It's the first work day that commuters are having to deal with 15% service cuts by the Port Authority of Allegheny County. Effective Sunday PAT eliminated 29 routes and reduced operations on 37 others. Last minute efforts to eliminate the cuts or postpone them for a week while negotiations continued on union concessions failed.
Pat McMahon, president of Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union, said the service cuts would likely cause confusion and inconvenience for transit riders.
"The Port Authority workers who are members of ATU Local 85 are reliable, responsible and professional transit employees committed to going above and beyond what is required of them to help the transit riders we serve during this challenging transition resulting from the unnecessary cuts ordered by the Port Authority Board of Directors and Chief Executive Onorato."
County Council President Jim Burn has called a special meeting of Council on Wednesday, March 30 at 5:00 P.M. in the County Courthouse. Burn says PAT CEO Steve Bland and ATU Local 85 President Pat McMahon will be invited to the meeting and it's imperative discussions between management and the union continue in hopes of restoring the eliminated routes.
“At this time I cannot provide any assurance that routes will be restored as a result of this meeting, however, it is apparent that the union and management are at a point where meaningful negotiations can occur. County Council will continue to do our best to help facilitate a resolution to this issue.”
McMahon warned county and PAT officials that the protests will increase...
"If Executives Onorato and Bland and the Port Authority Board of Directors thought the Stop the Cuts campaign has been heated and intense, wait until they get a taste of our Restore the Cuts campaign which begins now."
Information about the transit cuts can be found at the Port Authority's blog