Sources: Port Authority Union Plan Rejected

By: Jim Lokay

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Emotions are running high as the transit union and the Port Authority try to negotiate a deal that would avoid severe cuts in service.

This morning, a proposed concession deal between the Port Authority and the transit union fell through when Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato rejected the planned givebacks.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 president Pat McMahon was angry as he left the Allegheny County Courthouse after a meeting with Onorato this morning.

“What they want to do right here is exactly what’s going on in this country,” McMahon said. “It’s an assault on the working class, working America! They want to throw the labor movement under the bus! They want to bust this union and that’s what they’re doing! Exactly what’s going on in the whole country! It’s right here – Port Authority of Allegheny County!”

According to McMahon, the offer on the table involved the Port Authority drivers and mechanics giving up a proposed three percent increase in salary that was set to take place this year. Also, they would take a 10 percent across the board pay cut, resulting in about $11.6 million in savings.

Sources tell KDKA’s Marty Griffin the union numbers were unacceptable, not accurate and that the plan will not work.

Sources close to the negotiations say the only acceptable plan is the $30 million plan – $20 million in cuts and $10 million in revenue.

Union leaders say they will not accept that.

As things stand now, 15 percent of bus and trolley service will be cut on Sunday to bridge a massive operating deficit.

KDKA AM’s Larry Richert and John Shumway interviewed McMahon before this morning’s meeting. Listen to it here:

Jim Ritchie, the Port Authority’s spokesperson, later responded to McMahon’s comments:

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

Port Authority

Port Authority Union Says They Will Take “Historic” Cuts
Port Authority Says They Need At Least $30 Million To Stop Planned Cuts
Protesters Rally In Squirrel Hill Over Port Authority Cuts
Protest Held Over Public Transportation Privatization Proposal
More News on the Port Authority


One Comment

  1. Roxy Beer says:

    So more money wasted printing all the new schedules. If they save the cuts that is.

    1. Concerned Rider says:

      Yep, do you wonder if they had all the money back that they spent preparing for cuts that weren’t going to happen, that they could have avoided these budget deficits all together??

    2. Georga says:

      Why does it never come up how top heavy the port authority is? Are they cutting any heads in the higher echelon? Are they taking any hits to their salaries or giving up their health care? Or how about the fact that the port authority just remodeled all of the offices at the Manchester building right before they decided to move down town and just leave everything behind, furniture, computers, etc. So now they pay rent for the offices in town while they should move back to empty office building that they already own in Manchester, or maybe it wasn’t big enough anymore for the secretary’s secretary’s secretary. Or the assistant to the assistant to the head of (fill in the blank). Also, is Dan Onorato willing to give up his health care or take a pay cut? Who do you think pays for that? The bus driver’s don’t all make 50 g’s a year either most of them are in the 35 thousand dollar range unless they work a lot of overtime. So there are a lot of ways port authority could save money if they would start at the top and then work down. Would you start to clean up a spill at the top or the bottom? If you start at the bottom it’s just gonna keep running down on you.

      1. Dallas says:

        Ah yes… I still remember the day Dan Onorato went to the Transit Union groveling for votes when he first ran for office, and yes they did support him, I’m just glad I didn’t. Throw more money into your stupid tunnel project moron.

      2. jeeperz says:

        Sorry Dallas…the tunnel project was in motion before Onorato was elected. I t would have been a bigger waste of money to stop it at that point rather than continue.

        Dont get me wrong, it should have been axed long before it even got to that point

  2. Bob McBob says:

    This is just great, waiting two days before the cuts take place to decide it’s time to do something. No matter how much Pittsburgh improves the people running the show have a “one step forward, two steps back” approach to handling the fiscal crisis we’re in.

  3. prco says:

    Why does it take the people who actually do the work in a company to figure out how to make it work? The people that decide what goes on at Port Authority have no clue how to even drive or ride a bus and make more money than the drivers!!!!! Would you get on an airplane that the filight attendents make more than the pilots? Let people who know the job do the job and it would save alot of money in the long run.

    1. Ef PAT Drivers says:

      Are you seriously comparing driving a bus to flying a plane? What a ludicrous idea. I don’t care what you say, but driving a bus is a low skill job and deserves to be paid as such. I’d love to see one of the drivers attempt to do half the work one of the strategic planners of PAT do. This union needs stopped.

      1. Vicsbean says:

        @ Ef PAT Drivers

        Obviously you work @ Port Authority. What are you really doing in the Heinz Center right now? Not your job!

