Friday, December 31, 2010

Schedule Adjustment for Winter Classic Service

Due to weather, the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic has been rescheduled, and Port Authority shuttle service to the game will be adjusted accordingly.

All rides on Port Authority buses, T and the Mon Incline will be free during the Jan. 1 service day (starting at approximately 4 a.m. that morning and ending at approximately 2 a.m. on Jan. 2), compliments of Pepsi MAX. Pepsi MAX will also cover the cost of fares on shuttle service to the game.

Port Authority bus and T service will follow a holiday schedule for New Year’s Day and special Winter Classic shuttle service will serve Heinz Field from park and ride lots around the county:

  • North: 13S trips depart from Ross Park and Ride lot approximately every 15 minutes starting about two hours before the game. Four trips total.
  • West: 28S trips depart from University Boulevard Park and Ride lot in Moon approximately every 15 minutes starting about two hours before the game. The 28S also serves the Bell, Idlewood, Crafton, Ingram and Sheraden stations on the West Busway. Four trips total.
  • South: 51S trips depart from Large Park and Ride lot in Jefferson Hills approximately every 15 minutes starting about two-and-a-half hours before the game. The 51S also serves the Century III Mall Park and Ride lot in West Mifflin as well as stops along the route in West Mifflin and on E. Carson Street in the South Side. Four trips total.
  • East: 68S trips depart from Monroeville Mall Park and Ride lot approximately every 15 minutes starting about two-and-a-half hours before the game. The 68S also serves the Wilkinsburg Park and Ride lot/busway station as well as Homewood, East Liberty, Negley and Herron stations on the East Busway. Four trips total.
Additionally, Port Authority will run the 98D shuttle from the Strip District to Heinz Field (via Penn Avenue, Smallman Street, Liberty Avenue and 6th Street) and the 98F shuttle from First Avenue T Station to Heinz Field (via Grant Street, Sixth Avenue, Liberty Avenue and 6th Street). These routes will depart approximately every 10-15 minutes starting about two-and-a-half hours before the game.

13S, 28S, 51S and 68S return trips begin leaving Heinz Field about 20 minutes after the game’s end; 98D and 98F begin return trips during the 3rd period. The last bus leaves about 45 minutes after the game’s end. All buses board on West General Robinson Street between Art Rooney Avenue and Tony Dorsett Drive (to the east of Heinz Field).

To view a map of the routes, click here. NOTE: Due to the change in game time, the schedule portion of this flyer is no longer accurate.

Port Authority reminds riders that fares will increase effective with the start of service on Jan. 2, 2011. More fare information is available by clicking here.

For more information, visit or call Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or the TTY number, (412) 231-7007 for the speech and hearing impaired. The Customer Service phone line is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pepsi MAX Providing Free Transit Rides on New Year’s Day!

In celebration of New Year’s Day and the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Port Authority riders will enjoy free travel on buses, the T and the Monongahela Incline on January 1, 2011, compliments of Pepsi MAX.

Free rides are valid during the January 1 service day (from 4 a.m. on January 1 through 2 a.m. on January 2).

Port Authority service will follow a holiday schedule on New Year’s Day. Additionally, special bus service will be provided directly to Heinz Field for Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic spectators; Pepsi MAX will also cover the cost of fares on this special service to the game. Click here for a schedule of shuttle bus service to the Winter Classic.

Free Pepsi MAX will also be handed out in the Steel Plaza and Wood Street T stations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

For more information, visit or call Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or the TTY number, 412-231-7007, for the speech- and hearing-impaired.

For more information about Pepsi MAX events and the chance to win free tickets to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, visit

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Toys for Tots Drive This Friday, Dec. 17

In partnership with Q92.9 FM and the US Marine Corps, Port Authority will co-host its annual Toys for Tots drive at the Steel Plaza T Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, Dec. 17.

Join us in bringing holiday cheer to local underprivileged children. Donations of new, unwrapped toys or cash will be collected from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the station's mezzanine level, entrance near the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Grant Street.

Anyone can participate in the toy drive -- you don't have to be a T rider or even a transit rider to help this worthy cause.

Q92.9 FM radio personalities John Cline and Kerri Griffith will broadcast The Q Morning Show live from the station during the event.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Short-Term Port Authority Funding Approved; 35% Service Reduction to be Scaled Back

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) voted last night by a vote of 27-22 to provide Port Authority with $45 million identified by Gov. Ed Rendell to help offset a statewide transportation funding shortfall.

The money allows Port Authority to scale back the approved 35-percent service reduction planned for March that would have been devastating for employers, businesses and riders. We are grateful to those regional officials who supported this effort and recognize the value of public transportation.

This clearly is a short-term Band Aid -- not a long-term solution. In response to concerns by a number of SPC Commissioners over the short-term benefit of these funds, Port Authority has committed to examine "stretching" the $45 million over the next 18 months -- through June 30, 2012.

So what does this mean?:

  • Fares: The January 1, 2011 fare increase approved by the Port Authority Board of Directors will proceed as scheduled.
  • Service: Riders will not face a 35 percent service reduction in March. Instead, service will be reduced by a lesser amount that will be detailed in January. Planners are determining specifics now. This would help the Authority through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2011. Port Authority also could reduce service sometime in its upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2011.
  • Layoffs: It is highly likely that some layoffs would occur under this plan but not at the levels originally feared.
Although this scenario would result in some level of fare increases, service reductions and job eliminations, it is preferable to cutting such a large percentage of our public transportation system and would not unravel the improvements in efficiency and productivity Port Authority has made through the last few years. It is the most responsible option available at this time -- short of resolving the statewide gap in transportation funding.

Port Authority, along with other stakeholders in the Commonwealth’s road, bridge, mass transportation and overall transportation network, continues to seek a meaningful discussion with the new State Administration and Legislature starting in January about long-term transportation funding.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Friday: Benefit Concert for United Way

Pittsburgh-based band Neutral Loss will hold a benefit concert for the United Way of Allegheny County this Friday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at Diesel on the South Side.

Tickets are $7 at the door, and doors open at 6 p.m. Guests must be 21 or over to attend. Neutral Loss CDs will be available for purchase at the show.

Neutral Loss performs a mix of original hard rock songs as well as covers of classic rock and alternative rock hits from artists like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Pearl Jam.

Two of Neutral Loss’s members are Port Authority employees – vocalist/bassist Rick Cerra is a mechanic and maintenance board person at the Harmar bus division, and drummer Jeff DiPerna is assistant business agent in maintenance for ATU Local 85. Jim DiPerna, Jeff’s brother, rounds out the group on guitar.

All of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the United Way of Allegheny County, which serves a coalition of local charities and human service agencies addressing critical issues such as childhood education, youth violence, care for seniors and the disabled, and support for struggling families. For more details, visit

For more information on Neutral Loss, visit  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Statement: Governor's Announcement on Temporary Funding for Port Authority

This morning, Gov. Ed Rendell detailed a proposal to local leaders that would provide $45 million in funding to help sustain public transportation service in Allegheny County. The plan would have to be approved by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), which is a regional planning agency that directs the use of transportation funds in the region.

