Thursday, March 17, 2011

Allegheny County Transit Council opposed any cuts in transit service

A motion to "oppose the planned March 27th transit cuts “ passed during the General Meeting that took place on March 16th. This entails that ACTC suggests that the Port Authority shall consider other solutions to the budget shortfall/funding issue than cutting service by 15% on March 27. The motion did not specify, however, what alternatives are to be considered by the Port Authority.

Another proposed motion failed. The motion proposed that ACTC shall “oppose Lenzner Coach Lines from providing bus service from Franklin Park and Marshall Twp to Downtown” on the former 13J and 13K routes that are eliminated come March 27. As Stu Strickland noted during the discussion preceding the vote riders on 13G and 13J already expressed their position – some service is better than none, and it is our role to present their needs to the Port Authority.

To note that routes 13J and 13K were not eliminated due to lack of ridership but because of high costs. For example the closest Port Authority garage –the Harmar Garage- is located 23 miles from Franklin Park and about 18 miles away from Marshall. The fare box revenues - at $3.25 per trip - are not enough to cover the cost of the 17-20 mile trip from the departing station to downtown Pittsburgh . And Port Authority has to add to the actual trip costs the additional expense of running an empty bus for at least 18 miles one way from its garage to the park and ride stations.

Lenzner Coach Lines, a private bus service provider, jumped on the opportunity and submitted a plan for bus service on the 13K and 13 J routes. Located strategically in Sewickley, PA - only 4 miles away from Franklin Park and about 10 miles from the Marshal Twp Park and Ride – Lenzner has the ability to offer bus service on these routes at much lower costs for idle times. Lenzner is also going to charge about $10 for a round trip and require registration before bus could be boarded. Standing passengers will not be allowed and there will be no reduced rates for senior or disabled citizens.

Read more:

News about Lenzner proposal here: Port Authority Panel OK’s private service

A comprehensive, very recent article on Port Authority’s funding issues and the position Allegheny County’s Council took with respect to the planned 15% cuts by LaurenDaley : In Transition: The Allegheny County Port Authority is Changing – into what is the question

Also latest news on the County Council's plans to reduce funding.

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