In the following public statement it is argued that, should the Port Authority of Allegheny County implement a reduction in the level of light rail, bus, and inclined plane public transit service by 35 percent, as proposed, paratransit service should be used in areas of Allegheny County with no public transit service. Such a shared-ride, paratransit system would provide service from the eliminated bus stops to the closest, existing rail or bus line.
The following public statement was delivered by Glenn A. Walsh, before the Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at a public hearing held at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday Afternoon, 2012 February 29 (public hearing held from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST), regarding proposed transit fare increases and a proposed 35 percent reduction in the Port Authority Transit light rail, bus, and inclined plane levels of service:
Board of Directors, P.O. Box 1041
Port Authority of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
Allegheny County: Telephone: 412-561-7876
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2012 February 29
2012 February 29
Good afternoon. I am Glenn A. Walsh, 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon, a regular Light Rail and bus rider who has chosen not to drive a motor vehicle since 1985, to help save energy, protect the environment, and reduce city traffic congestion. I have been an active transit advocate for more than 30 years, including 3 terms on the Allegheny County Transit Council as a Charter Member. My comments today are my own and do not reflect those of any organization.
I urge the Governor and General Assembly to expeditiously approve the recommendations of the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. Implementation of these recommendations is critical for the transportation needs of all Pennsylvanians and the economic viability of this Commonwealth.
Without implementation of these recommendations, many people in this county will lose all transit service, and many of these people may lose their access to jobs, and hence, lose these jobs. All steps must be taken to avoid this outcome.
In 1979, Port Authority pioneered paratransit service for the disabled and elderly. Should the Governor and General Assembly not act, and the Port Authority finds it necessary to implement the service cuts proposed, then I ask that the Port Authority pioneer a new, second paratransit service to serve county areas without regular rail or bus service.
Such a new, shared-ride paratransit system would provide service from eliminated bus stops feeding into the closest existing rail or bus line.
This would not substitute for a comprehensive, county-wide rail and bus system that is really needed. But it would be a temporary option for people with no other transportation alternative.
If no additional state funding is forthcoming, then such a new paratransit system should be planned, to ensure Allegheny County residents have access to transportation.
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