The $45 million would come from unused economic development funds and not from other transportation projects.

The governor made the announcement during a press conference this morning in Downtown Pittsburgh, following a briefing with SPC members.

This would be a temporary fix for Port Authority and would not resolve the State's transportation funding crisis. Port Authority is anxious to have serious discussions with State leaders in the new year about a responsible long-term solution for transit and highway funding.

Port Authority will examine the proposal in the coming weeks and determine how it might impact fares and service. The Authority will not take any action until after the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission votes on the matter later this month.

We'll continue to keep you updated as these events unfold through the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Authority to Cut Routes Due to Collapse of State Funding

Port Authority of Allegheny County's Board of Directors today approved the largest service reduction in the transit agency's history to offset the collapse of Pennsylvania's transportation funding mechanism.

About 45 routes will be eliminated in March to help fill the revenue gap created by the state's shortfall in transportation funding. The service reduction will be paired with a fare increase in January and the elimination of more than 500 Authority jobs.

"Eliminating 35 percent of our bus and T service hours will have a devastating impact on the Pittsburgh region," said Port Authority CEO Steve Bland. "This disastrous action is due to the collapse of Pennsylvania's Act 44, which initiated a statewide transportation funding crisis.

"While we continue to seek potential solutions with our state leaders, we now fear the worst and have to assume that they will not act in time to address this issue."

In addition to the wholesale eliminations, many more routes will lose trips and weekend service in March. A list of affected routes is available by clicking here.

Port Authority receives funding through Pennsylvania's transportation funding law, called Act 44, each year - along with every other public transit system in the state. However, this year, the state is not providing the full amount of money, causing a shortfall in Port Authority's budget.

Act 44 was adopted in 2007 and intended to help improve transportation funding for highway work, bridge repairs and public transportation systems.

At the time, Gov. Ed Rendell called on transit providers, like Port Authority, to find ways to cut costs and set a statewide savings goal of $60 million. Port Authority alone has cut $52 million in annual expenses in that time and generated $14 million in new revenue.

Including the upcoming job eliminations, the Authority will have eliminated more than 1,000 positions in that period.

Riders can obtain more information about the upcoming service reductions and fare increase at or by calling Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or the TTY number, 412-231-7007.

Read remarks made at today's meeting from:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Taking the 28X? Read this.

Riders taking the 28X Airport Flyer this holiday season should be aware of several significant changes made to the route since last winter.

The 28X is now running regular route outbound in Downtown Pittsburgh, picking up at Seventh Avenue at Smithfield Street and along Liberty Avenue at Tito Way, Fifth Avenue and near the former Hilton Hotel. Earlier outbound detours associated with North Shore Connector construction have been lifted. The only 28X stop that remains temporarily out of service is the inbound stop at Liberty at Gateway #4.

As part of Transit Development Plan changes enacted earlier this year, the 28X no longer stops at Robinson Towne Center, providing a quicker trip to the airport. For service to Robinson Towne Center, riders should take the G1 West Busway-Robinson from Downtown. All outbound stops from Oakland to the airport are pickup-only, including stops in Downtown and along West Carson Street and the West Busway. Inbound stops along the West Busway are both pickup and discharge.

Additionally, minor adjustments were made to the 28X schedule this past Sunday, November 21, and most departure times have changed. Please be sure to refer to the new schedule when planning your trip, or use our Trip Planner.

One-way cash fare from Oakland/Downtown to the airport is $2.75. Fares are paid when boarding at all times on this route.

While riding the 28X please keep your belongings on your lap or under your seat if possible to ensure that the aisles remain clear and that other riders may take a seat.

Thanks, and have safe travels and a great holiday season.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Board to Vote on Service Reductions, Fare Increase Nov. 24

A Port Authority committee today recommended approval of a proposal to reduce transit service across Allegheny County by 35 percent starting in March. The proposal is intended to help counter a budget shortfall created by a statewide transportation funding crisis.

The Authority's Planning and Development Committee recommended the Board of Directors approve the proposal when it meets on Nov. 24. Approving the measure would trigger a fare increase on Jan. 1, a 35-percent service reduction in March and the elimination of more than 500 Authority jobs.

The action would be the largest reduction in transit service in the Authority's history. The impact will be devastating for riders, employers, local businesses and commuters.

Fares would increase by 25 cents in Zone 1 and 50 cents in Zone 2. More details are available online by clicking here.

Virtually every route in Port Authority's system would be touched by the reduction, including the elimination of dozens of routes. Other routes would lose weekend service while some would not operate as frequently. A list of affected routes is available by clicking here. Details of the route changes will be made available online by January.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Routes: One Rider's Experience

Over on his blog, Pittsburgh Transit Guide, rider and Allegheny County Transit Council member Michael Sypolt is recounting his experiences trying some of Port Authority's new or changed routes:  

"Hill District-Southside Service: The newly implemented 81 Oak Hill and 83 Webster are an improvement over the four routes that they replace (81A, 81C, 84A, and 84C). In addition, the routes are interlined downtown (meaning they change routes downtown). For example, an inbound 83 usually changes over to an outbound 81 and vice versa. If riding from Webster Avenue to Bentley Drive, changing buses is not required, however, you will have to show your pass or buy a transfer if the trip passes through downtown before 7pm. I have the experience of riding these routes from South Side to Oakland and is a good, quick alternative to the 54C if the 81 or 83 arrive sooner. This extension is a result of responding to a community need for the route to continue to serve a full service grocery store (i.e. Wharton Square Giant Eagle) since there is not one in the Hill District.

Oakland-Lawrenceville Service: I had tried out the 93 Lawrenceville-Oakland as an attempt to avoid having to stand with a large box. I was headed home during the peak of rush hour which would have required either a 71A or 500. When a 500 showed up at 5:12pm with no room, I crossed the street to take the 93 to transfer to an 87 to go home (Highland Park). While I was able to sit down, I was surprised at seeing almost 20 people on the bus! This was for good reason, it only took me about 10 to 12 minutes to get from Oakland to Shur-Save during the height of rush hour. Although the schedule states that is should only take 9 minutes, the actual time of 10-12 minutes is much better than 20 minutes on the 54C (according to its schedule)! While I would have liked to see the rest of the route, I had a large package to take home, so I transferred to the 87 at Howley and Gangwish after a 15 minute wait. While this trip was crowded (due to being late), I quickly got a seat within 5 minutes. I was in Highland Park by 5:55pm. Took slightly longer than if I got on the 500, but not by much, especially since it could have run slowly due to being overcrowded."

Read more at Michael's blog.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reminder: Public Hearing Tomorrow on Revised Fare Proposal

Tomorrow, Nov. 3, Port Authority will hold a supplemental public hearing due to an adjustment in its fare proposal.

Last month, Port Authority announced a revised fare proposal, which includes the elimination of proposed premium fares on some routes and the increase of overall Zone 2 fares. For full details on the revised fare proposal, click here (link opens PDF file).

