Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wabash Tunnel Closures: Feb. 3-7

The Wabash Tunnel will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily Monday, February 3 through Friday, February 7 for ventilation fan replacement.

The tunnel provides a shortcut for motorists between Route 51 and the South Side. Port Authority bus and light rail routes do not use the tunnel.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Board of Directors Hires Ellen McLean as CEO

Port Authority’s Board of Directors today voted to hire Ellen McLean as CEO of the transit agency. McLean’s contract is effective February 1 and extends for three years, with options to extend the agreement for up to two additional years.

McLean currently is the Interim CEO and previously served as the Authority’s Chief Finance Officer.

“Ellen is the right person at the right time for Port Authority,” said Port Authority Chairman Bob Hurley. “Ellen’s financial expertise and ability to work collaboratively toward solutions has set her apart. It’s become abundantly clear over the past six months that she is the right person to lead Port Authority at this most critical time. We need a leader with sharp financial instincts to take full advantage of the public transportation funding approved last year by the State Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett.”

McLean has successfully led the Authority through a challenging period that included the formation of a new Board of Directors under a change in state law, and change in CEO. During this time, McLean effectively worked with local and state officials to help ensure the success of a comprehensive transportation funding bill that directly benefits public transportation in Allegheny County.

"Ellen has really proven herself to be the right leader for the Port Authority," said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. "Over the past few months, she has focused on improving service, implementing real time technology for riders, advocating for the agency and its users in the negotiations on transportation funding, moving the Bus Rapid Transit project forward and increasing advertising revenues. She has met every challenge, established strong relationships with each of our stakeholders and has led the agency with poise and determination. I look forward to continuing to work with her and the rest of our partners as we improve and strengthen our transit system."

McLean joined Port Authority in 2010 as its Chief Financial Officer, overseeing financial planning, operating and capital budgets and other areas. Her previous experience includes serving for six years as Chief Financial Officer of the City of Pittsburgh under Mayor Tom Murphy and later as Managing Director of Infrastructure Initiatives for the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.

"We've developed a positive relationship with Ellen McLean and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald through the last few years, working on legislation and our last labor agreement," said Steve Palonis, President/Business Agent for ATU Local 85. "I think we all agree that public transportation is a right for residents of Allegheny County. And, I think Ellen brings stability and positive direction to the Authority."

McLean will be paid an annual salary of $215,000. The average CEO salary nationally for transit agencies of similar size is about $254,000, according to 2012 data from the American Public Transportation Association.

“I’m very pleased to lead this agency and look forward to working to improve our transit system for this region,” McLean said. “This is a team effort and I’m thrilled to do this alongside a strong Board of Directors, an engaged union leadership, community partners and support from public officials.

“Together, we can make very positive change in our public transportation system. We intend to move forward in a strategic and deliberate manner.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

CANCELED: Weekend Transit Tunnel Closure & Detours

This weekend’s planned closure of the Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel is canceled due to the weather forecast.

Light rail and buses that use the tunnel will operate on regular route.

A new date for the tunnel closure and detour will be announced at a later time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jan. 24-26 Transit Tunnel Closure & Detours

Port Authority’s light rail system and several bus routes will detour all weekend starting at 9 p.m. Friday, January 24 due to continuing ventilation system work in the Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel.

During the closure, Red Line and Blue Line service will be routed over the former Allentown Line in both directions. Due to the detour, Red Line and Blue Line cars will be unable to serve Station Square, so a rail shuttle will operate between Station Square and First Avenue Station to help riders connect to and from Station Square. Subway Local service will also operate on Saturday and Sunday, but will not serve South Hills Junction.

Buses that normally use the tunnel will also be detoured. Riders using detoured bus and light rail service should allow for extra travel time.

Regular service is expected to be restored by Monday morning.

This detour is subject to postponement due to weather. Port Authority will issue an updated release if the work is postponed or canceled.

For more information, please view the Detour Notice or call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 (TTY 412-231-7007).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Martin Luther King Day Service Information

Port Authority of Allegheny County’s bus, light rail and incline service will operate on regular weekday schedules on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 20).

The Downtown Service Center on Smithfield Street will be closed Monday in observance of the holiday.

The Customer Service phone line will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Authority's Twitter account (@PGHtransit) won't be staffed on the holiday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Spirit of King Honorees Announced

Rev. LeRoy Patrick and August Wilson will be honored Thursday, Jan. 16, at the 2014 Spirit of King Award Ceremony.

The Spirit of King Award, established in 1989 by the Kingsley Association, Port Authority of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Pirates, posthumously honors the lifetime achievements of local citizens who pursue human rights and equality in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday’s ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. at the Kingsley Association, 6435 Frankstown Avenue.

Rev. LeRoy Patrick (1915-2006) was a prominent civil rights activist in Pittsburgh throughout the 1950s and 1960s, using his position as a respected clergyman to advocate for equality for African-Americans in the fields of education, employment and housing. During his lifetime, he helped to integrate the city’s public pools, served as president of the Pittsburgh School Board and served on the Pittsburgh NAACP, Allegheny County Council on Civil Rights and Allegheny County Committee for Fair Housing Practices, among other organizations. Rev. Patrick presided over the Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Homewood and helped run the church’s Bethesda Center, a social service organization providing recreation, employment, family development and spiritual outreach to the local community.

Famed playwright August Wilson (1945-2005) drew much of his inspiration from his community, the Hill District. He enjoyed observing people in his neighborhood, many of whom would become characters in his writings. His Pittsburgh Cycle of plays, depicting African-American life in the 20th century, earned Wilson many accolades, including two Pulitzer Prizes, a Tony Award and numerous New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. Following his death, the Virginia Theatre on Broadway in New York City was renamed the August Wilson Theatre in his honor. The August Wilson Center for African American Culture opened in Downtown Pittsburgh in 2006 as a tribute to his lifetime of literary achievements, and his childhood home was declared a historic landmark by the state in 2007.

To learn more about Rev. LeRoy Patrick and August Wilson as well as past honorees, visit the Spirit of King webpage.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

January Planning & Stakeholder Meeting Canceled

Port Authority of Allegheny County has canceled the Planning & Stakeholder Relations Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 15. The Performance Oversight Committee meeting will still be held that day at 8:30 a.m.

For 2014, all Committee meetings have shifted from the third Wednesday of each month to the third Thursday of the month (with the exception of this month and November). There are no public meetings scheduled for the months of August and December. 
All meetings are held in the Neal H. Holmes Board Room, 5th Floor of the Heinz 57 Center, located at 345 Sixth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh.