Monday, February 7, 2011

Cranberry Explores Options to Bus Service

The Port Authority of Allegheny County plans to cut service by 15% March 27 to help eliminate a budget shortfall.
The PAT board had previously approved a 35% service reduction to take effect in March but then Governor Ed Rendell came up with a plan to flex an additional $45 million to the transit agency to stave off those cuts until June of this year. The board has decided instead to cut service by 15-percent and put off any further cuts until June of 2012.

At the beginning of April, the last bit of PAT service to and from Cranberry, Butler County will be eliminated. Township Chief Planning Officer John Trant says ending the 13K Marshall Express will seriously reduce the travel options for an estimated 400 to 600 Cranberry residents who work in Pittsburgh. Trant says they've been looking for alternatives for years...
"We've partnered with other agencies and been involved in mass transit studies focused on the area and trying to address the issue. Our township supervisors have been involved in setting up a reverse commute system."

Trant says to help offset the cutback, they are collaborating with the CommuteInfo Program of the 10 county Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission to form new carpools and vanpools to link Cranberry with downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland....
"Our current effort is how to address the immediate need when the (PAT) service goes away and Cranberry Township residents no longer have it at their disposal. What alternatives to they have that can be ready now? Also, there is a continuing dialogue that's been going on for quite sometime about what to do about mass transit in the bigger picture."

There will be a public meeting February 17 at 7 p.m. at the Cranberry Municipal Center. Trant says it's not about discussing why the PAT cuts were made but rather to provide information about ridesharing and vanpool options and to gauge interest in creating new pools.

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