A public comment on the proposal is ongoing, and individuals may comment online and via postal mail as well as at tomorrow's hearing, which will take place from 9am-11am in Port Authority's fifth floor Board Room, 345 Sixth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. Click here for more hearing details.

The public comment period will end at 4 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meetings This Week: South Pittsburgh's Transit Revitalization Investment District Study

This week, the City of Pittsburgh will begin its South Metro Area Revitalization through Transit (SMART) Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) planning study.

Pittsburgh's Department of City Planning, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the office of Rep. Chelsa Wagner are among the lead organizations in this initiative.

Two public meetings on the subject will be held this week:
  • Tuesday, October 26, from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Warrington Recreation Center in Allentown (accessible via the 44, 48 or 54C bus routes - note that Brown Line also serves the area, with that service ending shortly after 6 pm)
  • Wednesday, October 27, from 6pm to 8 pm at St. Catherine’s McCann Hall in Beechview (on the T's Red Line).

Members of the community are encouraged to attend the meetings to share their views on development near transit stations and infrastructure in South Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Service Adjustments for Nov. 21, 2010

Starting Sunday, November 21, 2010, schedules for 46 Port Authority routes will be adjusted.

Port Authority adjusts schedules four times during the year to improve service, and many of November's adjustments will be made in response to rider feedback.

No new routes will be renamed/rerouted for the Transit Development Plan in November.

For a list of routes that will be adjusted in November, click here. Please note that schedules with full details are not presently available -- look for them online and at schedule racks in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Penn Station Reopens This Weekend

Port Authority plans to reopen the closed portion of the Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway between Grant and 26th Streets this Saturday, Oct. 16.

The section has been closed to bus traffic since July due to the ongoing reconstruction of the busway, causing a bus detour onto Liberty Avenue.The closing is scheduled to end Saturday morning, weather permitting.

At that time, buses no longer will be detoured onto Liberty Avenue, temporary bus stops along Liberty Avenue will be removed and riders may resume use of Penn Station.

Even after the busway reopens, construction activity will continue in this area and other sections through the remainder of the year.

For more details on East Busway service, visit or call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 (TTY 412-231-7007).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fare Proposal Revised, Supplemental Public Hearing & Comment Period Announced

Port Authority of Allegheny County has scheduled a supplemental public comment period and two-hour hearing due to an adjustment in its fare proposal.

The change involves eliminating the proposed premium fares on some routes and instead increasing the overall Zone 2 fare.

These changes relate to Port Authority's broader proposal to counter a statewide transportation funding shortfall. Port Authority faces a $47.1 million shortfall in its fiscal budget. The Authority's Board proposes a drastic 35% reduction in service and fare increases to help offset the shortfall.

The Authority's Board plans to vote on the fare and service proposal in November. Under the proposal:

  • Fares: Zone 1 fares would increase by 25 cents to $2.25; Zone 2 fares would increase by 50 cents to $3.25. No premium fares would be charged at this time. Fares would increase on Jan. 1, 2011. To view the full revised fare proposal, click here.
  • Service: Authority bus and T service would be reduced by 35 percent, resulting in loss of some routes, loss of trip frequency and elimination of bus service to some communities. These changes would be enacted in March.

The supplemental public comment period will run from Oct. 13 through 4 p.m. on Nov. 12. Comments will be accepted by mail or online at

A public hearing only on the fare change will be held on Nov. 3 from 9-11 a.m. in the Authority's Board Room.

For more information, call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 (TTY 412-231-7007) or
click here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Port Authority Postpones Service Cut Vote; Move Gives State Leaders More Time to Resolve Transportation Funding Shortfall

Port Authority of Allegheny County's Board of Directors today postponed a vote on reducing service until November to give state leaders more time to resolve the transportation funding crisis.

The Board now will consider a proposal to reduce service by 35 percent and increase fares during its Nov. 24 meeting. As a result, fares still would increase in January but any changes in service would not occur until March.

"Legislators in both Houses and on both sides of the aisle have said that the statewide transportation funding crisis is very real, is very serious and must be solved in a comprehensive manner," said Port Authority CEO Steve Bland. "They’ve also been very clear that the likelihood of doing so before the election is all but non-existent."

The Authority's proposal involved a combination of actions intended to help counter the statewide shortfall. The shortfall is felt by transit agencies, PennDOT and other entities responsible for road and bridge work. The state's funding gap largely is due to the federal government's decision not to approve tolling of Interstate 80.

The proposal includes reducing transit service by 35 percent, a fare increase and hundreds of layoffs.

  • Fares: Initially proposed to increase by a quarter in Zones 1 and 2 on Jan. 1. This timeframe does not change under the Board's decision.
  • Service: Proposed to be reduced by 35 percent across Allegheny on Jan. 9 - this now would not occur until March.

For more information, visit or call Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or for TTY, (412) 231-7007.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Show of Strength for ALS

This past weekend, nearly 60 Port Authority employees flexed their muscles and showed off their strength for a great cause – the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

On Saturday, September 18, the second annual Bench Press for ALS fundraiser was held at the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies in East Liberty.

The event was founded last year by East Liberty Division bus drivers Harry Griggs and Noel Sheldon. The two friends and colleagues had long wanted to do something that would bring employees in Port Authority's divisions together. Both weightlifting enthusiasts, Harry and Noel decided a bench press event would be a great idea. When their division established a community outreach program last year, they knew the time was right to create the event and help out a worthy cause in the process.

Their connection to ALS came from Noel’s close friend Eric Zydel, president of the Board of Directors for the ALS Association’s Western Pennsylvania chapter. Eric’s wife, Mary Lou, passed away from the disease, in which motor neurons progressively deteriorate, causing a loss of voluntary muscle control.

There's currently no cure for ALS, but the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those dealing with the disease by providing care and equipment for local ALS patients, including nursing services, wheelchairs and speech generating devices.

All told, employees at Saturday's bench press event – bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance workers and more – raised more than $5,500 for the Association.

Check out Bench Press for ALS in the news:

For more information on ALS and how you can help, visit the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania's homepage.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Monday: Bus Rapid Transit Forum

A new on-street bus rapid transit service is under consideration in Allegheny County to offer faster, more reliable and easier-to-understand transit service.

On Monday, stakeholders from throughout the community will gather for a Bus Rapid Transit Forum at Duquesne University’s Power Center Ballroom from 8 am to 4 pm. This forum will focus on Pittsburgh’s Downtown, Oakland and East End areas and how Bus Rapid Transit service could improve transportation and serve as a catalyst for community revitalization.