        You are on on the internet badmouthing your bread and butter!

      2. kirk says:

        you said driving a bus is easy , you should try it . if the strategic planner makes a mistake , so what, if a driver or a mechanic makes a mistake someone could die,
        ill bet a guy off the street would do the planners job for $8.00 an hour

      3. So sorry! says:

        They need to start working within there budgets. The union had a purpose many years ago, but not working in todays world. Sorry, but thats how it goes. Im a small bus. owner and I dont even have health care for life. Come on people catch up. Work your butt off and live within your means!

      4. sammy says:

        Actually driving a plane is much safer as all of the passengers are screened for weapons……..In addition, there are more objects to dodge on our streets than in the sky. You have a co-pilot and you do not have to collect money from passengers. You are right, there is no comparison…….THE UNION NEEDS SUPPORT!!!!

    2. Bust it danny says:

      They cut the Marshall/cranberry routes simply to try to get the people in the “rich” north to oppose the cuts. Why else would the PAT cut two of it’s most profitable routes? Talk about biting your nose off to spite your face!

      Another thing – I saw a sign that said “transit fix, tax the rich”. What on earth makes these people think that they are entitled to cheap public transportation on my dime? The people that use the service should pay for the service.

      Watch how profitable Lenzner is – because he’s a business man, not a government/union hack!

  4. Beatrice C. says:

    I’ll go for the cuts just take off the zone charges it’s so stupid this city isn’t even that big for zones its just one community

    1. Vicsbean says:

      What routes do you operate on Beatrice?

      1. Ef PAT Drivers says:

        Actually, I earned a graduate degree in a highly skilled and sought after area of computer technology. I was smart enough to realize that a job driving a bus (can’t chimps be trained to do this?) in a county where the majority of people rely on their own means of transportation was not the smartest of career choices. I am also smart enough to negotiate my own salary and benefits without having to pay other people to do so.

        Let me guess, you voted for Corbett and now you are going to cry when funding for your low level, i am barely literate job gets slashed even more?

      2. Vicsbean says:

        I can tell! By your “USER NAME’! LOL

        And you cant even figure out how to reply on a message board!

      3. TOM says:

        Ef Pat Drivers, just because you hold a degree does not mean that you are intelligent, your comments suggest that you aren’t.

  5. Mill Hunk says:

    Now that the cuts are going to happen and the Public isn’t coming to the rescue, the Union wants to make concessions. What a joke, they need to go into Chapter 11 and re-organize if they want to survive.

    1. Vicsbean says:

      Please explain how and why taking cuts are / is a joke?

      Typical random statement!

      Are you really a “MILL HUNK?” I doubt it! If you were, you would be making a real living wage! So what do you make?

      1. Mill Hunk says:

        Born and raised on the SS, worked summers in that hell hole called the Mill, but took the college route. I still put my 50-60 hrs of work in a week, I’m not union, and I do make a good 6 figure salary, so shove it bean head.

    2. Vicsbean says:

      Thats funny stuff! Cant drop that name though!

      TOUGH GUY! You learned that in the MILL? HUNK?

      Some reason, I do not believe you!

      1. Mill Hunk says:

        I guess you never had a job where you had to really work, try the 3-11 in the summer and have to take salt pills and consume a of water. Believe what you want Skippy.

      2. dansuxs says:

        Threats and intimidation…typical union tactics. If you can’t win a discussion go with what worked for you guys in past.

      3. Vicsbean says:

        Yes Mill Hunk! Quit intimidating me!

    3. Bust it danny says:

      They drive a freakin vehicle for christ’s sake! And a good bit of them can’t even do that well. $10 an hour should be plenty with the benefits they get.

  6. Sandi Albertini says:

    Whatever it takes to come up with a workable solution for all is a Plus. All sides need to listen and learn to compromise. Most of the drivers I have had in the 30 plus years I have been riding bus deserve favorable pay and benefits. The ones with poor attitudes should be paid least, but those drivers were very few in my years riding the bus. WE NEED THE BUSES. Plain and simple. And yes I continue to pray to God that everyone learns to do whats best.

  7. Brian T says:

    I have to thank the union for trying. I need the bus and hate seeing the way we attack working class.

    1. Vicsbean says:

      True Brian. The last contract the arbiter settled included 96 million in driver and maintenance concessions.

