Thursday, November 6, 2014

Keeping up the pressure for improved public transit

PPT has been busy these past few months, supporting community campaigns in their efforts to get service to their neighborhoods and ensuring that decision-makers make providing service to transit deserts more of a priority.

Here is PPT's op-ed highlighting the issue of transit deserts:
Don't leave transit deserts high and dry

Here is a report from WESA 90.5 where PPT asks questions about the allocation of county transportation funds: PennDot pedestrian bridge uses PAT funding

PPT presented at County Council on Sept 23 and Oct 30. For our testimony, click here, and here.

On Oct. 30, council members articulated their concern about transit deserts to Port Authority, insisting that a solution needed to be found.

PPT hopes that Port Authority and the County work together to begin to address this serious problem.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Over 100 Baldwin residents and supporters Walk for Transit!

Watch video here

Over 100 Baldwin residents and transit supporters came out Saturday morning to walk one mile up and down the steep hills of Churchview Ave, just half the distance many residents must trek to get to the nearest bus stop. They walked with their own handmade cardboard bus, to highlight the need for service restoration. Participants in the walk included bus riders, drivers, maintenance workers, high school students, members of the Boy Scouts, Borough council members, and other elected officials, including Sen. Jim Brewster.

The walk ended with a rally at the Baldwin Borough building, where people spoke about the high demand for bus service in the area.

“We are here to show decision-makers and the public how difficult it is for residents in Baldwin to get to a bus route. Many of us need to walk significant distances in all weather conditions, including up and down steep hills, just to get to the bus stop to go to work or school,” said Terry Breisinger, a visually-impaired resident who cannot drive. He often treks on roads without sidewalks to catch the 51 on Brownsville Rd to get to his job in town.

The 50 Spencer route was cut in 2011, and Baldwin residents have been reeling from the effects ever since. In collaboration with Pittsburghers for Public Transit, they have been building a campaign to restore transit service in their community. Since May of 2014, 540 surveys have been completed by Baldwin residents; 97% indicate that public transit is important for their community. Residents have attended community meetings, spoken at Port Authority board meetings, sent letters to decision-makers, and met with Port Authority staff and board members. To date, 1225 petition signatures have been collected.

“We appreciate Port Authority’s willingness to listen to our concerns, and we will continue to push for immediate restoration of our bus service. Act 89 may not provide adequate funding to restore all the service that has been cut in Allegheny County, but this is not a reason to refuse to restore service anywhere. Baldwin has an exceptional gap in service, and this issue must be addressed,” said Karen Smith, Baldwin resident and lifetime bus-rider.

Port Authority is currently using funds provided by Act 89 to “enhance existing service” by adding frequency on overcrowded routes and extending routes. “Allegheny County and the public transit authority should also prioritize the needs of people in communities badly damaged by transit cuts,” said PPT member, Jonah McAllister- Erickson. “There are 9.5 million dollars of surplus revenue in the county’s transportation fund (funded in part by the drink tax). According to Judge Olson’s court ruling in 2009, these funds could be used for operating costs.”

The residents of Baldwin and PPT thank the Baldwin Borough elected officials, the Police, and the EMS for their support for the walk.

Press coverage: Trib article

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Baldwin Walk for Transit

  • News coverage in advance of the walk: Baldwin residents campaign for return of bus route
  • Please join Baldwin residents, transit supporters, and community leaders on a walk to highlight the need for restored bus service. We are inviting elected officials and the Port Authority board and staff to walk a mile in our shoes--just half the distance many residents must trek to get to the nearest bus stop on Brownsville Road. 
    • WHEN: Saturday Sept 6th. Walk at 10 am. Rally at 11 am.
    • WHERE: Participants will gather at Churchview Garden Apartments (3783 Churchview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA) and walk one mile to the Baldwin Borough building (3344 Churchview Avenue). At a rally outside the building, residents and local leaders will share why restoring transit service to Baldwin should be a top priority for Port Authority and Allegheny County.
    • Here is a full-page flier to share.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Baldwin Community Day a Success for the Transit Campaign!

12 volunteers helped to staff a transit booth at community day on Sat, Aug 2, 2014. Neighbors learned about the campaign, completed surveys, signed a petition, and entered a free raffle for a gift basket!

By the end of the day (when we had to close down early due to the torrential downpour) we had collected 300 petition signatures! Residents in Baldwin want their buses back! Shout out to everyone who helped make this day a success.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An Uphill Climb

PPT and the Baldwin campaign made the first page of the Post Gazette on Saturday:


Friday, July 25, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Baldwin Campaign in the Media

Here is the recent City Paper article, which features aspects of our campaign in Baldwin: Baldwin residents pushing the conversation on route restoration

Do you want to get involved? Check out the "Baldwin" tab of our website. And come to the next community meeting on August 5th, 7 pm, at 3344 Churchview Ave: see flier here.