General Membership meeting this Saturday, Dec. 15th

The Pittsburghers for Public Transit General Membership meeting is this Saturday, Dec.15th at 10 am, downtown at One Smithfieldin the Human Services Building, in the Liberty Conference Room, in the basement.  There’s free parking at the building.

Here’s a brief summary of the agenda 

  • Community organizers report: County Council hearing on UPMC, Sprout grant, legislative coalition meeting in Harrisburg, etc.
  • Report on meeting with ATU International President Larry Hanley & ATU local leadership.
  • Press conference and launch of Pennsylvanians for Public Transit in January with statewide coalition partners
  • Draft calendar of direct organizing goals and events for spring: upcoming training schedule.
  • Draft calendar of legislative campaign
  • Introduction of Bob Schmitt of CAT as nominee to the Coordinating Committee – vote to take place in January.

Allegheny County Council hearing on UPMC role in our community

Pittsburghers for Public Transit will help rock the Allegheny County Courthouse today at 5pm. Help make our voices heard that UPMC, as “charity,” should actually act like a nonprofit, instead of making big bucks off their community. Ask our elected leaders to stand up for people who voted for them by demanding that UPMC give back a fair share of taxes or other contributions for the infrastructure that they profit from, including mass transit. 

PPT General membership meeting on November 17th

The PPT General Membership meeting is this Saturday, November 17th at 10am  at the Thomas Merton Center, 5129 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224.

Agenda includes:

  • Up/down vote on nominations for Coordinating Committee: Paul O’Hanlon and Mel Packer
  • Report from subgroups: outreach, media, direct organizing, etc.
  • Reports on Hill Consensus Group meeting, PCRG forums on Transit Oriented Development, the Make It My UPMC “fair share” Campaign, MOVEPGH community feedback session, Intermodal Transportation planning meeting, and the City Council post agenda hearing on the proposed Billboard Tax Legislation
  • Legislative campaign: upcoming meeting of local and statewide coalition partners, survey for legislators and transit score card
  • Bylaws: revision and vote
  • Consideration and vote on joining coalitions

Transit Bill of Rights

At the last general membership meeting on October 20th, Pittsburghers for Public Transit voted on a Transit Bill of Rights:

Members of our community need public mass transit for basic mobility and access to work, school, hospitals, shopping areas, recreational facilities, polling places, places of worship, and families and friends. Public mass transit is a vital part of any healthy metropolitan area. It is essential infrastructure—just like roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and utilities—that is crucial to the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of our region.

We have a right to a public mass transit system that includes:
1. Safe, reliable, environmentally-sustainable, and affordable transit that is accessible to all
2. Living wages, benefits, safe working conditions, and union rights for transit workers
3. Dedicated and sustainable funding for public transit
4. Equitable distribution of public transit costs with corporations paying their fair share
5. Transit that meets the needs of each community with no communities left out

Join Pittsburghers for Public Transit in affirming this Transit Bill of Rights.

NEXT MEETING: Sat Nov 17, 2012. 10 am at Thomas Merton Center
(General membership meetings are the 3rd Saturday of each month)

This website and all our educational materials are currently being redesigned – stay tuned for some big changes. 

Here’s a basic summary of the Proposal for Organization, Strategy, Tactics, Activities that was revised and voted for by all participants at the monthly general membership meeting of Pittsburghers for Public Transit on October 20, 2012.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a democratic membership organization of those who are in agreement with the Transit Bill of Rights and are prepared to help advance it.

• Meetings will be held at least once a month, and all decisions will be made on the basis of one person, one vote—majority rule. A “voting member” is someone who regularly attends PPT meetings. Proposals should be sent to the community organizer [Helen Gerhardt:], who will compile and send them to the membership three days in advance of the monthly meeting.

• Sub-committees will be established as needed, by a decision of the membership, and they are answerable to the PPT membership. However, the media sub-committee can make decisions about material without approval of the general membership.
• A coordinating committee of no more than seven persons, answerable to the general membership, will be elected every six months to oversee and facilitate the work of PPT, including the work of any PPT staff and interns. This team will also make decisions–as needed–in between meetings, which can subsequently be reviewed. [Members of the Coordinating Committee will be published in the About section when the new website is completed.]

Currently, our goal is to achieve dedicated funding to secure a mass public transit system that is beneficial to transit riders, transit workers, and our communities. Our strategy – the over-arching “game-plan” to achieve that goal – will be to organize and mobilize popular pressure to persuade the Pennsylvania State Legislature to establish such funding. (If such funding is not forthcoming, we will consider additional efforts for achieving it).

We also aim to convince the general public that mass transit is a human right and necessity that must be supported by the corporations that benefit from its existence.

Finally, we seek to build a truly democratic mass organization to defend and expand public transit.

The PPT also voted on two other strategic and tactical work plans:

Proposal for Legislative Campaign, detailing our plans to inform and engage legislators and their constituents across the state

Proposal for Direct Organizing Campaign, detailing plans to engage, train, and coordinate teams of drivers, riders, and other transit supporters to engage in the political process and to build organizational coalitions for public transit.

Please contact us at if you’d like more information on how you can join our efforts.


Saturday, October 20th, at 10 am at The Thomas Merton Center (5129 Penn Ave).

Join a team of transit drivers, riders, and supporters working together to defend and expand mass transportation in our region.  Come to find out how you can contribute to local and statewide campaigns to secure long-term, dedicated transit funding.  

We’ll be sharing news and considering proposals for:

  • a Transit Bill of Rights
  • coalition building
  • our community organizing campaign
  • training volunteers
  • our legislative campaign across the state for dedicated public transit funding

PPT in the News: The Transit Crisis Isn’t Over

On October 11th, members of the ATU’s Local 85 voted to ratify a contract that included $60 million in concessions over the next four years.  Their actions, along with funds from the state and county, averted the devastating 35% service cut that had been slated to take effect in September.  However, all of this is only a band-aid for the transit crisis in our region.  The ATU did more than their part; now it’s the State’s turn to do theirs.

PPT was at the Convention Center for the vote and subsequent news conference to show our support for transit workers and remind the Greater-Pittsburgh community that we still need an adequate and sustainable source of government funding if we don’t want to be facing more cuts next year.

We still have a long fight ahead of us to make that happen.  If you would like to join the group of public transit riders and workers who are organizing a campaign to push for a long-term funding solution to put a stop to the transit crisis once and for all, we invite you to come to our NEXT PPT MEETING: Saturday, October 20th, at 10 am at The Thomas Merton Center (5129 Penn Ave).

Read up on the new ATU contract in the Post-Gazette’s article, “Port Authority Ratifies Contract to Head Off Service Cuts,” which includes a quote from PPT’s own Jonah McAllister! 

Check out PPT’s Op-Ed, “Public Transit Still Needs to be Saved,” published in the Post-Gazette!

Meeting on July 21st

Join us for a meeting at 10am at the Thomas Merton Center. We’ll be meeting with members of ATU Local 85.

Meeting with ATU Local 85 and the International President

Today we met at the ATU Local 85 headquarters along with International President, Larry Hanley. We’ve got only a couple months before the bus cuts take effect. We’ll be working closely with the union and PPT has got big plans for September 8th.