Oct 072015

The city and other partners are conducting a survey on commuting in Pittsburgh. Let’s make sure that transit riders’ voices are heard! The survey is focused on those who commute to downtown and Oakland, but everyone can take it!

Please take the survey here:

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More information from Make My Trip Count:

Most days of the week, you travel to work or school. How many days? Where do you start and where are you going? Most importantly, how do you get there? We’re interested in your answers.

Make My Trip Count is a survey of Pittsburgh region commuters to figure out how Pittsburghers regularly travel to work or school – and how that commute could be improved. Whether you’re on a bus, in your car, riding a bike, using your own two feet, or traveling by other means, you’re making commute trips multiple times per day – and we’re interested in improving your options and access.

Especially if you make regular trips into Downtown, Oakland, and the North Shore, we need your input. Aggregate results will inform transportation and commute improvements across the Pittsburgh region to reduce traffic, delay, and environmental impacts.

Along with providing more complete information behind regional transportation system decision-making, this survey is also the 2015 transportation reporting mechanism for Pittsburgh 2030 District Property Partners.

Sep 092015

Here is the media coverage from our event. Thanks to all who made the event and these campaigns such a big success!




More recap of the event from us:

After being stuck in a transit desert for years, residents celebrated their inaugural rides into town this morning! Dozens of Baldwin and Groveton community members, along with Pittsburghers for Public Transit, rode the 44 Knoxville and 20 Kennedy to downtown Pittsburgh. Even more supporters joined them for a celebratory rally at 6th Ave and Wood St.

Riders spoke about all the work they had done in the past year to advocate for service in their communities, and they thanked Port Authority and elected officials for listening to their concerns. Dennis Donahoe, resident at Churchview Garden Apartments in Baldwin borough, was thrilled to get the service back and shared his pride for everyone who came together to make this happen.

Darnell Jones, a resident of Groveton Village highlighted the ways the community came together by making phone calls and writing letters and speaking at meetings. Now he and his neighbors can get to work, the doctor, school, and the grocery store.

His neighbor, Dietra Hawkins, talked about how she could now take the bus to her new job at a hospital. Before this extended bus service, she relied on others to give her a ride to the nearest bus stop nearly 2 miles away so that she could get to school at Bidwell Training Center.

Mike Harms and Tom Conroy, bus operators, discussed the ways transit workers helped on these campaigns, demonstrating the “power of the people.”

Laura Wiens of Pittsburghers for Public Transit highlighted the need for our entire region to come together for adequate and affordable public transit service

Port Authority’s schedule changes went into effect this week, which included extensions of 4 routes throughout the system.

A huge thanks to everyone who made these campaigns a success! And thanks for coming out to celebrate this morning!


Aug 252015

After being stuck in a transit desert for years, residents are ready to ride! On Wed Sept 9th, join Baldwin and Groveton community members, along with Pittsburghers for Public Transit, as we ride the 44 Knoxville and 20 Kennedy to town. If you live in Baldwin, we’re taking the 7:25 am bus from Churchview Garden Apts (3783 Churchview Ave ext). If you live in Groveton, we’re taking the 7:30 am bus from Village Dr.

Supporters are encouraged to join us for a celebratory rally:

Wednesday Sept 9th
8:30 am
6th Ave and Wood St

We’ll hear from community members who worked hard to get their transit service back! We’ll also hear about continued campaigns for adequate and affordable transit service in Allegheny county.

Coffee and noisemakers will be provided :)

A link to the 44 Knoxville route and schedule is here.

A link to the 20 Kennedy route and schedule is here.

For more information about the event:
email: molly@pittsburghforpublictransit.org
call: 412-216-9659


Aug 032015

Groveton residents met on July 29th to learn more about the bus service that’s coming back to their community! These folks are excited their hard work paid off:

PPT and Buses for Baldwin had a booth at Baldwin’s community day on Saturday! Here we are sharing the great news about bus service coming back to Baldwin. Over 70 folks came out to a community meeting on July 22nd to celebrate the win and learn more about the route coming to their community. Residents are excited to ride!


Thank you to Port Authority for providing information about the bus service at the events in Groveton and Baldwin.

On Wed Sept 9th, residents from Groveton and Baldwin will ride the 20 Kennedy and 44 Knoxville and meet downtown at 9 am! For the Baldwin flier, click here. Groveton flier is forthcoming.

