Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PAT Might Have to Cut Service Sharply

The CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County says the agency is increasingly concerned about the status of the state's Act 44 transportation law, which provides additional operation funding to mass transit, now that the revenue from tolling I-80 will not be realized. The federal government today rejected Pennsylvania's application to toll the interstate. As a result, Port Authority would receive roughly $25 million less in state funding for the upcoming 2010-11 fiscal year.

CEO Steve Bland says the failure to meet the funding commitments under Act 44 "would force Port Authority to consider sharp service cuts that could isolate neighborhoods and severely compromise regional mobility in the Pittsburgh region. We are hopeful the state acts swiftly to address this funding shortfall so that such drastic measures are not necessary."

Governor Rendell has said he will call a special legislative session to deal with transportation funding.

Bland says decisions about how to offset any projected budget gap will be made in the coming months as the board discusses financial issues. The Authority must adopt operating and capital budgets by June 30.

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