The forum will feature:

  • Discussion from planning, development, and transportation professionals
  • Bus Rapid Transit insights from other cities including: Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Cleveland
  • An appearance by Secretary Allen Biehler, PennDOT
  • Breakout sessions to facilitate discussion of benefits, challenges and community development issues

This forum is open to the public and free to attend. To register, send contact information to

Forum participants include:

  • Allegheny Conference on Community Development
  • Allegheny County Department of Economic Development
  • Allegheny County Transit Council
  • Allegheny County Transportation Action Partnership
  • Bike Pittsburgh
  • City of Pittsburgh - Department of City Planning
  • Hill House Development Corporation
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties - Pittsburgh Chapter
  • National Bus Rapid Transit Institute
  • Oakland Planning & Development Corp.
  • Oakland Transportation Management Association
  • Oakland Task Force
  • Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
  • Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
  • Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development
  • Port Authority of Allegheny County
  • Remaking Cities Institute
  • Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
  • Sustainable Pittsburgh
  • Traffic21
  • UPMC
  • Uptown Partners
  • Urban Land Institute - Pittsburgh Chapter

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"We're frustrated too" -- Steve Bland's Remarks to Open Today's Public Hearing

Port Authority is holding an all day (8 am - 8 pm) public hearing today at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center regarding a proposal to cut service and eliminate fares. This proposal is needed due to the statewide transportation funding crisis, which largely was caused by the Federal decision to not allow tolling on Interstate 80. This has caused shortfalls in transportation budgets ranging from Port Authority to PennDOT.

Below are the opening remarks of CEO Steve Bland.

Good morning

My name is Steve Bland and I am the CEO of Port Authority.

I’d like to thank our riders, community leaders and elected officials who are taking time today to attend this hearing.

This is a difficult situation, and one that the management and Board of the Port Authority do not look forward to. You might ask how a Federal decision not to charge tolls on Interstate 80 causes bus and T riders in Pittsburgh to lose service. The answer is complicated and frustrating – it’s frustrating to riders, and we’re frustrated too.

Port Authority continues to support the many State lawmakers who have pushed to provide a reliable stream of transportation dollars – a stream that would dedicate money for highway work, maintaining bridges and providing public transportation.

The law adopted in 2007 to achieve these goals, called Act 44, was cut short, however, when the Federal government turned down a key element – the tolling of Interstate 80.

As a result, transportation providers across the state now face shortfalls. This includes transit systems like the Port Authority and SEPTA, in Philadelphia. It also includes Penn DOT for their crucial highway and bridge programs.

In fact, in the plan approved by the State Transportation Commission just last week, PennDOT projects a 24% reduction in available funding over the next four years, compared to the most recent four years. This means more structurally deficient bridges will join the ranks, and more miles of roadways will not be improved.

So, now, with no immediate solution in sight, we have no choice but to plug our shortfall by cutting service and increasing fares, although all aspects of our budget will be reduced.

The hearings we hold today are legally required by the Federal Government for any fare increase or significant service reduction. However, we’re also here today to have our riders and other community members make their voices heard - to document the tremendous and hurtful impact this will have on our region if it must come to pass.

We know riders will suffer. We know employers will suffer. And, we know businesses, schools and all types of community institutions will suffer.

Port Authority is an integral part of this region.
It is our desire, as a public agency, to continue making improvements that will establish reliable public transportation services for many years to come.

We’ve made many of these difficult changes in the last few years, cutting costs by more than $50 million and increasing operating revenue by more than $10 million.

We continue to revamp our routes – for the first time in our history – transforming an outdated system that followed old trolley lines into one that better serves the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County of today, and in a much more efficient manner.

These changes will better serve our changing communities, support economic growth and satisfy a statewide call for Port Authority to become a more efficient transit system.

The route changes we’ve been making every few months will set the stage for future improvements, such as RapidBus service and smart cards.

This is the vision for Port Authority that’s within reach. The cuts proposed for January certainly would significantly damage, perhaps permanently, our ability to continue improving the system.

That’s why we have to make sure leaders statewide understand how critical public transportation is to this region.

So, today, I encourage you to make your voice heard and to tell your story of how these cuts would impact your life.

Thank you for attending. And, thank you for speaking out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reminder: Public Hearing This Thursday, Aug. 19

Port Authority of Allegheny County will hold a public hearing on proposed fare and service actions this Thursday, August 19 from 8 am to 8 pm at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The proposed changes are intended to balance the Authority’s FY2011 budget, which was adopted in June with a $47.1 million revenue shortfall. Port Authority is one of many transit agencies throughout Pennsylvania facing a funding crisis due to the federal government’s decision not to approve tolling on Interstate 80.

The fare changes would increase base fares across the board and introduce premium pricing for light rail service and 13 express bus routes. Service hours would be reduced by 35 percent, cutting the number of routes from 129 to 85. About 90 neighborhoods throughout Port Authority’s coverage area would be left without any public transit service or see significant service loss.
For more details on the proposed changes, click here.

Fare changes are scheduled to be implemented on Saturday, January 1, 2011. Service changes are scheduled for Sunday, January 9, 2011. The proposals could be discontinued or rescinded if the funding crisis is resolved.

Individuals wishing to testify at the hearing are encouraged to pre-register by calling 412-566-5437 (TTY 412-231-7007) from 9 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays. Oral testimony will be limited to three minutes per speaker. Those who have not pre-registered may register at the hearing and will be called on as time slots become available. Port Authority will provide a sign language interpreter at the hearing as well as Braille copies of informational documents.

A public comment period is ongoing, and
comments may also be submitted online by clicking here or by mail at Port Authority Fare & Service Proposals, Heinz 57 Center, 345 Sixth Avenue, Floor 3, Pittsburgh PA, 15222. The comment period began July 28 and the deadline for comments is Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 4 pm.

For more information, including details on transportation to the hearing, call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 (TTY 412-231-7007) or visit To request printed information only, call 412-566-5543.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hybrids Meet Hip-Hop: Free Concert on Monday, August 9

Local hip-hop group Formula412 will hold a free live concert this Monday, August 9 at the Cabaret Theater at Theater Square, Downtown Pittsburgh, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Before the live performance, Formula412 will debut a Public Service Announcement (PSA) filmed on one of Port Authority's 28 hybrid buses. The PSA incorporates Formula412's new song "Gotsta Give," which features eco-conscious lyrics.

The concert is free and open to the public, and is part of The Sprout Fund's Spring Program Biodiversity Symposium, a gathering of community leaders, environmental experts and engaged citizens

For more information visit Formula412's website at or

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tunnel to Somewhere

A report issued yesterday by two U.S. Senators in Washington D.C. painted a one-sided and innacurate picture of Port Authority's extension of the T to the North Shore. The report claimed the project is a waste of federal stimulus dollars and described it as a "Tunnel to Nowhere."

Those claims are misguided and not based in factual information.

Read or listen to news reports regarding the report:

The bottom line is the T extension will directly support about 4,000 jobs through its design construction. Creating and sustaining jobs was the primary goal of the federal stimulus program and that's why the North Shore Connector was an ideal candidate.

The jobs include both full-time and part-time employment and occur within various phases of the project, from design through construction. It includes suppliers of materials and equipment, construction, design and engineering.

And, describing the North Shore as "nowhere" simply is not the reality.

When local leaders first proposed extending the T to the North Shore, the area mostly was covered with parking lots. Leaders envisioned developing the area - beyond construction of PNC Park and Heinz Field. They asked Port Authority to oversee construction of the transit project.

