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.