Jul 282015
Port Authority is reviewing their fare policy in the coming months, with changes to be enacted in July of 2016. These changes could likely include a fare increase, and we are concerned about the negative impact this would have on our communities. We do not think funding should come off the backs of riders and are strongly opposed to any fare increases.
PPT is distributing these charts to riders to encourage them to indicate our need for equitable fares. Make sure you take the Port Authority survey by Sept 30, 2015. Your responses will inform their decision-making in the coming months.



Jul 102015

After over a year of hard work from Baldwin residents, bus drivers, and transit supporters, public Port Authority bus service is coming back to the community! The 44 Knoxville route has been extended into North Baldwin and will begin service on September 8th. Service will run from 530 am to midnight, every half hour. This is a huge victory for all of us who worked so hard to ensure our voices were heard! 

Please join the Buses for Baldwin committee and Pittsburghers for Public Transit for a community meeting to learn about the bus service that will come back to our neighborhoods.

WHEN: Wednesday July 22nd, 7:00-8:30 pm

WHERE: Baldwin Borough building auditorium, 3344 Churchview Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15227

Click here to read the article in the South Hills Record. 

More info about the service:

The route starts at Churchview Garden apts and runs down Churchview Ave, to Spencer, Custer, and Agnew, across Becks Run road to St Clair, through Knoxville and Beltzhoover and into town via Warrington Ave and the transit tunnel. The service will run from 530 am to midnight, every 30 mins, Monday through Friday.

We understand that this service does not meet everyone’s needs, especially those on Willett Road, and we will continue to campaign for a solution to that issue.

Questions? Call 412-216-9659

Jun 292015

Do you want to tell Port Authority what you think about charging for Connect Cards and their fare policy, in general? Come speak at the public hearing on June 30th, 11 am to 1 pm, and 4 pm to 6 pm. Call 412-566-5187 to pre-register. The hearing is in the Port Authority board room, 345 Sixth Ave, Heinz Building, 5th floor.

You can also complete a survey. Here is a link to the survey and more info

Port Authority is also asking for input on potential changes to the system, including zones, how and when we pay, etc.

Here is Pittsburghers for Public Transit’s current position on Port Authority fares:

June 26, 2015

PPT asserts that riders should not have to pay any more than they already do for transit service. We have one of the most expensive base fares in the country at $2.50, and the cost of using our system is a burden on many families. We are very pleased to know that Port Authority will not be raising fares this fiscal year, but we have been told that PennDot expects Port Authority to increase its fares starting July 2016. We all need to come together (riders, workers, residents, Port Authority staff and board, and elected officials) to prevent a fare increase in July 2016.

In 1975, our base fare was 40 cents. Adjusted for inflation the equivalent today would be $1.77. In 2001, the base fare was $1.60. Adjusted for inflation that is equivalent to $2.15.  Since 2001, our base fare has gone up by 56% percent, and we cannot let them be raised next year. When you factor in cost of living, asking a Pittsburgher to pay $2.50 for a one-way ride is the equivalent of asking a New Yorker to pay $5.43! New York currently has a base fare of 2.75 and is the only city in the country that charges more than Pittsburgh.

When workers make $7.25/hour, how can they be expected to get to their jobs when getting there and back with a transfer is equivalent to the money they earn in one whole hour at work?

We do support simplifying the system to make it easier for riders to use, but we want to ensure this does not involve raising the base fare. Expecting transit dependent riders to pay more is unfair and disproportionately hurts them. We commend that senior citizens ride for free (mainly through subsidies from the lottery), and we commend that people with disabilities get a reduced fare. But we think that these riders should also get reduced weekly, monthly, and annual passes. We also assert that low-income residents should get a reduced fare.

Raising the fare runs a huge risk of decreasing ridership. If residents begin to feel as if it is less expensive to drive and park, what incentive is there to take public transit? Keeping fares where they are (or lowering them) and simplifying the system will increase ridership, which ultimately increases revenue from passengers and from the state.

We assert that Port Authority should get rid of Zone 2, stop charging for transfers, and maintain the free fare zone downtown (which includes 2.5% of daily trips or 4500 rides). We assert that riders should always pay getting on for inbound trips, and pay getting off for outbound trips, including past 7 pm.