      The arbiter concluded in the final brief: “It is important to maintain a true living wage in the Pittsburgh region”

      And least the “UNION” wage sets a scale and you would thing for others to try to reach.
      But no, MILL HUNK would rather have everyone DOWN to his level. Like the dumbing down of America, the dumbing down of a living wage.

      Trust me, operators take a cut, it IS a trickle down cut for all involved, and that is the working poor!

      1. Steve says:

        You’re going to compare PAT bus drivers to “working poor?” What world do you live in?

      2. Vicsbean says:

        Steve, I did not say that!

        “Trust me, operators take a cut, it IS a trickle down cut for all involved, and that is (to) the working poor!”

        I added (to).

  8. dansuxs says:

    The Port Authority is a perfect example for the reason the State of Minnesota voted to remove the collective bargaining agreements for PUBLIC employees.

    I have no problem with unions representing workers rights when large corporations are taking advantage of people. BUT when dealing with public money it simply can’t work. Socialism is a great idea, but eventually you run out of other people’s money.

    1. Vicsbean says:

      So are you saying then that it OK for large governments to take advantage of workers?

      NICE! LOL

      1. Steve says:

        There’s no “taking advantage”. If you don’t like what you’re being offered, you have all the rights to quit and go elsewhere. Heck, and if you think you can run a company better, you even have the right to start up your own company!

      2. dansuxs says:

        Vicsbean, I’m saying it’s not ok for large governments to over tax it’s citizens to keep paying for failed social programs.

        The port authority needs to be run like any other business and be accountable for it’s expenditures.

      3. Vicsbean says:

        Dude! I know that. Public transportation in Pittsburgh is no different than public transportation anywhere in the WORLD!

        That is why it is called “PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION”!

        If public transportation exists because of the extreme liabilities involved, then it makes sense that it is subsidized!
        The whole premise is to have transportation to the working poor. The two routes being taken over by Lenzner are unique in themselves!

        But sadly, they are PROFITABLE to Port Authority and help subsidize to unprofitable routes!

        Port Authority has eliminated many routes the past 5 years. ANY PERSON could have started a transportation business on any one of them! Why has nobody done so?

        So once again. More welfare because MANY people will lose their means to get to work! Some will choose to quit because they will have a excuse!

        You all know about LIABILITY and assigning liability, right?

      4. Vicsbean says:


        Public transportation is not a failed social program. It is a mismanaged program, indeed!

      5. dansuxs says:

        The Duquesne Incline is privately run and operates just fine with ZERO public subsidy. No crazy pension benefits for retired employees and it doesn’t break down all the time like the Mon incline run by the Port Authority…Just how do they do it?

      6. Vicsbean says:

        Steve You do know there are sweat shops in this country! Do you?

    2. Vicsbean says:

      Is it like “PAYCHECK ENVY”?

      1. dave says:

        Vicsbean, don’t you have a job or do you get paid to stand up for a union that is obviously milking the people?

      2. Vicsbean says:


    3. Vicsbean says:

      Listen, There ARE a LOT OF OVERPAID people at Port Authority! Operators and mechanics are NOT two of them.

      Now, there are SERVICE personal like janitors and ways maintainers and grass cutters and such! I agree!

      1. dansuxs says:

        Vicsbean, The Port Authority is cutting the profitable routes to save the less profitable routes? This is a diminishing return and backwards thinking.

      2. Vicsbean says:

        dansuxs ANY ROUTE that the port has eliminated could have been taken by any company or individual and they could have created a service. MOST all were not profitable! No takers there!

        There are NO OPERATORS at PORT that want to see the TDP not work.

        They are invested in the whole deal.

        The Marshall and Franklin routes are unique.

        They were picked up because they paid for themselves.

        Washington County has a over $10.00 subsidy per rider in their system. Ports subsidy is just over $3.00 per rider.

        There is no comparison between the two as far as number of passengers go, but it is a GOOD ratio compared to the country as a whole!

        There are many profitable routes in the Port. They help subsidizes the less and non profitable routes.

        Dr Heffner seems to believe that the city can survive without a good public transportation system. If Pittsburgh did not have the Steelers, Buccos and the PENS, and the PITT PANTHERS, it would be a back water jerk town.
        And without a solid public transportation system, it will be the same.

        And for anyone who believes that a chimp can run a public transportation bus, just GOOGLE bus driver stress!

        Like this one!

      3. dansuxs says:

        I thought the Danny O drink tax was supposed to fix all the Port Authority’s money problems?

