Maybe Pittsburgh Transit Doomsday Will Be Averted

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Jon Schmitz:

Port Authority drivers, mechanics and first-level supervisors would have their wages frozen for two years and contribute more to the pension fund under a tentative contract agreement that was reached last week.

The four-year agreement calls for union concessions on health care, retiree health care and vacations. It also has unique language that could void the contract if the state and Allegheny County fail to provide adequate funding and the transit agency is forced to lay off workers or close another bus garage [...]

The contract was hammered out in months of private talks that included state and county officials in addition to Port Authority management and union leaders, as part of an effort to head off a record-breaking 35 percent transit service cut and hundreds of layoffs that are scheduled to take effect Sept. 2.

Have to consider this good news since the 35% service cut and layoffs would be way worse, but let’s not lose sight of the real issue here. The state has been slashing its contribution to the Port Authority. The Corbett administration’s cowardice on transportation funding is the primary obstacle to better transit in Pittsburgh:

The authority relies on the state for more than half of its operating funds, but those contributions have been flat or decreasing for several years, including a $34 million cut in the 2010-11 fiscal year. Transit advocates for years have urged the Legislature to enact a funding method that produces a reliable and growing stream of revenue so the agency can keep pace with inflation.

This entry was posted in Transportation.

One Response to Maybe Pittsburgh Transit Doomsday Will Be Averted

  1. Maryann Waruszewski says:

    I completely agree with your conclusion that it is the failure of our state government to provide reliable adequate funding that has put public transportation in Allegheny County on the brink of disaster. Unfortunately, it is the driver’s union that is being asked to once again shoulder the burden and take more concessions to keep the system running for all of us. If they vote to ratify the contract, they deserve our praise and gratitude for their sacrifices.