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Old 07-21-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Location: If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space
12,345 posts, read 5,116,914 times
Reputation: 53762
Wow, just looked at the chart. Any more changes and it's going to be "you can't get there from here" - and a lot of distinct neighborhoods will be ghettoized, which will have ramifications throughout the city.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:15 AM
 
345 posts, read 360,209 times
Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by toosie View Post
PG article online says only the state can head off the changes.
I think he/she was talking about changes to management, not changes to the proposed cuts.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:19 AM
 
Location: If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space
12,345 posts, read 5,116,914 times
Reputation: 53762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbeauty212 View Post
I mean the power to "Fire" current management....
Quote:
Originally Posted by caroline2 View Post
I think he/she was talking about changes to management, not changes to the proposed cuts.
Doh Gotcha
Dunno Guessing that road leads to the state too but...
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:23 AM
 
21 posts, read 19,581 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by neurodistortion View Post
If they are so desperate for cash, then why do they keep spending more money on non-essentials like vacations and other corporate perks? Also, there's too many public transit companies in Western Pennsylvania, why can't they simply merge all of them into one?
Can you provide some links to support the "non-essentials like vacations and other corporate perks"?
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, the Iron City!!!
805 posts, read 2,005,589 times
Reputation: 232
In my opinion, the PAT's issues are multiple:

* Outdated Union structure that overpays both on the job and in pensions

* Irrational bus routes that over-serve some areas and under-serve others

* Bloated and shortsighted management

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Authority warned of these shortfalls long enough ago that by now the City AND State governments shold have had ample time to come up with funding solutions in addition to changes in management style and structure.

I remember hearing about this in winter, as the 3 feet of snow on the ground kept me indoors watching the news..... yet, it hasn't been in the papers or on TV much, until just now, that we face a crisis situation only a month after already-scheduled changes and cutbacks took effect, supposedly, to help alleviate the very problems they moan about today.

FACT: A bus driver shouldn't be getting over $50,000 a year. Sorry to those who believe that it's a skilled position or something, but it's ludicrous to pay someone that much for driving the same route each day for 6 to 8 hours a day, when college degreed professionals can't even find work in their whole field... and the pension amounts are insane... the Union really took it to us this time, and as always, the sheeple allowed it to happen.... no one opposed this on the grounds of reasonable assumption that bad policy makes for bad results.

FACT: The majority of people who now use the bus systems and who really NEED it are going to be the ones most affected... and once they can't easily get to and from work anymore, guess what?--- They'll join the welfare and unemployment rolls and WE get to pay for them!---And HOW do you think we'll be able to do that? - - Well, with higher TAXES, of course!....Even as our house values drop, we'll pay more in taxes for less service and to subsidize ever growing rolls of those who can no longer get decent jobs.

FACT: The local government here in Pittsburgh should bear the full responsibility of our transportation system, not Harrisburg. If Ravenstahl and (dis-)Onorato ca't make the efforts to fund it, then why should the burden be pushed off onto the rest of Pennsylvania who, by and large, will never even ride the damned thing once??? The state, itself, is hanging by a thread and can barely come up with a budget due to their own ginormous largesse... how can we expect them to come in & save US here in Pittsburgh???

Cutting service may be a necessity, but raising the fare by something close to 90% on the very people who can least afford it will only push them to buy cheap "beater" cars and drive to work more often, thereby clogging up our dated infrastructure even more and adding to the misery we face already when driving into work on 19, 51, 28 or the Parkways. Once they figure driving in will be CHEAPER than taking the bus... then they won't even think of taking the bus anymore, compounding the problem for PAT and the City.

I think privatizing the PAT, or at the very least inviting outside vendors in to compete with them, could help forestall this until they can figure something out in the budget halls and citadels of incompetence.... but for now, we're getting exactly what we deserve, for not making this issue more well-studied and solvable at an earlier stage of the game....

