’s finances improve.
“I want to direct staff to also plan for the best outcome,” said Guy Mattola, the Board’s vice-chairman, in a release. “Make sure we are prepared to sustain current service levels so that the Board could later convene on short notice to reverse these cuts if an adequate funding solution is found.”
According to WTAE, the Port Authority said 100 neighborhoods won't have any bus services at all under the new plan—this will include Plum, Oakmont and Verona.
If nothing changes, the fare increase would go into effect on July 1 and the service reduction would go into effect September 2. Under the service reduction proposal, about 46 routes would be eliminated with service scaled back on all remaining routes. The ACCESS paratransit program would for the first time see deep cuts that would restrict transit options for persons with disabilities.
For a list of the routes that will see service reductions or will be cut completely, see the PDF attached to this article.
Details on fare and service proposals are available at www.portauthority.org or by calling Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or the TTY number at 412-231-7007.
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