Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A letter from Port Authority CEO Stephen G. Bland

This morning, many riders may have received flyers detailing changes to their bus routes. These flyers were not authorized by Port Authority of Allegheny County, and we believe they were created and distributed by a handful of disgruntled drivers.

Unfortunately, these flyers contained errors and misinformation regarding proposed changes to Port Authority routes under the Transit Development Plan. This likely caused concern among riders who received a flyer.

Changes to routes were presented falsely and a full explanation of improvements and alternatives was not offered. And contrary to information contained within the flyers, the Port Authority won’t be implementing any changes to service until at least Spring 2010.

Port Authority plans to reach out directly to those communities affected by the misinformation, and we apologize for any confusion that might have been created.

Moreover, we encourage all riders and community members to visit the Port Authority’s Transit Development Plan Web site at for accurate and detailed information regarding proposed changes to the system – changes that will overall result in faster, more efficient transit and better choices for the vast majority of riders.

We are always happy to answer specific questions about proposed changes and we are committed to helping individual riders identify the most convenient routes to meet their needs. Port Authority is ready to listen and assist at (412) 442-2000 or (412) 231-7007 for TTY service.

Thank you for your continued support.

Stephen G. Bland
Chief Executive Officer
Port Authority of Allegheny County


  1. Can someone please tell me how they expect to get the massive amount of people in and out of downtown on the 33X busway during the rush hours if a bus comes every ten minutes? I have ridden that bus at all different times from 7:00 to 8:15 and believe me every single one of them is packed and they come every 3 to 5 minutes..On the way out of town many times the last couple stops are passed by because the bus is so full...How do you intend to fix this problem by cutting down service??

  2. My comment is in regards to the AVN route that is being cut. The AVN is an express bus from Natrona Heights to Pittsburgh and back. The AVN is being replaced with the AV Flyer which will now run every 20 minutes, but will make stops in Brackenridge, Tarentum, Springdale and RIDC Park. The AVN avoids alot of those stops and gets you to Pittsburgh in an hour and the AV Flyer (because of the numerous stops) will take an hour and twenty minutes to get you there. Instead of increasing the number of times the new AV Flyer buses run to every 20 minutes, why don't you keep a true express bus for the commuters that live far north of Pittsburgh and reduce the number of runs that go the long way through Springdale and RIDC park? You're passing the fare increases along to those of us that live outside of the city, yet you're cutting OUR service? It doesn't get any more unfair than that.

  3. The hole thing here is steve bland is still trying to bust the union he couldnt do it with the contract so now he will cut all the runs in half so they can just lay people off due to low ridership steve dont care he makes over 100,000 year he dont need transit he will leave pittsburgh and go somewere else and do it all over again

  4. Here's a great idea....Let's make Zone 2 fares higher, AND cut the alternate roots that are a lifeline to some outlying Allegheny County communities!

    Also, congratulations to South Heights, Crescent Twp., and Glenwillard residents on your new 5 mile walk to the nearest (and now higher rate) bus stop! You don't need that CO/21A bus, we'll just reroute it over to Sewickley, because they obviously need two bus lines before you need half of one.

  5. One flyer claims 71A service frequency on Negley will be cut. It seems to be right about that. The Draft Recommendations claim the 71A currently runs every 15 minutes midday, and the new R5 would maintain that. But really, the 71A runs every 10 minutes midday, so the proposal appears to substantially cut 71A service on Negley, just as the flyers claim. The Weekends Breakdown document also portrays current service levels incorrectly. It claims current 71A Saturday service runs every 28 minutes (decreasing to 30 under the new plan). But it's really every 23 minutes now, through most of the day. It claims Sunday 71A is currently 37 (cut to 45) but it's really 30 now (a bit less in the evening).

    The flyer also claims 77F service will be cut. The Draft Recommendations claim the 77F currently runs every 55-135 minutes midday, but actually, the largest gap between trips is 80 minutes, not 135. Still, the proposed new service would provide trips every 60 minutes midday, an improvement. In the morning, the 77F runs every 20-30 minutes. The Draft Recommendations claim it runs every 13-80 minutes (it's not nearly that irregular), and propose service every 20 minutes, another improvement.

