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 www.portauthority.org or by calling Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or the TTY number, 412-231-7007.
Read remarks made at today's meeting from: