Cuts In Suburban Pittsburgh Bus Routes Changed Lives

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple years ago, when Gloria Jefferson of McKeesport wanted to go somewhere, she walked to a bus stop near her house.

Then, in 2011, her commute became much less convenient. During a round of cuts to fix a budget deficit, the Port Authority canceled her route, which ran through the middle of McKeesport. Now, Ms. Jefferson, who is 80, has to walk a mile downhill to another stop.

The walk is tough for her, especially when she’s carrying grocery bags. Sometimes, she pays for a ride there or avoids going places. She wonders whether she’ll still be able to make the walk when she gets older.

“Right now, I feel good. How long it’s going to last, I don’t know,” she said. “I keep on praying that one day they’ll turn it around and bring the bus back up the hill.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/04/06/Cuts-in-suburban-bus-routes-changed-lives/stories/201404060065#ixzz2y9vjCoPz

Enhanced by Zemanta

Last Year’s Gridlock Looms Large Over Pirates’ Opener

PNC Park

PNC Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fans arriving for Opening Day on Monday will be getting an earlier start to tailgating around PNC Park, and so will police hoping to avoid last year’s gridlock — but not by much.

Police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said officers assigned to ease congestion and operate signals at the busiest intersections will start arriving at their posts at 10:30 a.m., at least 45 minutes earlier than last year.

But this year’s first pitch is about a half-hour earlier, about 1 p.m. Parking lots and garages open to tailgaters at 9 a.m., and the ballpark gates open at 11. Officials urge fans to have patience, use mass transit or park farther away from the ball field.

“If people can curtail their excitement with a little bit of patience, we’ll be able to help them get where they need to go,” Toler said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5830137-74/parking-pirates-fans#ixzz2xYokJ1U5
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Downtown Pittsburgh Traffic A Mess As Protesters Take To Streets

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pitt...

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, with the new corporate logo of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traffic jams around U.S. Steel Tower delayed Monday-morning commuters as hundreds of activists staged a loud protest against UPMC.

Pittsburgh police said they expect more demonstrators to arrive during the day. An estimated 600 had gathered by about 11:30 a.m., said police spokeswoman Sonya Toler. None had been arrested or cited as police blocked both northbound lanes of Grant Street at Steel Tower to handle the group.

“We have a bit of gridlock throughout town,” said Toler, who described the crowd as “mannerable” and “well behaved.” Police will decide later when to reopen the Grant Street lanes, though they were trying to reopen at least one as soon as they can, she said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5695344-74/upmc-service-activists#ixzz2uvS97DRf
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland Rapid Bus Route Urged

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Backers of a proposed Bus Rapid Transit corridor connecting Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland have adopted an ambitious timetable to advance the project.

Wendy Stern, Port Authority assistant general manager for planning and development, told a board committee recently that project supporters hope to apply for federal funding next fall. That would require completion of preliminary engineering and environmental review before then, and securing all of the non-federal funding needed for construction.

That would keep the project on track for a start of service in 2017.

A preliminary estimate of the overall cost is $200 million and the project would have to prevail in a highly competitive federal grant program to move ahead, Ms. Stern said. A federal grant likely would cover only 50 percent of the cost.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/12/02/Port-Authority-pushes-Downtown-Oakland-rapid-yyy-Downtown-to-Oakland-rapid-bus-route-urged/stories/201312020059#ixzz2mL8hxINw

Southwestern Pennsylvania Transit Merger Report Is Due Out In April

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A private firm hired by PennDOT to study the merging of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s 10 transit systems — which has drawn interest from county leaders across the region — said on Monday it will present its findings in April.

Officials from outside of Alle­gheny County said forming a regional transit system is a good idea but are wary of taking on the costs of the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

“We’ve got to look at it. All of these small transit systems are dying on the vine. There’s no federal and state funding. You want to see if you can consolidate some things, but a lot of details have to be worked out,” said Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi. “I certainly don’t want to absorb (Port Authority legacy costs) to Washington County taxpayers.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4961575-74/transit-county-authority#ixzz2j8v6KQEL
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Proposal Will Make Downtown Pittsburgh Core Totally Bus-Free

Locator map with the Central Business District...

Locator map with the Central Business District neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Port Authority has begun working on a plan to remove buses and bus stops from the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh.

The plan, backed by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the city’s presumptive mayor-to-be, Bill Peduto, would relocate routes and stops toward the edges of the Golden Triangle, creating what Mr. Fitzgerald called “a zone in the core of Downtown that is bus-free.”

Details have not been worked out and Mr. Fitzgerald said the changes aren’t likely until sometime next year. “We don’t want to rush into it and not do it right,” he said.

Mr. Peduto said he envisions a circular route pattern using wider streets toward the edges of Downtown rather than having buses coming from four different directions and turning around in the middle of town.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/proposal-will-make-downtown-pittsburgh-core-totally-bus-free-706169/#ixzz2glvcd970

Allegheny County Port Authority Board Fires CEO

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Port Authority’s board of directors voted today to fire CEO Steve Bland after efforts broke down to reach a settlement under which he would resign.

The dismissal was engineered by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.  He has not commented on the matter but sources who asked not to be identified have said friction developed between the two over Mr. Fitzgerald’s desire to have greater control of day-to-day operations at the agency.

The vote to dismiss Mr. Bland was 5-3, with four members recently appointed by Mr. Fitzgerald all voting yes, along with board member Jeff Letwin, who was appointed by the prior county executive, Dan Onorato.  The others voting to fire were Joe Brimmeier, Connie Parker, John Tague, Tom Donatelli.

Voting no were Mavis Rainey, Amanda Green Hawkins and Eddie Edwards Jr., all of whom are board veterans.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/transportation/port-authority-board-fires-bland-672980/#ixzz2JfkDbXwW

Oversight Of Allegheny County Transit To Shift From Pittsburgh Port Authority To Public Utility Commission

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pennsylvania Legislature has approved a measure stripping the Port Authority of its power to regulate transportation services in Allegheny County, transferring it to the state’s Public Utility Commission.

Supporters of the measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said it will end the Port Authority’s “monopoly” on providing transit service in the county.

“By allowing other transportation agencies to offer services, the people will be far better served,” Mr. Turzai said in a news release after the Senate approved the bill in a 27-21 vote. “Eliminating the transit monopoly is a win-win for taxpayers and transit riders.”

The bill was passed earlier by the House and now awaits Gov. Tom Corbett‘s approval. He will sign it, spokeswoman Kelli Roberts said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/transportation/oversight-of-county-transit-to-shift-from-port-authority-to-public-utility-commission-639869/#ixzz1xV84CRR5