    So the flyer the Post-Gazette posted seems to be right about the 71A, wrong about the 77F.

    I'd like to see Port Authority respond to the specific points in any flyers, one by one, pointing out those that are inaccurate, and admitting to any accurate points. Misinformation, both in these flyers and in Port Authority documents, distracts from the actual good and bad points in these service changes.

  6. Here's an interesting question - Why is Port Authority of ALLEGHENY COUNTY cutting service to not only Boyce COUNTY Park, but also Community College of ALLEGHENY COUNTY Boyce Campus?

    I'm a student at Boyce Campus (until at least December 2010), and I don't drive. There are about 20 people who take the 77B from Penn Hills to Boyce every morning, and not just on one or two of the trips. Unlike students at Pitt (who get free bus service with their student ID), CCAC students receive only a $5 discount on monthly passes.

    WE ARE PAYING CUSTOMERS, and they want to cut our service at a point much too far to even bicycle from?

  7. If the Port Authority of Allegheny County does not, and can not, service all of Allegheny County; then: 1. Change your name 2. Stop taking money from the County Budget 3. Let another company provide transportation services

  8. You may as well change your name to the Port Authority of Pittsburgh, since you will only cater to residents within the city limits.

    You guys are stranding us suburbanites on the weekends and have limited access to the city and its weekend activities, you have no consideration for your riders.

  9. I was one of those handed a brochure yesterday, showing me what no one else could be bothered making an effort to show me, which DOES directly affect my daily life. The driver handing out the brochures showed more human caring and compassion for those who must rely on Port Authority 'services' than ANYONE in the local media, government, or the management of the Port Authority itself. I currently live in one of those neighborhoods that people who NEVER actually RIDE a bus are planning to reduce and eliminate routes and service. As it stands NOW, the transportation in my neighborhood only permits me to get to work, and home from work at my REGULAR hours, weekdays, 9-5. There is NO reliable getting in or out after 7 pm on a weekday evening, and on the weekends, I am basically trapped in my neighborhood unless I plan to take two or three buses to get anywhere within what IS a very small city. The subversive changes being made, with NO consultation of the people who actually RIDE this route, will give me NO options for getting out of my house on a weekend, and who KNOWS where it will leave me during working hours. I would like to see Dan Onorato, and all of the other people making these decision that affect MY life, get out for one month and rely on the public transit system they are systematically destroying to get to and from ANYWHERE. Not just to 'work'. But to EVERYTHING they need to do! I can guarantee you it will be nearly impossible from their safe havens out in the burbs. It is NOT easy for those of us who live even SLIGHTLY off the beaten path IN the city. I would like to SEE the local media, instead of pandering to the corporate spin doctors who rushed to cover their asses after someone told the 'truth' yesterday, actually get out and talk to 'WE THE PEOPLE' of this city who are the ones actually AFFECTED by and dependent upon this transit system. Put your reporters and a camera on the bus! Talk to people. MAKE a difference! Our rates keep going up, and our service keeps going down. The taxes keep going UP supposedly to pay for the extra costs, and the service is reduced anyway...amazing how those taxes never disappear along with the service they're supposedly paying for. The transit company, that supposedly has 'no money' sure spends a LOT on unnecessary extra those big funky 'artsy' paint jobs on the buses. Where does THAT cash come from? I currently spend close to $900 for an annual pass...and that is scheduled to go UP! Maybe I SHOULD just join the suburbanite mindless, buy a car, screw up the environment, and stop trying to live like people do in a REAL city, and forget trying to live a somewhat progressive life by trying to be 'green'. I'm sure no one in local government would care if I ended up living in a cardboard box because I could no longer afford to rent a home while paying all of the excess for a 'car'. Our transit system SHOULD be run by TRANSIT RIDERS. Not corporate executives who have NO experience with the service itself. And our local media should make an EFFORT to INVESTIGATE and EXPOSE...instead of pandering to those with the money. because in doing so, the media is doing NOTHING for the local community...except selling our souls to advertising dollars.

  10. With regards to service to CCAC Boyce...This is one area of the plan that we are looking at to possibly tweak before final adoption. As changes to the plan are released, we'll post them here.

