Port Authority to Hold Public Hearing Wednesday Regarding Proposed Cuts
If enacted, a Port Authority of Allegheny County proposal to address a $64 million budget shortfall would cut routes, service and ACCESS Paratransit to dozens of neighborhoods—including Plum, Oakmont and Verona. What do you think of this plan?
By its own admission, the Port Authority of Allegheny County is proposing "devastating" service cuts, layoffs and fare increases that, if enacted, would affect residents of nearly every community in the county.
The agency plans to hold a daylong public hearing Wednesday to seek public comment on its proposal, which follows a 15 percent service cut nearly a year ago.
The proposal includes the elimination of 46 of its 102 of existing bus routes and sharply reduce service on others in September. The P78 Oakmont Flyer and the P12 Holiday Park Flyer—express routes in Oakmont and Plum, respectively—are among those that would be cut. The P16 Penn Hills Flyer (which services parts of Plum and Oakmont) and the P67 Monroeville Flyer also would be cut.
Holiday Park and Verona would be among the neighborhoods that would lose all form of transit service, and bus service to the Community College of Allegheny County–Boyce Campus in Monroeville will be slashed.
The Park and Ride lot at Holiday Park Volunteer Fire Department in Plum also will be closed if the Holiday Park Flyer is axed.
The proposal also would increase fares on remaining routes between 25 and 50 cents on July 1, eliminate up to 600 jobs and cut out one-third of the territory served by ACCESS paratransit, which provides transportation for people with disabilities.
Port Authority officials say they need to cut costs and raise fares in order to address a potential $64 million budget hole and what they term a "lack of dedicated funding for transportation at the state level."
They plan to take testimony from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Those interested in speaking may claim a few remaining slots in the schedule by calling 412-566-5437, or TTY line 412-231-7007) or by registering at the hearing. Speakers will be limited to three-minute presentations.
Comments also may be submitted to the Port Authority until 4 p.m. March 9 through its website or by mail sent to Port Authority Fare & Service Proposals, Heinz 57 Center, 345 Sixth Avenue, Floor 3, Pittsburgh PA, 15222-2527.
How would these service cuts affect you? How should the Port Authority and state officials resolve once and for all the funding issues that spur repeated service cuts affecting the region's commuters?
What do you think? Tell us in the comments.