Cast Your Vote on PPT’s 2024 Strategic Plan!

Image description: illustration from PPT artist Neve Monroe-Anderson shows 5 people standing together on top of a bus holding signs. One of them is a transit worker. One is wearing a PPT t-shirt. One is in a wheelchair.

Calling all PPT Members: The time has come to vote on our 2024 Strategic Plan!

Your vote is a critical step in making sure our organizing is on point, on track, and directed towards the best outcomes in the following year. Please read the text of the strategic plan below, then cast your vote using the form at the bottom of the page. (Note: In-person voting will be available at our Victory Party on December 15th!)

See the beautiful visual version of the 2024 Strategic Plan (created by artist and friend of PPT Emily Simons) by clicking the image below:

image description: a graphic version of PPT’s 2024 Strategic Plan: We Ride Together. It’s a very complex image that takes the form of the tree, with “Organizational Strength Goals” as the trunk, and the 5 priority campaigns spreading out as the tree’s branches and roots. There are lots of colors, fun little images, and flags and banners spread out around the entire image.

“We Ride Together!”: PPT’s 2024 Strategic Plan

Who we are and why we organize

Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) is a grassroots union of transit riders, workers and neighbors who organize for more equitable, affordable, and accessible public transit that meets all needs, with no communities left behind. We uphold the PPT Transit Bill of Rights, which identifies transit as a public good, and as essential to the economic, social and environmental well-being of our region. 

Recap of 2023

PPT is growing the movement for Transit Justice, by developing our collective power and by sharing the expertise of transit riders and workers to win affordable fares, expanded and reliable transit service, equitable infrastructure, and sustainable transit funding. 

An organizing highlight was PPT’s work in supporting the enrollment and participation of eligible immigrants, people with disabilities and families into the Department of Human Services-funded discounted fare pilot program with 14,000 enrollees. Winning this pilot program was a critical milestone in the campaign for zero fares for all SNAP households in Allegheny County. 

Transit riders and workers also had a powerful impact on County Executive race, both in educating County Executive candidates on community transit demands, and in organizing residents to #VoteTransit. PPT centered the low-income fare demand in the County Executive race, which led all the candidates who participated in the PPT bus ride-alongs and PPT transit questionnaires to commit to an expanded zero fare program as part of their campaign platforms. Because of PPT’s organizing, transit riders and transit workers have now been elevated to crucial positions in the incoming County Executive transition Policy Committee for Reliable, Modern Transportation and Infrastructure.  

Over 2023, PPT has led the call for the City of Pittsburgh to invest in accessible, equitable infrastructure over private transportation technology. We published “Representing our Routes,” a report laying out the challenges and opportunities for City leaders to both improve and advocate for better public transit. And PPT has continued to elevate the harm of unreliable transit schedules and service reductions on transit riders and workers, and on the region at large.

Our 2024 Strategic Plan 

This year, we will lead with the slogan “We Ride Together”.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grassroots, democratic union, committed to transparent and collaborative governance of our staff and organization. Our annual Strategic Plan is both an important process and product to ensure that our organization has clear goals and accountability mechanisms that can be referenced throughout the course of the year. Our 2024 Strategic Plan builds on the opportunities and successes of campaigns advanced throughout 2023, but also on the feedback and ideas of our members and Board Leadership. 

We began the process at PPT’s Summer Party, soliciting ideas for 2024 PPT organizational and campaign goals, then drafted a Strategic Plan document that was workshopped both with our democratically-elected Coordinating Committee and membership in meetings and online forms. Feedback solicited from September through November were analyzed to find members’ key questions, critiques, and ideas. Those takeaways are reflected in this, the final draft of our Strategic Plan, which has been voted upon by PPT’s democratically-elected Board of Directors, and is now brought to the membership for ratification.

The following are Pittsburghers for Public Transit’s Organizational Development Goals and Campaign Goals for 2024:

PPT Organizational Development Goals:

  • PPT Membership Growth: we will grow to have 400 full, active members by the end of 2024.
  • PPT Membership Voting Engagement: we will have a minimum of 50% of the membership vote on the annual Strategic Plan and on the annual Board of Directors elections.
  • PPT Relationship Building with Targeted Communities: we will put extra resources and focus on building relationships with transit workers, transit riders who are Spanish-speaking, those who live in the Mon Valley and South Hills, riders who utilize ASL interpretation, and youth.
  • PPT will run monthly transit tours alongside Casa San Jose in order to build community relationships, support utilization of our transit system, and understand specific community transit barriers and priorities. These tours will be expanded to incorporate teaching and engaging youth around the transit system. 
  • PPT will develop standing geographically-based transit committees in both the Mon Valley and the South Hills.
  • PPT will train members to do presentations about our work and hold listening sessions with allied issue organizations and community-based organizations.