Today, that vision is being realized. The list of major destinations that would be served by the T is growing and includes:

  • Del Monte
  • Equitable Resources
  • Carnegie Science Center (700,000 annual visitors)
  • PNC Park (1.75 million annual fans)
  • Heinz Field (500,000 annual fans, excluding concerts)
  • New hotels
  • An amphitheater - under construction
  • Community College of Allegheny County (7,200 students)
  • Rivers Casino
  • Andy Warhol Museum (90,000 annual visitors)
  • Several other entertainment, corporate and retail locations

Monday, August 2, 2010

Public Transportation's Petition to Congress

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has created a petition to tell Congress to invest in public transit.

This petition shares the message that investment in public transit improves the quality of life for all Americans, not just transit riders. Decreased traffic congestion, greater energy independence and a strengthened economy are just a few of the benefits of public transit.

Please click here if you'd like to add your name to APTA's petition and add your voice to call for increased investment in transit.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Others are Saying About the Local Impact of the Statewide Transportation Shortfall

Much is being said about Port Authority's proposal to reduce service by 35 percent and increase fares to counter a statewide transportation funding crisis. Watch and read local accounts and opinions on this challenging situation.

Port Authority: Major Cost-Saving Necessary to Trim Budget
WTAE (Video)

Transit gloom: Riders will bear the brunt of Harrisburg's inaction
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Save our roads: The Legislature must approve funding this summer
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Port Authority’s budget problems mean tough choices
Pittsburgh Business Times

Transportation funding can't wait
The state Legislature must help fill the Port Authority budget gap now
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership - via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gathering transit storm to hit all of Pittsburgh
Allegheny Conference on Community Development - via Pittsburgh Business Times

And even more coverage...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Public Comment Period is Open

The public comment period regarding Port Authority's proposed service reduction and fare increases started today, July 28, and will extend until 4 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Comments will be accepted online during this time on the Port Authority website - click here to open the form. Also, comments may be mailed to Port Authority Fare & Service Proposals, Heinz 57 Center, 345 Sixth Avenue, Floor 3, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527.

A public hearing is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 19 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown.

More details about the comment period, public hearing and the proposals are available on the Funding Crisis page at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Statewide Transportation Funding Crisis Impact: Fare & Service Proposals Announced

Last month, Port Authority adopted its FY2011 budget with a $47.1 million revenue shortfall. The federal government’s decision not to approve tolling on Interstate 80 has removed a cornerstone of the state’s Act 44 transportation funding program. The impact is felt statewide by road, bridge and public transportation systems, including Port Authority.

Port Authority is obligated by law to balance its budget. Unfortunately, as long as the funding crisis is not solved we have no other choice but to consider drastic service reductions in combination with a fare increase to help address the funding gap.

Today the Planning & Development Committee of the Port Authority Board of Directors announced proposed fare and service actions comprising a 35% service reduction and an across-the-board fare increase. The Committee also authorized Authority staff to move forward with a 30-day public comment period, including a public hearing.

The proposed fare changes would increase the base fare for both Zones 1 and 2, the cost of passes and tickets, and introduce premium pricing for light rail service and 13 express bus routes.

Service hours would be reduced by 35 percent, cutting the number of routes from 129 to 85 and forcing the closure of two bus divisions. At least 500 Port Authority jobs would be cut. About ninety neighborhoods throughout our coverage area would be left without any public transit service or see significant service loss.

The public comment period on the proposed fare increases and service reductions will run from Wednesday, July 28 through Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. Individuals and organizations may submit comments via postal mail or the Authority’s website,

A public hearing will be held Thursday, Aug. 19 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. Individuals wishing to testify are encouraged to pre-register by calling 412-566-5437 (TTY 412-231-7007).

After the end of the public comment period, a final set of recommended actions would be voted on by the Board in September. The proposed fare increase would be implemented on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011, and service changes would take effect on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011. The next round of Transit Development Plan route changes scheduled for September will still go into effect on Sept. 5.

Port Authority understands the hardships that will arise as we are forced to raise fares and make severe service cuts, and we wish we could avoid such drastic actions. We are urging a solution for Pennsylvania's transportation funding crisis, and our Board of Directors has sent a letter to Gov. Ed Rendell encouraging the state to resubmit its application for tolling I-80.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pennsylvania Stimulus Oversight Commission to Meet in Pittsburgh, Give Away Transit Pass

One lucky person will win a one-month transit pass in Pittsburgh, just for learning more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The winner will be selected by random drawing in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 22, when the state's Stimulus Oversight Commission holds its first meeting in the city.

The drawing is co-sponsored by Pennsylvania's Stimulus Accountability Office and the Port Authority of Allegheny County. The pass will give the winner one month of unlimited rides on the Port Authority of Allegheny County's transit system, which includes bus and light rail public transit service.

To enter the drawing, go to Entries must be received electronically by 8:59 a.m. on July 22.

There is a limit of one entry per person. All entries must include valid contact information including: name, address, age, phone number, and valid e-mail address. Complete rules are available on the website.

The Stimulus Oversight Commission reviews, monitors and advises on Pennsylvania's spending of Recovery Act funds to assure that they are spent responsibly and effectively. The Commission will hold its regular public meeting this month in Pittsburgh from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 22, in the ballroom of the William Pitt Union building on the University of Pittsburgh's main campus.

For more information, visit

Friday, July 16, 2010

One week left to take the Active Allegheny survey

Allegheny County officials are working to develop a comprehensive active transportation plan called Active Allegheny, which will aim to integrate walking, biking and other active modes of transit into the existing transportation system.

To help develop this plan, they want to hear from you about how you get around...and how you think Allegheny County communities could be more bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly. Better sidewalks? Improved recreational paths? More connections to public transit? You can speak your mind about people-powered transportation by filling out the Active Allegheny survey.

The survey is accessible through next Friday, July 23, so click on over and share your thoughts!

Friday, July 9, 2010

East Busway Work Detours 28 Routes Starting July 12

Port Authority of Allegheny County will close the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway between Penn Station and Grant Street starting Monday, July 12, for approximately two-and-a-half months.

The closure will begin at 9 a.m. Monday so that contractors may begin repaving nearly seven miles of the busway.

Penn Station will be closed during this work and riders who normally use the station’s A, B or C stops will have to use other Downtown stops served by their route. The project will affect 28 Authority bus routes, which will enter and exit the busway via the 26th Street ramp in the Strip District.

Signs will be posted to advise riders of the closure and guide them to appropriate bus stops.

Temporary stops will be established on Liberty at Eleventh, near the Greyhound Station, and on Liberty at the Amtrak Station, but riders are strongly encouraged to use other existing stops. Riders using wheelchairs may wish to use a stop other than Liberty at Amtrak due to limited accessibility.

Click here for full details on detours.

Regional Bus Stop D behind the Amtrak Station will remain open for the seven regional carriers that use the East Busway, with the exception of Westmoreland Transit, which will use the temporary stops in addition to its other Downtown stops.

Later this summer, contractors will repave the rest of original span of the busway in sections, ending at Wilkinsburg Station. More details on future work and detours will be released at a later date.

The rebuilding is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010, and will help prevent wear-and-tear on the approximately 800 buses that use the busway everyday as well as create a much smoother commute for the busway's 25,000 daily riders. Contractors will also conduct barrier and guide rail repair, and make improvements to sidewalks and curb-cuts.

