Jun 272016
 

On Friday, June 24th, PPT joined dozens of organizations in a call to green the Port Authority fleet.

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Kimmy Dihn, of PPT , says moving toward more environmentally friendly vehicles could help address public-health issues, too. “We are voicing the concern of how buses affect the public health of pedestrians, cyclists and public-transportation riders.”

Warwick Powell, of environmental group 350 Pittsburgh, says greening the bus fleet could make Pittsburgh a climate-change leader. He also says this is a great time to do so, given all the local support, including the arrival of solar-energy giant, SolarCity, to the Pittsburgh market.

“While air quality in Pittsburgh has improved over the last several decades,” says Rachel Filippini, of Group Against Smog and Pollution, or GASP. “We continue to have some of the worst air pollution in the country, especially in terms of fine-particulate matter. One source of these emissions is Port Authority buses.”

News coverage of the event:

Advocates ask Port Authority of Allegheny County to move toward all-electric fleet

Port Authority of Allegheny County considers adding electric buses

Download (PDF, 235KB)

Jun 232016
 

PPT is excited to join up with Bike Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group to connect transportation justice and social justice advocates and discuss current struggles for mobility and access.

Join us on June 30th at the Kinsgley Association, 6435 Frankstown Ave, 6:00-8:30PM.

Speakers will share their challenges with mobility and access and we will all discuss ideas for how to achieve more equitable transportation in our region.

Together we can work together to ensure that Pittsburgh has safe, equitable, and affordable transportation systems.

Please RSVP online at the event page.

Thank you!

Jun 032016
 

On Friday May 27th, residents and riders from all over the county came together to encourage Port Authority to approve staff recommendations for service extensions.

The proposal includes adding weekend service the 89 Garfield and extending the 79 along Mount Carmel Road in Penn Hills.

Annie McGowan, resident of Garfield said: “Me and my mom have to depend on someone else to take us to church. A lot of senior citizens can’t get out for church activities, shopping, and meeting family and friends. Now we’ll be able to hop on the bus!”

Although we are excited to celebrate these service extensions we are committed to pushing Port Authority to restore service to all communities in need as well as the fight for more transit funding.

“The fact the kids can’t get to a college in their own neighborhood, that’s just a crime,” said Fran Lange of Ross, a member of Buses for Perry Highway. “There are a lot of senior citizens that would love to go to the library, but you can’t get there.”

Thank you to everyone who came out and addressed the board or stood with us in support!

Media coverage of the event:

Riders want Port Authority to further boost service

Proposed changes add Port Authority bus lines to Penn Hills, Garfield

Port Authority improvements don’t go far enough, advocates say

 

May 262016
 

On Friday May 27th, 830 am, outside the Wood St T station transit advocates, riders, and supporters will hold a press conference to celebrate Port Authority’s proposal for increased service in Garfield and Penn Hills. We will then attend the Port Authority board meeting at 930 am, 345 Sixth Ave, 5th floor, to ask the board to vote (in June) for the budget that includes these additions.

Over the past year, Pittsburghers for Public Transit supported three campaigns for increased bus service. Residents came together, shared their needs with elected officials, held rallies downtown, and formally made requests through Port Authority’s service guidelines. Overall, the agency received 85 distinct requests from over 1500 individuals. This demonstrates the high level of demand in our county for improved transit service.

Residents are here to celebrate the proposals for weekend service on the 89 in Garfield and the extended 79 along the Mt Carmel Rd corridor in Penn Hills. See annual service report, page 26.

These proposed changes will make a huge difference in these communities. “We are glad there is this an opportunity to expand transportation in Penn Hills because it is greatly needed. We see so many residents who struggle to get to appointments, jobs, training programs, and the store,” said Joyce Davis, from the Lincoln Park Community Center and Penn Hills NAACP.

Annie McGowan, resident of Garfield said: “Me and my mom have to depend on someone else to take us to church. A lot of senior citizens can’t get out for church activities, shopping, and meeting family and friends. Now we’ll be able to hop on the bus!”

