Riders March Against Latest Round Of Port Authority Cuts
PORT VUE (KDKA) — With the possibility of another round of service cuts looming, bus riders took to the streets in Port Vue Borough Saturday morning for a “Save our Bus” rally.
Bus riders say they can’t afford to lose any more service, but the Port Authority says they have to save as much as they can.
The Port Authority is cutting 29 bus routes next month and Port Vue is just one area that will be hit hard. There’s only one bus out of the community and that will leave many feeling stranded.
“It’s gone beyond an inconvenience,” said Carol Kast, a Port Vue resident. “It’s a hardship now because there are no options.”
“They cannot cut bus service up here,” added Darlene Gerber, a Port Authority bus driver. “People just don’t understand.”
The protesters marched along the route they would have to walk if bus service was cut from the area.
They took the more than one mile walk to the McKeesport Transportation Center where they were met by even more protestors who will also be affected by the cuts, including some Port Authority workers who would be faced with lay offs.
Two-hundred and seventy agency jobs are set to be eliminated and 180 workers are scheduled to be laid off. On top of the bus routes that are being eliminated, more than three dozen lines will see service reductions.
“If you want to declare war, here we are, declare war,” said Elizabeth Miller, a Port Authority bus driver, “but no one man has ever won a war.”
“Three components to a strong community are good jobs, good housing and good transportation,” said Mayor Brien Hranics, of the Borough of Port Vue. “It seems to me that the Port Authority says to us, it’s okay to have a house, it’s okay to have a good job, but good luck getting from one to the other.”
The Port Authority says it doesn’t have many options left with a huge budget crisis, but some think the money is there and there are other solutions.
Some elected officials are calling for a moratorium on the cuts so there can be closer look at the Port Authority’s finances and another option.