PPT celebrates as Port Authority approves extending routes to transit deserts

This morning, dozens filled the Port Authority board room to celebrate their victory after over a year of advocating for service to transit deserts. The Port Authority board voted to adopt the July 2015 to July 2016 Operating and Capital budget. It includes 3.7 million dollars for adding service, which is approximately a 2% increase in service overall. This includes extending service on 4 routes: the 44 Knoxville to Baldwin, the 20 Kennedy to Groveton, the 56 Lincoln Place to Penn State McKeesport, and the 91 Butler to RIDC park.

Over the past year, Pittsburghers for Public Transit has supported community campaigns for service to the transit deserts in Baldwin, Groveton, and Moon. Up to 2000 residents have conducted surveys, canvassed their communities, attended meetings, made phone calls, written letters, signed petitions, met with Port Authority board and staff members and elected officials, spoken at Port Authority board meetings, and participated in demonstrations. They brought awareness to the plight of transit deserts and called for adequate transit service in their communities. Their hard work paid off today as these service extensions were approved.

Chris Kuznicki, Baldwin resident, said “We commend all the residents who worked so hard on this campaign and appreciate all the support that PPT, transit workers, and residents throughout the region have provided. We will continue to push for everyone in our county to have the transit service they need and deserve.”

“The families in Groveton appreciate that Port Authority has listened to the word of the people,” said Darnell Jones, resident of Groveton. “We’ve worked hard for this service, and now people will be able to find jobs and get to the supermarket, other stores, and doctor’s appointments.”

The service changes will take effect Sept 6, 2015.

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