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:


  1. Congratulations. You're going to cut yourself into irrelevance.

  2. I think this was the only thing PAT could do, but it will devastate the city. I'm not sure how we can climb out of a recession without viable transit. While there is truth to the idea that the Authority was mis-managed in years past, I don't think it is being mis-managed now. Mr. Bland is a good CEO and he understands how important it is to run this transit agency smarter and more efficiently. I think the TDP was exactly what the Authority needed to streamline transit and cut waste. Sure, not every route change worked out at first, but I view it as a work in progress, and I've been impressed with how responsive to customer requests the folks running PAT's social media outlets have been.

    The big question I have is, how much will rush hour service be cut? I live in the East End, and use the 87 and EBA to get to work. The crowding on these buses, especially between 7:30 and 9 a.m., is already horrid. I know cuts need to be made all over, but I urge the Authority not to cut rush-hour service on these lines, as they are very popular, profitable according to TDP studies, and when it comes right down to it, we don't really have enough buses running during those times as it is.

    Another thought re: the East End's service: Though I am not a student and don't regularly ride the 71A, 71C, etc., I have had to go to Oakland a few times during rush hour, and I know that those buses are already crowded to the point where they pass folks up in the morning between 7:30 and 9. The East End seems to have a lot of students and workers who use transit, and I think preserving rush-hour service in that area will help things a bit.

    Thanks for adding the blog and Twitter feed; they've been really helpful!

  3. Maybe instead of spending millions on the connector project you should learn to manage money. I'm really getting screwed over with this.

  4. A few comments from a 10 year rider…
    (1) High prices, dirty buses, surly drivers. One driver showed up 10 minutes late EVERY day for a week. When she did arrive she yelled GOOD MORNING and dared customers not to respond. If you didn’t say good morning, she said something smart to you. Just come on time and do your job.
    (2) Drivers at Showcase regularly leave “CUSTOMERS” standing in the rain, snow, cold while they sit in warm RUNNING buses for 10-15 minutes 30 yards away. Then they leave “LATE” for their trip.
    (3) Emails left with PAT…NO ANSWER! Where are the supervisors?
    (4) Let’s see if anything changes this week. NOT A CHANCE!

    RESULT: “CUSTOMERS” no longer care. You reap what you sow!

  5. I second that for the rush hour its standing room only for those buses coming out of cut that and you will for sure lose riders who won't wait 40 minutes in the cold while bus after bus passes them up like last time you tried to cut service on the busway...bad mistake

  6. I have asked for supervisors to fix the problem at Showcase, no response. OK, the TRIB has agreed to take a look. This should be interesting!