  11. There is a right to know law, so if the post gazette is where the information on the flyers come from why is it false?

  12. First of all. There is not now, and never will be RAPID TRANSIT in Pittsburgh!

    The East Busway is the closest thing to "RAPID TRANSIT"

    With all the busses that will be added to the busway, it will soon be just "MASS TRANSIT", just like all the rest of the system!

    Every route, and I mean EVERY, that has been reworked for Connect whatever, eliminates stops on EVERY ROUTE!

    How is this improving MASS TRANSIT?

    Now I know that this will improve the BOTTOM LINE, but how does it better serve the public?

  13. Why does your TWITTER have so few updates?

    Is it because you only work Monday thru Friday?

  14. Why does the Port Authority web site still have Special Service Changes for Great Race dates Sept 23?

    The Port Authority can not even update a web page.

    Now how is the public to believe that they can update a entire bus system!

  15. If the 68D Express (choke choke) is being reconfigured, and you are abandoning all those good people that are SENIOR CITIZENS that live at Brinton Towers, that acording to you, must be able to walk 0.6 tenths of a mile to Braddock Hills Shopping Center,how is this better service?


    If it is now a "EXPRESS" how does eliminating Brinton Towers, Brinton Manor(which the 68D does not service anyway choke choke) and the BH Shopping center, saving about 7 minutes on a inbound, magically make the 68 whatever a RAPID BUS?

  16. At least they are letting people make comments, anon., no less.

    These cuts are, I believe, partly to pay for the North Shore connection.

    As far as unions, when are people around here going to realize that unions cause problems and loss of jobs?

    Note to PAT employees: go on strike once more. You'll lose your jobs because some people will carpool or buy a crappy car, instead of taking the bus/LRT.

    Steve Lucas,

  17. steelersteve13, not Steelerstreve13.

  18. The cuts considered for the 67A/68A/GC are draconian to say the least in that they stop at the Park&Ride and eliminate everything past the Mall. Your ridership counts are way too low as well.

    I urge you to reconsider.

  19. Your plan to use the Monroeville Mall Park & Ride as the solution to Monroeville's cutbacks is short-sited as best - what happens at Christmas? Do you think that any mall tenant at that end of the mall will support doubling the amount of cars that use the park&ride?

    How can you be so intolerant of the needs of indviduals who choose to live in apartments AND homes along the current GC/68A routes and depend on the service provided?

    The considered changes would do much to reduce ridership even further, negating any savings that you believe that you will gain.

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  21. I wish all these anonymous and disgruntled people (likely a handful of crazies) bitching about changes in service would maybe give a suggestion instead of complaining about everything they can possibly find.

    Is our current service perfect? Obviously not; There's obviously some issues with service, efficiency, financing, etc. It can clearly be made better. How? There are plenty of possibilities: Raise fares? Raise taxes? Cut routes? Allow only transit-oriented development to be built? Make existing neighborhoods more transit-friendly? Cut service to those that are not? Convince Pittsbutgh's lost population to return? Somone is going to loose out in any possible situation. Streamlining services as suggested seems like the best choice.

    Thanks for implementing TDP. It's not perfect of course, but it will hopefully leave us with a better transit system than what we have now.

  22. Your cuts for the Alle-Kiski Valley, as usual, are typical for this part of the county. As usual, this part of the county is forgotten or treated like a step-child. We get the highest rates and the poorest service. Tarentum, Natrona Heights, New Kensington, over hour-long bus rides now getting longer. Week ends, your on your own. Pittsburgh Mills, cut, people living between New Ken and Oakmont, no service at all, completely cut out even though they are in Allegheny County. You brought in outside "experts" to redesign transit for an area they know nothing about. It's clear your only concern is the bottom line. How many driver's will you get to lay off? I can see that the public's input had little to no affect on your plans. By the way, Craig, I'm glad you don't consider yourself one of us "crazies." We should all be compliant and complacent like you.

