Thank you for visiting Pittsburghers for Public Transit’s site! We’re excited that you want to join us in the fight to protect and expand Pittsburgh’s public transit system. Here’s how you can help!
· Come to a PPT meeting! They are open to all and anyone with an opinion or idea is welcome to voice it. We make all decisions democratically, with each attendee having a voice and a vote. Our next meeting will be sent to our announcements e-mail list which you can join by e-mailing SAVEPGHTRANSIT@GMAIL.COM
· Volunteer! We will regularly need help distributing leaflets for events, passing out copies of our “Pittsburgh Needs Transit!” (put a link to the webpage with the paper on it: http://www.
pittsburghersforpublictransit. org/p/articles-op-eds.html) newsletter at bus stops, and all kinds of other duties. If we’re going to build a successful movement to protect and expand public transit, we’ll need all hands on deck. If you have any special skills, talents, or resources that you think can help push our movement forward, please let us know!
· Donate to PPT! We have no budget, no paid staffers, no corporate backers. We published 20,000 copies of our newsletter for only 900 dollars, all of which came from members and supporters of PPT. Once we run out, we’ll need to publish more, and in the future we may want to produce posters, banners, apparel, or anything else we’ll need in the course of this fight. Help us make these things a reality! You can donate to PPT by writing a check to “Thomas Merton Center”, with “Economic Justice – Transit” in the memo line. You can mail your donations to “Thomas Merton Center, Attn: Economic Justice Committee, 5129 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224.” Any amount helps! We currently have 141 people on our mailing list; if everyone on it gave just 10 dollars we would have more than enough to publish another round of newsletters!
· Spread the word! Talk about PPT and the struggle for transit with your coworkers, classmates, neighbors, and the people waiting for the bus with you. Point them in the direction of our website and Facebook page, invite them to a meeting or action, or give them a newsletter. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, especially when organizing around an issue as important and impactful as protecting and expanding public transit.
As you know, PPT, along with our brothers and sisters in the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Local 85, organized a hugely successful and well-attended march through Squirrel Hill on March 19th. More than 500 people marched, chanted, and stood in unison against the cuts bearing down on our transit system. The event was really a sight to behold, and garnered a great deal of media attention from all of the major local news outlets, independent media, and the city’s student press.
Despite our success, the cuts still happened. Tens of thousands of people and dozens of neighborhoods have lost their transit service entirely; for the rest of us, the system has been thrown into chaos and unpredictability, which will settle into a reduced level of service. Hundreds of hard-working Port Authority workers have lost their livelihoods in an economy that is producing few if any good, family-sustaining jobs. Unless we organize and fight back on an even greater scale, this reality will persist indefinitely, despite the Port Authority’s claims that the cuts are only ‘temporary.’
Make no mistake, more cuts are coming unless they are doggedly resisted. All levels of government are in fiscal crisis and cuts to services like transit are the order of the day for the politicians and the corporate interests that control them. We need to be clear that the hard-working and dedicated workers who make the Port Authority run and provide the heartbeat for our city are not the cause of the transit crisis, but that the real cause is a boggling misallocation of resources in our government and throughout society generally.
We need to be in the streets asking: “Why are we spending more than a trillion dollars a year on the military budget rather than funding transit nationally? Why are Marcellus Shale drillers who ruin our environment not being taxed so we could fund transit statewide? Why do huge, money-making ‘non-profits’ like UPMC not pay a dime in local taxes when we could be funding transit in Pittsburgh?” We need to be asking those questions (and loudly!), in our streets, on the news, in our workplaces, classrooms, neighborhoods, churches, unions, buses, and subways.
The fact that a small but dedicated organization was able to organize a big demonstration and major media event with no budget and maybe two dozen volunteers shows the potential for the working people, youth, students, elderly, disabled, and all who care about public transit in Allegheny County to launch a major movement to not only stop future cuts to public transit but to expand it. That is PPT’s mission and reason for existence. The inspiring struggle of workers in Wisconsin and ordinary people in Egypt against injustice in their regions give us optimism that the same methods can be applied in this battle with success, and that a dedicated and massive movement can achieve our aims.
All of us at PPT hope you’re able to get involved, and we warmly invite you to do so. We firmly believe that the best way forward in this fight is through mass action that will pressure the authorities into accepting and carrying out our just demands. Together, we can win this fight.
Pittsburghers for Public Transit