About 60 union members and supporters gathered outside of the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s offices today to object to an application by Lenzner Coach Lines to run Buses from Marshal Township to downtown Pittsburgh. The Authority was holding a hearing on the application today.
PAT is ending the routes that service Marshall Township March 27th as part of a 15% service reduction. Lenzner has applied to run 5 weekday trips with stops at Blade Runners and the Warrendale Park and Ride in the north and on the corner of 5th and Penn and 6th and Penn downtown. The union opposes the application.
“It makes no sense to cut the service to a very productive route,” says Amalgamated Transit Union local 85 Executive Council member Bryon Shane, “there is over a thousand passengers a day on these two routes.” He says this is one more way Port Authority CEO Steve Bland is trying to bust the union. “Every time we have a layoff it’s going to make our union smaller and smaller and make our voice smaller and smaller, that is exactly what their plan is, to just keep killing us by a thousand cuts.”
Union members have linked the privatization of the route to efforts to limit union bargaining in Wisconsin and to efforts in Harrisburg to privatize more state operations. “What they just did is give the largest fare increase in one swoop,” says Shane. Lenzner has applied to run the service for $5.00 one way. PAT is running the bus at $2.75 one way.
Riders of the new service will have to purchase tickets in advance.