“We would like to acknowledge all the elected officials who listened to the residents and helped highlight this need,” said Aggie Brose, Deputy Director of the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation. “We all came together and organized, and we are thrilled to see this recommendation for added service.”

The advocates and residents are also there to support all communities in the county who still need better bus service. Representatives from the Buses for Perry Highway campaign will highlight the need for more funding so that service can run along Perry Highway, north of Westview Shopping center to CCAC North, Northland Public Library, and other destinations. The campaign plans to continue to advocate for this much needed service.

We also want to commend the Port Authority for making their service planning and decision-making processes more transparent and inclusive—a model for other agencies around the country. The annual service report carefully indicates how each request for service was evaluated and helps the public understand just how many communities need more transit.

Transit advocates and supporters are calling on elected officials, public agencies, institutions, and communities to all come together to secure more funding for the Port Authority. There is 16 million dollars in the drink tax fund balance. This fund is dedicated to public transit in Allegheny County, and there is no reason a few million dollars each year could not be allocated to Port Authority’s operating budget. This would enable them to provide service to more communities in need. We must all work together to secure even more sources of funding. Buslines are lifelines, and improving our public transit system is vital to the entire region.

 

May 192016
 

 

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is thrilled to see that the Port Authority’s annual service report released today includes proposals to add transit service (see page 26). These proposals, along with the budget for 2016-2017, will be voted on by the Port Authority board in June.

The proposed expansions in service include:

-provide route 89 service in Garfield on the weekends

-expand route 79 and P17 service along Mt Carmel road on weekdays and weekends

-expand G3 service to include reverse-direction commute trips to University Blvd Park and Ride

PPT, along with the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, supported a resident-led campaign for weekend service on the 89 in Garfield. And working with the Lincoln Park Community Center, we supported a campaign in Penn Hills for extended 79 and P17 service along Mt. Carmel Road. Hundreds of residents came together to advocate for this much needed service. PPT also supported residents in Moon Township who called for reverse service on the G3. These proposed changes will make a huge difference in these communities–providing more access to jobs, schools, grocery stores, medical appointments, and more.

“We are glad there is this an opportunity to expand transportation in Penn Hills because it is greatly needed. We see so many residents who struggle to get to appointments, jobs, training programs, and the store. This expansion would really help them,” said Joyce Davis, from the Lincoln Park Community Center and Penn Hills NAACP.

After hearing about the proposal Annie McGowan, resident of Garfield said: “Wow, that is so great! Me and my mom have to depend on someone else to take us to church. A lot of senior citizens can’t get out for church activities, shopping, and meeting family and friends. Now we’d be able to hop on the bus!”

“We would like to acknowledge all the elected officials representing Garfield who listened to the residents and helped highlight this need,” said Aggie Brose, Deputy Director of the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation. “We all came together and organized, and we are thrilled to see this recommendation for added service.”

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is disappointed to see that many communities who made requests for service, including the campaign for service along Perry Highway (to CCAC North and Northland Public Library), are not getting service extensions. Our elected officials, public agencies, institutions, and communities need to all come together to secure more funding for Port Authority. There is 16 million dollars in the drink tax fund balance. This fund is dedicated to public transit in Allegheny County, and there is no reason a few million dollars each year could not be allocated to Port Authority’s operating budget. This would enable them to provide service to more communities in need.

We also want to commend the Port Authority for making their service planning and decision-making processes more transparent and inclusive. The service report carefully indicates how each request for service was evaluated and helps the public understand how the agency responds to community requests and weighs equity as a crucial factor in their service planning.

Press coverage:

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/10491958-74/service-east-garfield

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2016/05/19/Port-Authority-recommends-extending-some-bus-service-in-Wilkinsburg-Penn-Hills-Garfield/stories/201605190149

Apr 292016
 

Port Authority’s board approved transit-oriented development guidelines as well as changes  to their fare policy today.

