Port Authority of Allegheny County could lose up to $30 million in state and local funding in its current fiscal year under an Allegheny County Council proposal introduced yesterday.
The Council proposal initially would cut Allegheny County's annual $27.7 million appropriation to Port Authority by $5 million this year. Because this is matching funding (mandated by the State) our State funding also would be reduced. We've had initial discussions with PennDOT and initial estimates show the State reduction would fall between $22 million and $25 million.
Port Authority riders are already facing a 15-percent service reduction due to a $35 million State shortfall created by the failed plan to toll Interstate 80. County Council's proposal, if approved, would force Port Authority to reduce more service than the 15-percent reduction that will occur on March 27.
Based on initial estimates, the Authority may have to cut about 20 percent of its existing service if the proposed funding reduction moves forward -- in addition to the 15 percent already planned.
The Council proposal also could force another fare increase by the end of the year.
"The County Council proposal only leads to cutting more transit service and ultimately hurting riders and commuters," said Port Authority CEO Steve Bland. "Riders have been hurt enough. We need to work together to resolve the transportation funding issue."
Port Authority wishes to continue seeking a long-term solution for transportation funding with local and State leaders.
"This is a frustrating time for those of us who care about protecting public assets such as our mass transit system, and we hope that ultimately this raises a greater awareness of the bigger issues involved," Bland said.