A cut is still a cut. No matter how big or small it is, a cut still bleeds. Right now, the public transit system in Pittsburgh is a bleeding wound. Despite the efforts by outgoing Governor Rendell to supply a band-aid to the Port Authority for this fiscal year and prevent our transit system from deteriorating even more, pressure from other elected officials, including County Executive Onorato, to stretch the supplemental funding over 18 months has made it that route cuts will still occur in March.
While many people may say to look at the positive aspects, that instead of a 35% cut we now only face a 15% cut, the result remains the same; The Pittsburgh public transit community is losing accessibility to our area. The only change to circumstances is that instead of ripping the bandage off quickly and inflicting the pain all at once, now we will have to the feel the pain slowly, each time the Port Authority continues to need to make more cuts and rips the band-aid off a little more.
According to County Executive Onorato, it was necessary to stretch the $45 million in band-aid funding over 18 months as we could not expect our legislators in Harrisburg to find a transportation funding solution in the 6 months before the Port Authority’s fiscal year changes in July. Perhaps because he was running for Governor, Onorato fails to remember that the application to toll I-80 was denied a third time in April 2010 and the State legislature failed to take action throughout the remainder of the year. Thus the entire state transportation system has not had a secure source of funding since.
The bleeding wound that is Pittsburgh’s public transit system will not heal until our legislators put in the time needed and take action to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions as elected officials. The continuing cuts to the Port Authority are just the ramifications from the failure of Act 44. Use our links at the left to contact your legislators and tell them this issue needs to be a priority as they return to Harrisburg. Pittsburgh’s public transit community deserves action now! Subscribe to our blog or join our Facebook page to keep informed on the Port Authority and its effects on our community. Join us! Speak out! PublicTransit4Pittsburgh~Advocating for Access