Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission voted on temporary funding solution for Public Transportation

This Monday, December 13th, SPC voted (27to 22) for a temporary funding solution of $45 million towards Port Authority’s deficit, as proposed by Gov. Rendell. Whilst the amount is barely enough to cover the Authority’s deficit for this fiscal year, the temporary funding was received with the understanding that it will be stretched over two fiscal years. Thus, PAT may avoid major service cuts until June 2012.
More information about this vote and what it does (or does not) represent for public transportation riders and supporters in Allegheny County can be found:

On Port Authority’s blog:

"This clearly is a short-term Band Aid -- not a long-term solution. In
response to concerns by a number of SPC Commissioners over the short-term
benefit of these funds, Port Authority has committed to examine "stretching" the
$45 million over the next 18 months -- through June 30, 2012."

Read more:

In the City Paper:
The Port Authority got its bailout last night: The Southwestern
Pennsylvania Commission approved diverting $45 million in discretionary funds
and staving off the biggest service reduction in the transit agency's history.

Read more: The author Lauren Daley also sent real-time tweets from the SPC meeting, for which she became my favorite Burgh reporter.

reading Jon Schmitz in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"Approval came after Port Authority CEO Steve Bland said the agency would
consider spreading the emergency funding over an extra year to give the state
Legislature and incoming Gov. Tom Corbett until July 2012 to address a statewide
transportation funding shortfall."
Read more: and the nominal votes :

this blog’s contributors posts on their personal blogs:

Stuart Strickland, a veteran public transportation advocate:
"I am happy that SPC voted yes, if only barely. I predicted a 51/49% vote in
favor; the actual tally was 55/45%. Those numbers aside, the math of the
short-term fix doesn't add up. Somehow this $45M Gov. Rendell found can be
stretched not only to June 30, 2011, but also to June 30, 2012, but I have grave
doubts. Adding a certain 15% service cut in March to the certain fare hike in
January, however, does not warm the cockles of my heart."

Read more

Ana Bayne, who is hoping to live long enough to experience German quality public transportation in the area:

"So instead of asking for dedicated funding, what I'd like to ask them (the
Republicans) is to reduce taxes. Yes, you read it well: Reduce Taxes. More
specific: reduce state taxes. Give each county the ability to re-direct that
potential revenue towards whatever that particular county needs more. And if you
do look at the numbers, it may even make sense…"

Read more:

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