Selah
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
4,262 posts, read 3,961,799 times
Reputation: 2853
Makes mewant to leave Pittsburgh. I seem to be more and more dissapointed with our local government every day.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:23 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,241,334 times
Reputation: 2823
Quote:
Originally Posted by caroline2 View Post
I look at that PDF, see all that red, and think not what the Port Authority wants me to think -- "Ah! Panic! Must call my reps and beg them to throw more funding at the PA!" -- but instead -- "If they require $330 million to run so few remaining routes, they are a diseased organization that should just be scrapped."
The routes that would remain are the highest volume ones. In general, exactly what price should we be paying to get half the commuters to Downtown each year, and so on?

The sad thing is that PAT has done a lot lately to improve efficiency, cut its future liabilities, rationalize routes, and so on. But it gets no credit for that in certain circles, just more hostility because the state, not PAT itself, is experiencing a financial crisis.

Incidentally, the PAT Board of Directors is currently appointed by the County Executive with approval by the County Council. The NSC was adopted back when the County was run on the three-commissioner system, and after Dunn and Cranmer were elected they appointed new people to all but one of the slots, and they got the Spine Line turned into the NSC. That group of directors has since been replaced themselves.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: South Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA
875 posts, read 797,649 times
Reputation: 281
On a related note:

Rendell could tap federal highway money to save transit.

Personally, I'm fine with one more stopgap measure to keep the Port Authority solvent in its current form. Rendell says, and I agree with him, that even if the transportation part of the budget were straightened out, it wouldn't occur until 2012, and by that time it would do irreparable harm to Pittsburgh's transit system because of the (presumably temporary) cuts it would have to endure would kill the ridership base.

Fine, that's fine. However, if this happens it is what it is, a stopgap and not manna from heaven. We need political leaders to really step in here RIGHT NOW and reign in the Port Authority to acceptable standards, whether that's state or local governments, I don't care. It needs to be done, for the sanity of all.

What kills me is that at this point urban planners are trying to shift the country in a direction of MORE transit, walking, biking and less cars... and we're stuck hearing about how our transit company is going bankrupt and gutting service. It really sickens me and even as a general optimistic person, makes me lose hope for this city.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:49 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,241,334 times
Reputation: 2823
Quote:
Originally Posted by By~Tor View Post
FACT: The local government here in Pittsburgh should bear the full responsibility of our transportation system, not Harrisburg. If Ravenstahl and (dis-)Onorato ca't make the efforts to fund it, then why should the burden be pushed off onto the rest of Pennsylvania who, by and large, will never even ride the damned thing once??? The state, itself, is hanging by a thread and can barely come up with a budget due to their own ginormous largesse... how can we expect them to come in & save US here in Pittsburgh???
You know we pay state taxes here in Pittsburgh, right? The state is paying for projects all across the state that most of us never use, including transportation projects. So why should we pay state taxes and get nothing back in return?

In fact I guarantee that if the state never paid a dime for transportation, and transferred all the relevant funding back to where it came from proportionately, the Pittsburgh Metro would come WAY out ahead. It is the rural areas which are sucking in a lot more transportation funding than they are paying for in taxes.

Quote:
I think privatizing the PAT, or at the very least inviting outside vendors in to compete with them, could help forestall this . . . .
An operator looking to maximize profits would do exactly what PAT is proposing, but even more so.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:52 AM
 
9 posts, read 6,783 times
Reputation: 17
They were right to not allow tolling of I-80-- the money wouldn't have gone to I-80 maintenance, it would have killed the businesses along the highway that depend on it to bring in customers, and it would have further isolated Western PA from the east by making it super expensive to cross the state. In case anyone hasn't noticed, the Turnpike will be the most expensive long road (measured in per mile tolls) in the country come January.

Among many others, the biggest and most untouchable problem is the pensions. If Port Authority, like many private sector companies have done, stopped giving out defined benefit pensions, then they wouldn't be in this mess. Grow a pair, switch to defined contribution, and tell the Union that if they don't like it to go try and find another job. There are tons of people who are capable of getting a CDL and would gladly take a decent paying job driving buses for less than the Union demands. The "pensions for public employees" issue extends to many other entities (::cough:: city of Pittsburgh).

Killing transit will provide one more incentive to not come here. With pricey, scarce parking and bad roads, there's no good way to get around without the buses (despite the fact that they were lacking before).


. . .where's the Onorato tax? If I'm going to pay more for my booze in a bar, I don't want to have to drive there too because the buses get cut ;P
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