We are really excited that riders in Zone 2 will soon be paying $2.50! However, we are still concerned about the elimination of paper transfers and the implementation of a cash surcharge without the proper infrastructure that makes ConnectCards easily accessible and re-loadable.

We are also concerned about the disproportionate affect these changes might have on low-income riders.

PPT supports that Port Authority has approved TOD guidelines but insists that affordable housing be a requirement in any development near good transit.

Press coverage:

Port Authority: No more free buses, zones, cash on trains

Port Authority of Allegheny County board to vote on fare changes tomorrow

 

 

 

 

Apr 252016
 

 

April has been filled with awesome events!

PPT joined the Women and Girls Foundation in support of their Equal Pay Day Rally. We heard from ATU member Sue Scanlon, who spoke about how her membership in a union has given her access to wages equal to her male coworkers.

We also joined workers in solidarity at the Fight for $15
rally! Hundreds of community members, allies, and workers came together to say we all deserve a living wage and union rights.

Apr 042016
 

PPT was featured in a Post-Gazette article, entitled “When transit costs are included, study finds ‘affordable’ housing often isn’t” on Sunday April 3

“Our organization thinks that those communities deserve transit service. And we are concerned that more and more residents in the city of Pittsburgh cannot find affordable housing in the city, and go outside the city, where they don’t have good access to transit.”

The article quotes Darnell Jones from Groveton and Autumn Conley from Hulton Arbors.

PPT supported Groveton in their successful campaign for bus service, and we are supporting Hulton Arbors in Penn Hills in their campaign now. Last month, we called for a policy that requires transit oriented developments to include affordable housing. If you’d like to join the fight for a livable Pittsburgh for all, contact us!

Mar 222016
 

Yesterday, PPT celebrated Transit Worker Appreciation Day by visiting the Manchester Main Shop, The Rail Center, and distributing candy and thank you cards to riders in Downtown and Oakland to give to their drivers.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made TWAD 2016 possible. Special thanks those who volunteered: UNITE HERE casino workers, Mel Packer, Jonah McAllister Erickson, Earl Pearson, Helen Gerhardt, Deepti Ramadoss, Fatema Juma, and Hannah Gerbe of Fight Back Pittsburgh.

Here are some great pictures and news coverage of the day:

twad 2016 1 twad 2016 2

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KDKA coverage: Pittsburgh Celebrating National Transit Worker Appreciation Day

Mar 212016
 

Transit Worker Appreciation Day

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Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) is celebrating National Transit Worker Appreciation Day on Monday March 21st. PPT encourages riders and residents to thank our bus and rail operators and maintenance workers for keeping us moving.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is coordinating over a dozen volunteers to distribute thank you cards to transit riders, who can deliver them to their bus operators. We will also be distributing cards to maintenance workers. These cards say: “Because you rock, I roll,” and “Thanks for keeping us moving.”

On Monday March 21st, cards will be available between 12 and 1 and between 4 and 6 at Forbes and Bigelow in Oakland and between 3 and 6 outside Wood St station downtown.

Riders can print out their own cards at this website:www.transitdriverday.org

We appreciate the opportunity to thank and honor the 2,000 public transit workers in Allegheny County who get riders to our destinations safely. These workers are out 365 days a year in rain, snow, ice, and frigid temperatures, as well as our hot summers. Bus operators collect fares, help riders find their way, handle safety issues, keep to a strict route schedule, and manage their way through traffic—along the steep and winding streets of our region. Maintenance workers maintain, repair, and clean the rails, buses, busways, stations, etc. These workers are the backbone of our transit system, and we are grateful for the work they do each day to keep Allegheny County moving.

“The drivers deal with all the traffic so that I don’t have to.” –James Keener.

“I appreciate transit workers because they drive me to all of the places I need to go safely and stress free.” –Daisha Bernal

Social media tags: #pghlovestransitworkers, #transitworkerday, #twd, #thankyoutransitworkers, #Pgh4Pubtransit

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/474518159415869/

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