Residents in Mifflin Estates addressed the Port Authority Board Meeting on Friday, October 28th, 2016 and delivered powerful testimonies of their experiences and daily struggles with transit in their community. A resident of Garfield, Donna Lee Terry spoke in solidarity with them, drawing parallels between her own experience without weekend service in Garfield (prior to the success of the 89 Garfield campaign) and the experiences of residents in Mifflin Estates. The launch of this campaign was covered by the Post Gazette, the Trib, and The Incline.
Mifflin Estates consists of 201 units of affordable housing off of Camp Hollow Road in West Mifflin, near the Allegheny County Airport. Many folks do not have access to cars and have to walk over a mile on hilly, dangerous roads to get to the nearest bus stop. Recently, one person was seriously injured walking along that road. Residents feel stranded and isolated, and many have trouble getting to work, school, medical appointments and meeting basic daily needs.
This affects folks who are disabled, elderly, and those with young children.
Starr Magwood, a resident and mother of two children, described how difficult it was to enjoy activities with her kids and help them connect with things happening in their community and the world.
Resident Maria Green said that she goes to daily radiation treatments for breast cancer, and because ACCESS limits riders to one trip a day, she is stranded afterwards in Mifflin Estates and has to depend on others for grocery shopping and getting to work. She moved to West Mifflin from Chicago to be with her grandchildren and has had to take a severe pay-cut because she is not able to work most shifts during the week.
A total of 90 residents have indicated their need for service, through a survey and meetings conducted by Pittsburghers for Public Transit. PPT is supporting this campaign and hopes the Port Authority can allocate current resources to extend service. The Y47, for example, could layover there instead of at CCAC South. PPT also expects that elected officials and supporters work to get more funding for public transit in all communities that need it.
Transit and mobility are basic necessities because without those, residents cannot connect with things they need in their lives. Everyone should be able to have safe, accessible, affordable transit. PPT stands with the residents of Mifflin Estates and other communities that still do not have access to this basic right.