PPT submitted an open letter highlighting our transit priorities, published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 11/26. Writing credit is largely due to PPT Board Member Dean Mougianis:
“The Port Authority has hired a new CEO, and Pittsburghers for Public Transit would like to warmly welcome Katharine Kelleman to this region (Nov. 9, “Port Authority Hires Public Transit ‘Superstar.’”)
As an organization that works closely with riders, drivers and residents, PPT would have preferred a more transparent hiring process. The Port Authority, as a public institution, has a responsibility to solicit public input in decisions as important as selecting a new CEO. But that’s a bus that’s left the stop and none of the new CEO’s doing.
As her tenure begins, here are some of PPT’s major concerns:
The Port Authority’s plans to enforce a new fare policy on the T with armed police officers is a waste of resources and needlessly risky. Other more benign but still effective ways exist to ensure that fares are collected.
The proposed BRT system connecting Downtown with Oakland and other neighborhoods could provide marginal speedups to Pittsburgh’s busiest transit corridor. However, the current plan will reduce service to many Mon Valley communities that need service the most. Let’s address the county’s pressing transportation needs first, and remember that none of our communities are expendable.
New technologies, including autonomous vehicles, could offer many benefits for transit riders. These innovations — in fact, any Port Authority investments — should not come at the expense of transit workers and their livelihoods. As we look ahead, we must ensure that workers are never simply cast aside.
The Port Authority, from all appearances, has hired an energetic, community-minded and forward-thinking CEO. We expect that those qualities will be applied to helping all transit stakeholders build a better future for all of us.”
Pittsburghers for PublicTransit