Friday, May 28, 2010

Trouble Down the Road for PAT

Port Authority of Allegheny County CEO Steve Bland says PAT will likely slash routes, increase fares and cut hundreds of jobs if more state transportation funding isn’t found.

Pennsylvania’s transportation budget is down $472 million after the federal government rejected tolling Interstate 80 last month. That includes $50.6 million for the Port Authority.

Governor Ed Rendell has opened a special legislative session to address the issue.

Bland says the problem is in the legislature’s hands now – but they must act quickly to avoid painful PAT service cuts in the coming months.

“We would probably come out with specifics -- very specific route-by-route, service-by-service fare specifics -- in July,” says Bland. “Those would go out to public hearings through the summer… with the board acting on those likely in September, going into effect in January.”

Bland says service would be cut between 20 and 30 percent, meaning 300 or more employees would lose their jobs.

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