Friday, October 23, 2009

PAT Board Modifies Fares, Route Changes

Port Authority of Allegheny County bus fares will rise next January, but not as much as previously expected.

The PAT board of directors approved new fare increases that would begin January 1. Notably, the Zone 2 cash fare will increase 15 cents to $2.75 while the Zone 1 fare will remain at $2.00. The original proposal was to boost the Zone 2 fare from $2.60 to $3.00. Transfers will go up a quarter to 75 cents and the cost of monthly and annual passes will increase.

Also, several bus routes on the chopping block were spared.

CEO Steve Bland says the changes were in response to public feedback that decried the fare hike and cuts to “lifeline routes” for certain neighborhoods. Bland conceded that while those routes might not be heavily used they are very important to those neighborhoods.

Even so. the overall number of routes will decrease from 186 to 122. But Bland says that doesn’t denote a cut in service, because heavily trafficked corridors will see an increase in the number of bus trips, including a new “Rapid Bus” option to provide express travel through busy areas. The service overhaul will begin in March and take 2 years to implement.

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