  23. Again, great suggestions, Mr. Anonymous.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. You do realize, for example, that according to the ridership studies, 1 or 2 people got on between New Ken and Oakmont, right? There are very few boardings (or even residents) on the east side of the Allegheny between these places. There is still service on the west side. Pittsburgh Mills, despite being a low-ridership destination, would still have service. There may not be a substantial number of bus drivers that are laid off, as if I recall correctly, the number of trips will be increased, though the number of routes will decrease.
    I am "compliant", thanks. I just think it is unrealistic to expect that routes that have very poor ridership would be continued exactly as previous. Routes will change. More people will hopefully be better-served than more poorly-served. If there is an area losing service, it is likely due to low demand. Whose fault is this? If you would support (for example) higher taxes to subsidize such routes, please do say so. Seriously, I would have no problem if you said that. But so far very few propositions have been put forth here, it's been mostly silly complaining from people who have obviously not checked the ridership information provided.
    It's only natural to bring in an outside expert to study such things. Even a daily rider of PAT couldn't know so much about the entire system that they could adequately suggest system changes. Seriously. This is how complex things are studied, what do you expect?

  26. Blame the union that represents the bus operators.

    I recall, very clearly, a report in the early Zero's about some operators making $100,000 or more per year.

    Any/all gov't related employess (transit operators included) should be making no more, and perhaps less than, someone in the US Military with similar time, seniority, write ups (a slap on the wrist for doing something wrong) and experience.

  27. What if I work near Summit Park Drive?

    As it is now, on Sat. mornings, I'm going to have to walk from the first stop on the 28x route off of SR 60 to work.

    After these chjanges are implemented, the 28x won't be stopping at Ikea.

    And the 25a will be cut back.

    But I can always ride a bike on the Montour Trail, which is at the bottom of the hill.

    More liberal and union stupidity:

    Demos who want more pay to do less work, and they raise taxes on everything and everyone, making it impossible to do business.

    Thank you, to everyone who voted for Obama and Rendell.

  28. the 26E/28 ROBINSON will be rerouted to go that would know that if you would know..RESEARCH the tdp, and i agree with everything that craig had STOP COMPLANING and offer something other than b***hing if everybody was happy they wouldn be doing there job. the tdp is here to make the system streemlined and rider friendly for the riders that acually ride the bus

  29. im sorry guys for all the grammar errors im in a hurry

  30. I am looking for the correct route information for the proposed 58 Greenfield. The route map published at TDP's /pdfs/ProposedRoutes/56E-58.pdf does not agree with the route description on page 113 at /pdfs/2009DraftRecommendations.pdf
    KStJ, Greenfield

  31. Ok, you want suggestions, maybe some of mine have already come up.

    Anyone going to the Steelers/Pitt games, or a concert at Heinz Field:
    Charge them $10.00 to $50.00 to go to the North Shore.

    Anyone else, employees at Heonz Field, North Side residents or employees of businesses, must have proof as such.

    Don't run the North Shore connection every day, only on football game days. Or concert days.

    Ask the state leg. to freeze transit employees pay, make it state law. Since their pay is dictated by union negotions and not the marketplace, they make too much, or at least more than they would in the marketplace anyway.

    If you have to raise prices to the point where a monthly zone 1 costs $120.00 then do that.

    But don't cut back on bus service.

    Keep in mind, the people who take the bus are working and some are making a lot of $, so they pay a lot in taxes.

    Which pays for PAT.

    So even though some busses are only half or 1/3 full (according to your stats), the tax revenue that pays for PAT offsets that. Maybe.

    I'm not economist, just a really smart person looking at the facts on the surface.

  32. There is already bus service that goes to Heinz Field and PNC park on a daily basis (16D Manchester, proposed 18 Manchester.) They don't need a new shuttle or a connector.

  33. "They don't need a new shuttle or a connector."

    Well, ya got one. It's a little late for opposition. Sorry. Make the best of it, move on.

  34. They run a Heinz field special, only on Sundays.

    And the LRT to the North Shore was unnecassary, unless they plan on running it along the Ohio River, then across the Ohio to the airport.

    But the casino is built, so unless they pack and leave, there isn't any room for the LRT, because construction to extend that will tie up the roads in the area.

  35. i think the north shore connecter is just the start. in the future its gonna be extended along the ohio river valley (RT51/60 corridor) to the airport, so the construction thats going on so far is phase 1 ...kinda