This project will span the length of the original busway, which opened in 1983. The easternmost section between Wilkinsburg and Swissvale stations does not need to be rebuilt, having opened in 2003.

The rebuilding will cost $7.5 million dollars and is included in Port Authority's FY2010 capital budget, which ensures annual maintenance needs are met and the Authority's system is kept in a state of good repair.

For more details on detours,
click here or call Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or for TTY, (412) 231-7007

Thursday, July 8, 2010

South Fayette Park and Ride Opens in September

Beginning Sunday, September 5, Port Authority riders will have a new Park and Ride option in South Fayette Township.

The new South Fayette Park and Ride will be located at the former Star City Cinemas at the intersection of Hickory Grade and Millers Run roads. The lot will offer 125 parking spaces and will be free to use.

The new Park and Ride will be served by the following routes, which will be introduced with the September route changes:

  • 31 Bridgeville (formerly 31D and 31E): This route will operate seven days a week between Downtown Pittsburgh and the Park and Ride via Millers Run Road, then along current 31D routing to Downtown.
  • G31 Bridgeville Flyer (formerly 33D and 33E): This route will operate on weekdays only between Downtown Pittsburgh and the new South Fayette Park and Ride via Millers Run Road and Route 50 to Carothers Avenue, Main Street and Mansfield Avenue to the West Busway.

The new Park and Ride is the result of an agreement between Port Authority and South Fayette Township officials, including township commissioners and Township Manager Mike Hoy.

"The new South Fayette Park and Ride is a prime example of how organizations can work together to benefit the community," said Port Authority CEO Steve Bland. "We are deeply appreciative of their cooperation and commitment to improving public transportation in Allegheny County."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Port Authority Fourth of July Service Details

Pittsburgh, PA -- Port Authority's bus, T and Customer Service outlets will operate on the following schedules through the Fourth of July holiday:

  • Friday, July 2: Bus and T service will run on regular weekday schedules, and Port Authority's Downtown Service Center on Smithfield Street will be open its regular weekday hours, 8 am to 5 pm. The Customer Service phone line will hold its regular weekday hours, 6 am to 7 pm, and the Authority's Twitter feed (@PGHtransit) will be staffed 8 am to 4 pm.

  • Saturday, July 3: Bus and T service will run on regular Saturday schedules. The Downtown Service Center will be closed and the Customer Service phone line will hold Saturday hours, 8 am to 4:30 pm. The Authority's Twitter feed will not be staffed.

  • Sunday, July 4: Bus and T service will run on holiday schedules. The Downtown Service Center will be closed and the Customer Service phone line will hold holiday hours, 8 am to 4:30 pm. Additionally, the T will run with two-car trains throughout the day and Port Authority will help relieve Mon Incline traffic following the fireworks display Downtown by operating a bus shuttle between the incline’s stations. The Authority's Twitter feed will not be staffed.

  • Monday, July 5: Bus and T service will run on regular weekday schedules, but the Downtown Service Center will remain closed (reopening Tuesday, July 6). The Customer Service phone line will hold its regular weekday hours, 6 am to 7 pm. The Authority's Twitter feed will not be staffed (regular staffing will resume Tuesday, July 6).

For more details call Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or for TTY, (412) 231-7007.

Monday, June 28, 2010

East Busway Rebuilding Begins This Week

Starting this week, Port Authority of Allegheny County will begin rebuilding nearly seven miles of the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway.

This week, contractors will begin raising drainage inlets on the shoulder of the busway. Work will be conducted on weekdays during daylight hours, approximately 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., opposite the dominant flow of traffic during peak periods. This work should not affect bus traffic during the week of June 28.

During the week of July 5, intermittent single-lane closures of up to 2,000 feet may occur. During those times, flaggers will be stationed on the busway to let alternating traffic through during the closure. Related delays are expected to be limited in nature. Work will begin at the Downtown end of the busway and move east to Wilkinsburg.

Inlet work is expected to last through July 12, at which time paving will begin. More extensive delays or detours may occur at this time. More details on the second phase will be released prior to the start of work.

Other East Busway improvements will include barrier and guide rail repair, and improvement to sidewalks and curb-cuts.

The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010, and will help prevent wear-and-tear on the approximately 800 buses that use the busway everyday as well as create a much smoother commute for the busway's 25,000 daily riders. This project will span the length of the original busway, which opened in 1983. The easternmost section between Wilkinsburg and Swissvale stations does not need to be rebuilt, having opened in 2003.

The rebuilding project will cost $7.5 M dollars and is included in Port Authority's FY2010 capital budget, which ensures annual maintenance needs are met and the Authority's system is kept in a state of good repair.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Port Authority Board Adopts FY2011 Budget.

Today, Port Authority's Board of Directors adopted a $330 million operating budget for its Fiscal Year 2011 that projects a $47.1 million revenue shortfall.

The budget assumes the Pennsylvania Legislature will address its funding shortfall that has created the projected Port Authority deficit.

"We're not asking for a bailout—we simply want the State Legislature to adopt a measure that sustains a reliable funding source—not only for Port Authority, but for public transit statewide," said CEO Steve Bland at today's Board meeting.
Read more remarks from Steve Bland.

To read the official news release announcing the budget adoption, click here. To read remarks from Board vice-chairman Guy Mattola, click here.

A PDF presentation on the FY2011 budget is also available on our website.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

September Service Adjustments for West Busway

Port Authority will continue to adjust service along the West Busway to better meet ridership demands.

In June, Port Authority added extra service and lifted stop restrictions to provide increased service along the West Busway. More adjustments will go into effect on Sunday, September 5:

  • G1 West Busway-All Stops will be renamed G1 West Busway-Robinson. The route will operate between the Mall at Robinson and Downtown Pittsburgh via the West Busway between Bell and Sheraden stations. All stops between Bell and Sheraden will be pick-up and discharge both inbound and outbound.

  • G2 West Busway-Oakland will continue to use the designation G2 West Busway-Oakland, but will serve all West Busway stops between Carnegie and Sheraden stations. This restores direct service between Carnegie and Oakland. All West Busway stops will be pick-up and discharge both inbound and outbound. In Oakland, service on Bellefield, Forbes and Craft avenues will be discontinued. Instead, the G2 will continue down Fifth Avenue to Downtown using the Boulevard of the Allies, Crosstown and 7th Avenue Ramp.

Other routes that serve the West Busway include the weekday-only G3 Moon Flyer, which serves stops between Bell and Sheraden, offering pick-up and discharge inbound, and pick-up only outbound. The 28X Airport Flyer and a new route, the weekday-only G31 Bridgeville Flyer, will use the same busway stop restrictions as the G3 Moon Flyer. In June, stop restrictions on the 28X were lifted as a temporary measure to alleviate crowding on other routes.