2024 Key Campaign Goals

#Fair Fares Goals:

  • Department of Human Service-Funded Permanent Zero Fare program for All SNAP Households in the County: PPT will ensure its successful implementation and full eligible rider adoption in 2024.
  • Employer/Developer-Paid Bulk Discount Fare Program: PPT will organize for PRT to implement a bulk discount fare program for corporations, municipalities, agencies and developers to purchase.
    • PPT will organize the City of Pittsburgh to budget for transit passes for all City employees in 2025.
    • PPT will research best practices and organize for Allegheny County to pass legislation to require or incentivize companies, municipalities, agencies and developers to purchase these bulk transit passes for workers, constituents or residents.
    • PPT will develop research and organize around model legislation for Allegheny County, that would compel corporations, developers and other large employers or landlords to purchase transit passes for their employees, constituents, and renters.

Transit Service Goals: 

  • Universal Baseline Quality Service: PPT will publish a report about the cost and equity impact of establishing Countywide quality baseline transit service. This plan would expand the PRT service footprint to match the 2009 Transit Development Plan recommendations, would create minimum service frequencies and service spans to accommodate all types of workers and uses.
    • We will use this demand as a basis for organizing the County Executive to set goals around service restoration and expansion.
    • We will use this to ground our demands for transit funding at a County, State and Federal level.
  • Defend our Service! PPT will organize affected riders on routes impacted by cuts, including the 71A, 71C, 71D, 61D and 15 to stop and reverse those cuts.
  • Schedule Reliability: PPT will organize for PRT to publish realistic schedules with multiple timepoints that are able to be met by transit workers, and track the on-time performance and instances of ghost buses in 2024. To do so, PPT will organize for an expanded role for transit workers in scheduling decisions. 
  • Worker Recruitment and Retention: PPT will organize for PRT to set and meet targets for transit worker recruitment and retention, using recommendations from ATU Local 85 including eliminating the wage tiers. We will identify other strategies for hiring and retention by calling for an audit of current PRT staffing practices.

Equitable Infrastructure Goals: 

  • “Complete Streets”: PPT will organize for the development, maintenance and enforcement of accessible and dignified sidewalks and bus shelters.
    • Through the Complete Streets Committee, we will hold the City accountable to meeting reasonable benchmarks towards its goal of completing 80% of the City sidewalk network by 2026.
    • PPT will call on DOMI and City Council to enforce its bus stop shelter contract, to include relocating vacant shelters to existing bus stops, and placing new shelters and benches. 
  • Beyond the East Busway: PPT will organize with riders in the original Beyond the East Busway tool’s geographic region to activate local transit committees.
    • Beginning in the Mon Valley, PPT will accelerate equitable access to rapid transit, economic and housing opportunities in the County. 
  • Housing/Transit Land Use Goals: PPT will identify opportunities to maximize affordable housing in high-quality transit corridors.
    • Local: PPT will organize with tenants and Pittsburgh Housing Justice orgs to pass inclusionary zoning legislation for high minimum standards of affordable housing as part of every new housing development.
    • County: PPT will organize for PRT to pass mandates around equitable transit-oriented development around its best transit infrastructure assets, to  include a minimum percentage of affordability and connected and accessible first-last mile pedestrian infrastructure.

Transit Funding Goals: 

  • Organizing for a More Just Allocation of the PA Sales Tax, by Giving More of Existing Money to Transit Riders Statewide. PPT will organize for increasing PRT operating funding (to support more transit workers and expanded transit service) by expanding the share of the existing PA sales tax allocated to the Public Transportation Trust Fund.
  • Allow Local Referenda For Local Taxes for Infrastructure Improvements: PPT will continue to organize to allow PA counties to decide to raise money for transit infrastructure improvements (ie. bus-only lanes, nice bus shelters, a new bus garage) to have matching funds to access federal infrastructure bill dollars.

#VoteTransit Goals:

  • Accountability: Develop and implement tactics that hold the new Allegheny County Executive accountable to the transit demands that riders developed in 2023, including ensuring the appointment of a minimum of 1 transit rider and 1 transit worker to the PRT Board.
  • Identify Positions of Power for Transit: PPT will identify legislative seats and legislators at different levels that are important to target for transit education, voter education and voter mobilization.
  • Educate and mobilize our existing #VoteTransit base: PPT will organize riders to participate in elections at all levels, and educate riders on candidate positions that are relevant to transit.