PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato is promising a full investigation of an apparent “slowdown” by Port Authority T drivers angry over discipline for some of their colleagues.
The problems started before Christmas. Two union drivers were punished for driving at excessive speeds. Then earlier this week, another driver was taken off the job and was sent home for driving too slowly.
“This is clearly an ugly situation,” Jim Ritchie, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said. “Riders are the people paying the price here. Passengers are trying to get home in the evening and they’re standing around waiting for a t-car to show up.”
The Port Authority is pulling data trying to determine if a drastic slowdown along T routes this week is deliberate.
Passengers say their travel time on the T has doubled and tripled.
“Rendell should never have given the money to them – let Port Authority fold and let them re-vamp everything starting from the top all the way down,” a woman who did not want to be identified said.
Drivers say they’re just paying attention to policy and speed limits.
“They have to review their speed limits and they have to revise them or they have to give us more scheduled time to make the trip,” Pat McMahon with the union said.
County council and the county executive are gathering information. If it shows drivers caused deliberate slowdowns, they want immediate action.
“If what we’re hearing is true, it is totally disgusting that this is happening,” Onorato said. “If we find out individual drivers are doing this deliberately, they should be fired immediately.”
Union leaders say the accusations are not true and there is no deliberate slowdown.
County council will subpoena drivers as early as next week for a special fact-finding hearing.