Riders will see service along the West Busway every four to eight minutes during peak periods, every 10 to 15 minutes midday and every 15 to 20 minutes early morning and in the evening.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

County Council Hearing on Port Authority Budget

Allegheny County Council will hold a public hearing on Port Authority's budget on Tuesday, June 29 at 5 p.m. in the Gold Room, 4th floor of the Allegheny County Courthouse in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Individuals wishing to speak may register in a number of ways:

Speakers must register no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled start of the hearing. Each registered speaker will be allotted a maximum of three minutes.

Written testimony will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on July 2, 2010.

Click here to view the notice of public hearing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FY2011 Budget Presentation Posted Online

A PDF presentation about Port Authority’s proposed FY2011 budget is now available online by clicking here.

Please note that this is not the official FY2011 budget, which has not yet been voted on by the Board of Directors. The budget will be voted on by the Board at its next meeting on Friday, June 25 at 9:30 a.m.

The FY2010 budget – which is the current budget – is
available on our website by clicking here.

Port Authority posts publicly available financial documents – including budget information and audits – on its website, To view, select “Company Info” in the navigation bar, then select “Financials.”

Friday, June 11, 2010

Route Changes & Other Important Information

Starting this Sunday, 26 Port Authority bus routes will change in the second round of our Transit Development Plan (TDP). If you haven't already checked for your route or schedule, you may do so by clicking here.

There are some other things happening this weekend that will also impact riders:
  • Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13: Downtown detours for Pride Weekend
    About 45 Port Authority bus routes will be detoured in Downtown Pittsburgh at various points throughout the weekend due to street closures for PrideFest, Pride in the Streets and a Pride Awareness March. Only certain bus stops will be served during this time.

    Please click here to view a detailed detour brochure.

  • Sunday, June 13: Schedule adjustments on 25 routes
    Port Authority undertakes schedule adjustments four times per year to improve service. This process is independent of TDP-related changes. However, some of the routes that will be adjusted on Sunday are routes that changed during round one of the TDP implementation in April -- including the lifting of stop restrictions on the G2 and the addition of more peak trips on the G1.

    Also, certain routes will see adjustments to support the June TDP changes -- like rerouting on 77A/B to support the 86A/B changes impacting Homewood and East Liberty.

    To view all schedule adjustments, please click here.

  • Monday, June 14: Long-term Downtown detours lifted on 24 routes
    On Monday, 24 bus routes will return to their original Downtown routing due to end of two construction detours that have been in place for several years. These include routes returning to inbound Fifth Avenue as well as routes returning to Penn Avenue at Fifth Avenue extension. The only exception are 61-series and 71-series routes -- they will not return to inbound Fifth Avenue and will continue using inbound Sixth Avenue and outbound Fifth Avenue.

    To view all affected routes, please click here.

We encourage all riders to check all links to see if their routes are impacted.

If you have an urgent question about your route, please call Customer Service at 412-442-2000, or for TTY call 412-231-7007. Customer Service hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. We will not be answering questions about these detours/changes via this blog this weekend.

Monday, June 7, 2010

West Busway Service Adjustments for June 13

Service adjustments for several bus routes that serve the West Busway will go into effect June 13.

Port Authority will adjust these routes to better meet ridership demands:

• 28X Airport Flyer: All West Busway stop restrictions are removed. Inbound buses will serve Stop C and outbound buses will use Stop A.

• G1 West Busway-All Stops: Six additional a.m. and six additional p.m. weekday peak trips will be added.

• G2 West Busway-Oakland: Stop restrictions on the West Busway and in Oakland will be removed. All stops listed in the route’s schedule will be served.

Additionally, the West Busway will be served by the new G3 Moon Flyer route (formerly 28K Moon Express). The G3 will pick up and discharge riders at all inbound busway stops between Bell and Sheraden; outbound service between Sheraden and Bell will be pick-up only. The G3 will not serve the Carnegie Station.

Further adjustments to improve West Busway service are planned to occur in the next round of route changes in September. We will detail those following the June 13 changes.

Twenty-two other routes will also undergo quarterly schedule adjustments. For details on these adjustments or Transit Development Plan-related changes, visit or call Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or for TTY, (412) 231-7007.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Public Hearing on Transit Funding in Monroeville June 18

The House Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on Pennsylvania’s transportation funding crisis on Friday, June 18 at 11 a.m. at Gateway High School in Monroeville.

This hearing is one of seven scheduled throughout Pennsylvania and will focus on transportation issues in Allegheny, Beaver, Lawrence, Westmoreland, Washington, Greene and Fayette counties (PennDOT districts 11 and 12).

House Transportation Committee chairmen Rep. Joseph F. Markosek, D-25, and Rep. Richard A. Geist, R-79, are holding the hearings to provide a public forum for discussing Pennsylvania’s funding crisis and to collect feedback on ways to develop sustainable funding solutions for public transit, highways and bridges.

To register to testify at the hearing, call or email Amanda Wolfe at Rep. Markosek’s office at 717-783-1012 or with your name, contact information and, if applicable, your title and the organization you represent.

It is requested that testimony also be submitted in writing by noon on June 15, 2010 to ensure that it is included in the official hearing transcript.

Those who require additional preparation time may bring 50 copies of testimonial materials to the hearing.

Equipment for PowerPoint presentations will be available at the hearing – please specify in your registration if you plan to provide a presentation. PowerPoint documents should also be emailed prior to the hearing.

Those who are unable to attend the hearing may still submit testimony for the public record. Testimony may be emailed to or mailed to Amanda Wolfe at the following address:

Hon. Joseph F. Markosek
314 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202025
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2025

For information on transit to the hearing, please use our
Trip Planner, or for paratransit service call ACCESS at 412-562-5353.

For more details on the hearing, please call or email Amanda Wolfe at Rep. Markosek’s office at 717-783-1012 or

Friday, May 28, 2010

PA Transportation Crisis: Port Authority Impact

Port Authority CEO Steve Bland's remarks to the Authority's Board of Directors regarding the impact of the statewide transportation crisis.

Delivered during the Board's regular monthly meeting, May 28, 2010

Last month, I cautioned that we’d soon be grappling with the statewide transportation funding crisis, and now, that time has arrived.

Since I arrived at Port Authority in 2006, we've experienced great progress in many areas and also endured a few low points too. Through it all, we've focused on finding ways to improve the agency and how it serves this community, with a specific focus on efficiency. But as we all know, change isn't always easy.

We’ve trimmed routes, eliminated positions and scaled back benefit levels. As a board, you’ve made some very difficult choices in a relatively short amount of time.

It's paid off. These moves have saved some $52 million in annual operating expenses – nearly matching the $60 million called for statewide by Gov. Rendell's Transportation Funding and Reform Commission in its 2006 report.

The nearly quarter of a million riders who use Port Authority daily also have stepped up and are paying higher fares and are adjusting to changes in their longstanding commuting habits. We have done what's been asked of us, with the hope that the passage of Act 44 by state lawmakers would resolve our chronic budget crisis. We supported Act 44 and believed it was a step in the right direction.

Our actions have been widely recognized, both in Allegheny County and around the Commonwealth. But Act 44 has not lived up to the intentions of its creators, and we are now faced with a Statewide transportation funding crisis, which is particularly acute here in Allegheny County.