With respect to Connect Cards, we are concerned that charging a fee for them will de-incentivize their use, when we know the system overall benefits from more people using the cards. Can the Port Authority consider other ways to cover the costs of the card, through sponsorship, for example? If a fee for the Connect Card is imposed, we insist that low income riders and riders with disabilities get the cards for free.

Jun 262015

This morning, dozens filled the Port Authority board room to celebrate their victory after over a year of advocating for service to transit deserts. The Port Authority board voted to adopt the July 2015 to July 2016 Operating and Capital budget. It includes 3.7 million dollars for adding service, which is approximately a 2% increase in service overall. This includes extending service on 4 routes: the 44 Knoxville to Baldwin, the 20 Kennedy to Groveton, the 56 Lincoln Place to Penn State McKeesport, and the 91 Butler to RIDC park.

Over the past year, Pittsburghers for Public Transit has supported community campaigns for service to the transit deserts in Baldwin, Groveton, and Moon. Up to 2000 residents have conducted surveys, canvassed their communities, attended meetings, made phone calls, written letters, signed petitions, met with Port Authority board and staff members and elected officials, spoken at Port Authority board meetings, and participated in demonstrations. They brought awareness to the plight of transit deserts and called for adequate transit service in their communities. Their hard work paid off today as these service extensions were approved.

Chris Kuznicki, Baldwin resident, said “We commend all the residents who worked so hard on this campaign and appreciate all the support that PPT, transit workers, and residents throughout the region have provided. We will continue to push for everyone in our county to have the transit service they need and deserve.”

“The families in Groveton appreciate that Port Authority has listened to the word of the people,” said Darnell Jones, resident of Groveton. “We’ve worked hard for this service, and now people will be able to find jobs and get to the supermarket, other stores, and doctor’s appointments.”

The service changes will take effect Sept 6, 2015.

News coverage, click here

May 292015

Over 10 county residents spoke at the Port Authority board meeting this morning. They thanked the agency for proposing service in 4 communities, including Baldwin and Groveton. These changes will make a huge difference in people’s lives, allowing them to get to school, work, the doctor, shopping centers, friends’ houses, and more. Residents also made suggestions for tweaks to get service in more areas. A huge thanks to everyone who has been part of this effort!

Post Gazette coverage: click here


See below for the public comment from Jonah McAllister-Erickson, on behalf of PPT:

Pittsburghers for Public Transit and the community members we have been working with for several years were thrilled to hear that the Port Authority’s proposal for service changes next fiscal year includes extending service into transit deserts, such as Baldwin and Groveton. This proposal indicates the Port Authority’s willingness to listen to the voices of community members and to take steps to address their needs. You may have limited resources, but working toward more equity in our transit system, which has the added benefit of increasing ridership, is the right thing to do. And we commend you for taking these steps.

Darnell Jones, a Groveton resident, who isn’t able to be here today because he is at work, has said “The families in Groveton appreciate that Port Authority has listened to the word of the people. If the proposed extension of the 20 Kennedy is approved, people will be able to find jobs and get to the supermarket, other stores, and doctor’s appointments.”

As you’ve heard today, the Baldwin residents are very happy to know they could be getting service back in the community, and they are deeply grateful. They still have concerns about the residents in the Willett Ave corridor and hope that some solution can be found.

Not every community in our county is getting what they need, and we will continue to advocate with riders, workers, and residents to ensure that the staff, board, elected officials, and public can all work to have an adequate transit system for our county’s residents.

We urge you to approve these service extensions and to determine if there are still ways to make inexpensive tweaks to get service to areas in need.

We’d now like to briefly discuss the recently proposed service guidelines. We support the move toward more inclusive and transparent processes, and we also appreciate that you have created some time for public comment. You will hear comments from our members using the online form in the coming month.

Public transit agencies cannot make decisions based on cost and efficiency alone, and we are pleased to see equity as a key category in the proposed service guidelines.  Our main concern about these guidelines is the lack of clarity over how the 3 categories (equity, efficiency, and effectiveness) are weighted in decision-making. We call for the prioritization of equity, and would urge that route report cards have an equity score added to them.  We applaud the Port Authority’s recognition, in the proposed service guidelines, of the disproportionate importance public transit plays in low-income communities, and to the lives of transit dependent riders. And we expect the Port Authority to continue to go beyond the minimum requirements of Title VI and the ADA to ensure our transit system strives to connect all the different people of Allegheny County to life. Finally, we are pleased to see there is no fare hike planned for next year, which we know our riders appreciate.