Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 President Pat McMahon says Port Authority of Allegheny County managers have created an unsafe environment with their bus and “T” schedules and the drivers are not going to take it any more. The statement grows out of a controversy over long delays being seen on the “T.” Those delays began after the company started cracking down on speed violations following a PennDOT report that found 40% of “T” drivers were speeding. “That is what they know,” says McMahon hinting that more were speeding everyday, “That’s what our operators are required to do to keep schedules.” McMahon says the drivers are no longer going to break the law.
Allegheny County Council President Rich Fitzgerald says he will ask council to launch an investigation into the situation. McMahon says he welcomes and even encourages the investigation. “The Port Authority can no longer put their heads in the sand and ignore this problem. “This is a direct result of the funding issues it’s also a direct result of [PAT CEO] Steve Bland’s transportation development plan,” says McMahon.
McMahon says no order has been sent by his office to the drivers telling them to start obeying the speed limits and other traffic laws but he says the drivers know they are being watched and do not want to get in trouble. Speeding and other traffic violations by drivers can result in disciplinary action from the Authority and can lead to traffic citations. McMahon says he wrote a letter to the head of PAT two years ago complaining about tight schedules that could not be followed without speeding. He says that letter was not answered.
McMahon says he will be asking the Federal Transportation Authority to investigate the schedules drawn up by the Port Authority management. He says they are in violation of federal standards that prevent a schedule that would “necessitate the commercial motor vehicle being operated at speeds greater than those prescribed by the jurisdictions in or through which the commercial vehicle is being operated.”