Today, we face a $50.6 million budget deficit and have little more than a month to find solutions. The good news is, it was a $52 million projected deficit last month when I reported to you. Frankly, we wouldn't be in this position today if Act 44 had delivered on its original intent.

State lawmakers did the right thing in 2007 by adopting this law. It was a bold and historic move to carve out a dedicated funding source for transportation. It was intended to be an adequate, reliable, predictable and growing source of funds for the upkeep of our extensive road and bridge network, as well as for the numerous public transit systems that dot the Commonwealth.

The reality is, now three years after its passage, those intentions have not panned out.

  • First, in contrast with other areas of the State which saw significant increases in operating aid when Act 44 passed, Port Authority saw an initial reduction in funding when compared with the prior year.

  • Second, since that time, annual growth in operating aid (intended to be inflationary in nature) has averaged just over ¼ % per year.

  • Third, given the current recession and reliance on Sales Tax proceeds to partially fund the Act, we may actually see an additional reduction in funding next year.

  • Fourth, when coupled with above inflationary trends in major expense line items like healthcare, fuel and (due to the 2007 stock market collapse) pension contributions; all beyond our control; our funding status was already precarious.

  • Finally, and most recently, in April of this year, one of the most crucial underpinnings of the law – the tolling of Interstate 80 – was disapproved by the Federal government. This one decision alone had the effect of reducing the already inadequate transit funding level by 37-1/2%.

Early in my management career, one of my supervisors confronted me with a significant mistake that had been made by one of my staff. In one of those real learning moments that we all encounter from time to time, I tried to defend myself; saying “I wasn’t aware of the error,” and “I wasn’t the one who made the mistake.” My supervisor calmly told me “Steve, it may not be your fault, but it is your problem – fix it!”

Today, I would give that same message to our State Legislators. They didn’t create the current transportation funding crisis, but they are the only people who can fix it.

Governor Rendell and his administration have been very clear in their support for a fix. Now, that leaves only the Legislature to do the job. All we're asking them to do is finish what they started. This was the right move then, and it's the right direction now.

Without a solution, we will be forced to consider various scenarios to balance our budget. None of these fall into the category of “efficiency,” or “right-sizing.” They will all fall into the category of “draconian,” and “damaging.”

We will provide more detail over the next couple months, but they include several alternatives, including eliminating many more routes, cutting weekend and evening service, and increasing fares significantly.

No less important, more crucial “state of good repair” capital projects will be deferred, increasing the likelihood of further service disruptions as we’ve seen over the past month.

Whatever options we choose, it will touch every aspect of our community. It will affect union workers, corporations, schools, universities and medical centers; as well as all corners of Allegheny County. The cuts will impact the shape of Port Authority forever. We'll have no choice but to layoff hundreds of employees and shut down at least one bus division. The Port Authority that serves us today will not be the Port Authority that exists afterward. And I fear that, once it’s gone, it can never come back.

For a City its size, Pittsburgh enjoys one of the best transit systems and highest levels of ridership in the nation. The same can be said for our brothers and sisters in Philadelphia, and in many other smaller communities in the Commonwealth. Whether or not this distinction, and competitive advantage, can continue is now in play at the State level.

These are tough decisions and this is a crucial moment. We wish there was another option or more time to find a solution. We're out of options and out of time.

This Board will act on a budget next month and decide in July about service levels and fares. Public hearings will be scheduled shortly thereafter. Although we recognize the Legislature has many critical problems on their plate, and we truly wish they had more time to consider this one; we’ve simply run out of time. Obviously, we will be communicating all of these details to the public as they develop.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Mon Incline Turns 140!

Tomorrow, May 28, is the Mon Incline's 140th birthday. In honor of this occasion, here are some facts and a look back at the history of this iconic form of transit:
  • The Mon Incline opened to the public on May 28, 1870 and is believed to be the oldest incline still operating in North America.
  • The incline originally cost $50,000 to build.
  • The nearby Duquesne Incline opened in 1877.
  • Port Authority took over Mon Incline operations in 1964 and the incline was declared a historic structure by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation in 1970.
  • The Mon Incline has undergone several renovations and modernizations over the years: the installation of a steel structure in 1882; renovated stations, new cars and track structure in 1982; and the introduction of a computerized operating system in 1994.
  • While Port Authority buses and T see their biggest ridership numbers on weekdays, the Mon Incline is most popular on Saturdays, likely due to the number of people who use it for sightseeing. The incline carries about 2,200 riders each weekday, 3,500 on Saturdays and 1,900 on Sundays.
  • The Mon Incline's track is 635 feet long and its elevation is 369.39 feet.
  • The incline travels at a speed of six miles per hour and carries up to 23 riders in each of its two cars.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mon Incline Expected to Open Monday

The Monongahela Incline is expected to resume normal service Monday morning (May 17) after being shut down for about a week during replacement of its operating cables. The incline will make its first trip Monday at 5:30 a.m.

We shut down the incline on May 7 after routine testing uncovered deterioration within each cable. As a safety precaution, we decided to replace the cables and operate shuttle buses between the upper and lower stations during the work.

We thank riders and tourists for their patience during the work.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Schedules, Maps for June Route Changes

Note: These changes do not include further scheduling adjustments or tweaks to routes that were already changed in April (the G2 or 28X, for example). Any adjustments to those routes will be announced separately prior to June 13.

Changes on the following 26 bus routes will go in effect on Sunday, June 13.

  • 6B Spring Hill
  • 11E Fineview
  • 13G Thompson Run Express
  • 13U North Hills-Oakland Express
  • 16F City View
  • 28K Moon Express
  • 41B Bower Hill
  • 44U Mt. Lebanon-Oakland
  • 46F Baldwin Highlands
  • 46G Elizabeth
  • 51A Arlington Heights
  • 51C Carrick
  • 53F Homestead-Lincoln Place
  • 55M Century III Mall
  • 56B Hazelwood
  • 56C McKeesport-Lincoln Place
  • 67A Monroeville
  • 67F Trafford
  • 67H Squirrel Hill
  • 68D Braddock Hills Express
  • 79D Mount Carmel
  • 86A East Hills
  • 86B Frankstown
  • E Elizabeth Flyer
  • HP Holiday Park Flyer
  • LP Lincoln Park Flyer

Schedules and maps for new routes are now available on our website by clicking here.

Paper schedules will be available at schedule racks within the coming weeks.

The new schedules are loaded into our
Trip Planner so you can plan your new route -- just select a date of June 13 or later to try it. Note: Google Maps will not have the new route information available for trip planning until changes go into effect.

Please note: This list encompasses routes that have not yet been altered per the Transit Development Plan. June will also bring some tweaks to routes that were already changed during our first round in April; we will announce those tweaks in the near future. More route changes will follow in September.

If you have specific TDP-related questions, please use
this form and a member of our staff will contact you. You may also call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY 412-231-7007, or try us on Twitter at PGHtransit.

If you leave a question in the comment form on this blog, we will try our best to answer. Please note that a high volume of questions on this blog may make it difficult for us to answer each question individually.