Port Authority Cuts Approved

The Allegheny County Port Authority Board of Directors approved transit cuts, which doesn’t sit well with Pat McMahon.

McMahon, president of Local 85 of the Almagated Transit Union, talked talked with KDKA’s Mike Pintek shortly after the decision to cut routes was approved.

More from Mike Pintek
  • The Chosen One

    Option # 1 Get a car
    Option # 2 Cab
    Option # 3 walk

  • dave

    The state needs to let the port authority go under, it is a sorry excuse for a transportation company. If they are so hard up for money, why did danny dig a hole under the river? Glad I dont live in allegheny or have to use the port authority and I feel bad for everyone who does.

    • George

      It this doesn’t effect u , u should keep your trap shut!! People are suffering ,getting laid off and seniors are being denied service. If you have no answers just comment on westmoreland county


        It affects me as I am a taxpayer.

        No one is saying the cuts are good, i am just asking why the costs are so high…?
        “The commission wrote that the Port Authority:
        “Has the highest transit wage rates in the country when adjusted for inflation.”

        At the time of the report, the authority’s wage rate was $20.50, 40 percent higher than an average of 60 other transit agencies studied by the commission. Can we say that anything has changed? As just reported this past week, drivers are making $24.74 an hour, will get annual raises during the life of the contract (through 2012) and are largely shielded from increases to health care costs.

        “Is challenged by high labor, health care, and pension costs for current and retired employees.”

        It would be nice to say that this is no longer the case for the Port Authority. But these are the facts: Any savings on health care costs achieved in the 2008 contract negotiations were long term in nature and the percentage of benefits as a share of wages is rising. As we pointed out last year, in fiscal year 2009, employee benefits ($111 million) represented 80 percent of wages and salaries ($139 million). In the fiscal year coming to a close that ratio changed to 91 percent ($141 million for wages, $128 million for benefits).


        “Records show that the highest paid bus driver made more than $131,000. Four other bus drivers made over $100,000 and nearly 50 drivers made more than $80,000”.

      • superfine

        If you think its a drivers wage putting them in the hole you are saddly mistaken. You and I both know what the real problem is. It’s the out of controll health care. What is your answer for the problem??? Again I will say the average driver makes 53,000 on paper. Thats a FAR cry from what actually makes it into their pockets. They pay taxes too. You should say thank you to the guys who work all that over time. Otherwise alot of people wouldn’t get home or to work. And i’m curious who we is… You must be management at the authority. And since you liketo print their wages and call them over paid. I’m curious to know HOW MUCH ARE THEY PAYING YOU??? I’ll bet my pay check it’s more than a driver makes.


        SUPERFINE – I have nothing to do with the Port Authority, I do not utilize it in any way. I think it is one of the most poorly run operations in the state so I assure you I would never work for that mess.

        We all agree that having this service is nice and necessary. I am simply pointing out that this business is failing because of the cost structure. I am not targeting drivers or mechanics or managers, my issue is with the entire organization. However, $53,000 in Pittsburgh is a lot of money. Another newsflash… WE ALL PAY TAXES, NOT JUST PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR THE PORT AUTHORITY… Obviously ALL Port Authority wages/benefits are far too high. When factoring in the healthcare costs and the PENSION costs there is no other conclusion. By the way school bus drivers do not earn anywhere near these numbers. Also, as far as I am concerned “Management” as you call it (union man) needs slashed too. I have no interest in where the cost savings come from, they just need to happen and sadly they will. Ridership has declined steadily since 1975, so sadly the workforce (or costs – which the union will not allow, rather choosing to sacrifice others jobs) will have to follow. It’s simple economics.

