Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fare & Service Changes Authorized

Port Authority’s Board of Directors last week voted to authorize a fare increase and 35-percent service reduction scheduled to go into effect later this year. Port Authority is legally obligated to balance its budget, and these actions are prompted by a $64 million deficit projected for the Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget.

The Board's vote is reversible. The vote authorizes Port Authority staff to begin preparing for the changes – writing new schedules, preparing for staffing reductions and a garage closure, and other actions. While staff must prepare for the worst, the service reductions may be scaled back or rescinded entirely if Port Authority’s finances improve.

“I want to direct staff to also plan for the best outcome,” said Guy Mattola, the Board’s vice-chairman. “Make sure we are prepared to sustain current service levels so that the Board could later convene on short notice to reverse these cuts if an adequate funding solution is found.”

If nothing changes, the fare increase would go into effect on July 1 and the service reduction would go into effect September 2. Under the service reduction proposal, about 46 routes would be eliminated with service scaled back on all remaining routes. The ACCESS paratransit program would for the first time see deep cuts that would restrict transit options for persons with disabilities.

The only change to the proposal is that the 28X Airport Flyer’s airport segment will be preserved due to recently secured federal Job Access Reverse Commute funds. The 28X is the only Port Authority route funded through this program.

Details on fare and service proposals are available on our Service Reductions page or by calling Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or the TTY number, (412) 231-7007.