        You asked, what you do about the rising health care costs?… Well, sadly, like the rest of us YOU HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE MORE (until there is a real reform plan in place). I pay well over $300.00 a month for health Care related costs; most people pay that amount or more. I’ll bet you contribute nowhere near that…. But I’ll look it up… As for Pensions… Don’t even get me started.. There are very few pensions left outside of Public sector jobs, which are all/most subsidized by taxpayer dollars. (NOTE: If a pension is self sustained, meaning no taxpayer dollars then I have no issue with it.) Do you know why? Because they are UNSUSTAINABLE in the real world. Without taxpayer dollars, your pensions would have been gone years ago (like 1985) so essentially we (the taxpayer) pay into our own 401Ks, IRS, Money Markets and are expected to assist in funding your damn pension too..? And you have the audacity to wonder why people are upset!?!?!?! Really??!! A changed needs to be made to a 401K system.

        Please just stop and think about these facts next time. Would you like it if the roles were reversed? Would you like subsiding my retirement or my healthcare costs?

        And yes I do like to post these numbers. These numbers are all over the internet, it is public access. TAXPAYERS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHERE THEIR $$ IS GOING and since the Port Authority is BAILED OUT by taxpayer dollars, I take a special interest. Your transparent union economic views of drivers wage vs. “management” wage is also part of the issue. I believe Bland; the CEO of PAT makes around 190,000 a year. That is less that 4x the average employee. Believe me, that ratio is low. Besides that, why shouldn’t a CEO or upper management make more than you? That is what Capitalism in America is all about. If you want to make that kind of money then strive for it, work harder, continue your education, do whatever it takes to EARN that position OR stay status quo, but don’t whine about it if that’s your choice.

        Finally— WE=TAXPAYERS (Who do not have pensions and are sick of paying for yours)

  • Seth

    Maybe Undercover Boss should profile the Port Authority…that may uncover the reasons why it is run so poorly. When you air out the laundry it usually gets clean.

  • Sleth

    I took the T yesterday for the first time in over a year. Not only did I have to wait 25 minutes for a train, invade at least 3 fellow passengers personal space but I had to pay $2.75. So a round trip to ride a cramp train costs $.50 more than parking at Station Square? or costs only 2.50 less than parking at the warf?

    In the grand scheme of things, $2.75 is not that much money. But when you factor in the discomfort and wait time, driving is by far a better option.

    Who is in charge of the Port Authority? Is the problem all union related (pensions and salaries)? Do they have a plan to fix things? 5 years? 10? 20?

    • dave

      Steve bland is the ceo but ultimately it is a county program run by onorato. It is a joke and there are far too many problems to list here.

  • Ron

    I ride the Cranberry express every day and the bus is overcrowded. So what does the Port Authority do. THEY ELIMINATED THAT BUS SERVICE!. Who is running the Port Authority? Get rid of them NOW.

    • RICH


    • Papa

      It’s the Port Authority of ALLEGHENY county. If you’ve moved to Cranberry to escape our taxes don’t expect the taxpayers here to subsidize your ride. Pay your own way. Isn’t that your mantra? Or do you only think you’re Taxed Enough Already if someone else benefits?

      • mama

        That would be fine if it was Allegheny county taxes footing the bill for the service idiot.

  • Nick Manning

    Glad I have a car

  • maureen

    there will be a lot more people in the unemployment line!!!!!!!!

  • L. Brady

    I can’t believe the media is permitting the Port authority to hold people hostage with the threat of cuts. Not once , twice or even three times….but continually…, Month after month. We have heard pf cut to services, but we haven’t heard anything about cuts to management or cut back on any perks to execs, The port authority should make their checkbook statement available for public view. After all we pay their salaries, they work for the general public.

  • Daniel

    Increase the drink tax and tax cigarettes and smokeless tobacco enough to fund Port Authority. Sure some would complain but I think it would be worth it. And how about a $1.00 per day car rental tax on top of that? Maybe 50 cents per hotel room per night on top of that. Problem solved.

  • Paul

    What else is new. This cutting service,fare increases,layoffs have been going on for years. If the PAT is less than half it was when Steve Bland came, he should cut his 180,000 salary to around 85,000 or 90,000 to start. Management will be shuffled around. The new employees will be layed off. The whole system will come crashing down. You have a smaller and smaller work force paying for retirees who got there cake.

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