    4. Michael says:

      Amen to that, dansuxs.

      And, Dan does suck.

      1. Save Our Transit says:

        dansuxs: Re: “I thought the Danny O drink tax was supposed to fix all the Port Authority’s money problems?” That might have put a band-aid on it IF Port Authority had actually GOTTEN any of that money. But of course they did not. I’m sure it wouldn’t have completely stopped the bleeding. And where IS all that drink tax money? And Danny O wanted the ATU to back him for the governor’s race but he’s not willing to help them at all now. I wonder if it would have been any different if he had actually won.

    5. Shifty says:

      Isn’t it amazing it always comes down to the unions making too much money. They are working class not rich by any means. Why don’t you look at all the waste management costs the taxpayers, they are still at Heinz while they have a perfectly good building sitting empty. How much money and benefits do they get for not managing properly. Driving is a very hard job mentally and sometimes physically, most of which are very professional and provide a much needed service in the community. Think you better realize it is a large corporation not only taking advantage of the workers rights but also the tax payers money.

  9. cliff says:

    they need to show the people what EVERYBODY makes from mechanic s to the people in the office and let the people see how over paid they are need to privatize the whole system

    1. Vicsbean says:

      And be paid like you Cliff?

    2. Save Our Transit says:

      Why do they “need” to do this? Apparently all of you who write such horrible things about the Port Authority must already know what EVERYBODY makes. I think you would be very surprised to know what the mechanics and drivers actually DO make. It isn’t nearly as high as you all seem to believe. They certainly aren’t becoming rich on their wages. Yes, it’s a DECENT-paying job but it’s not making anybody a millionaire. The majority of the Port Authority employees are NOT making the “good 6 figure salary” that Mill Hunk (above) says he makes. I wonder what he does that he thinks he’s worth that kind of money.

  10. Dr. Heffner says:

    they should eliminate these greedy union buzzards, then service would improve

    1. Vicsbean says:

      Dr Heffner! Either you are a Dr. or you are a womanizer! What is it?

      If you are a Dr, have you overcharged Medicaid or Medicare lately?


    2. PAUL says:


  11. Mike Mcpearson says:

    Pat Transit would have money if they. they dumped Millions of dollars
    in that hole in the ground.
    Let the people that run the port authority & the bus drivers take a pay cut.
    They need to be thankful they are working.

    1. Save Our Transit says:

      Mike Mcpearson: Did you read the article on which you commented? The union DID offer to take wage and pension cuts. And Dan Onorato rejected the offer. He said it’s noit “real money”. He obviously is not willing to work with the union to resolve the problem.

      1. Torocaca says:

        Lets see – this deal from the union was to give back the 3% not given to them until January 2012 and to require the union members to pay 10% into the union pension fund. Wow, that’s really clear how that would “cut” expenses from the Port Authority budget- give back what you have’nt even received yet (though they did get a 3% raise in January 2011, but let’s not worry about that), and contribute more to their own pension fund.

  12. Dr. Heffner says:

    these union buzzards forget that they are nothing more than public servants. They should be paid the same as the average worker period, with no pensions etc. This garbage of paying people to do nothing must stop. If they want to make the big bucks, they should have stayed and paid attention in school, and become a professional at something. All public employee unions should be abolished immediately. Shame on Onorato for not reigning this garbage in

    1. Vicsbean says:

      And you can sit in your office and order tests for your patients that they do not need and bill Medicaid and Medicare and get rich! Right?

      The truly big picture is that even DOCTORS are “PUBLIC FEEDING BUZZARDS”!

      Very RICH public feeding buzzards at that!

      Or you perceive yourself as Hugh Hefner and do nothing but womanize? ; )

    2. Just Curious says:

      “Dr.” Heffner: Obviously you must be speaking of another company. The Port Authority workers DO actually work. Have you ever ridden a bus? Amazingly, they don’t drive themselves. And the operators definitely don’t “make the big bucks” as you wrote. Just out of curiosity, what is “the average worker” paid? And why do youi think they shouldn’t get a pension?

      1. Vicsbean says:

        “IF” the good dactor was actually a doctor, he would know that public transportation operators suffer from great stress and illnesses associated with it! Dr Heffner is a phony!

  13. Vicsbean says:

    I have a old uncle who lives on Shenandoah Dr.Has for years! I ask him, WHY?

    1. Dice says:

      Well cmon Vics you know it right? It’s all those greedy, yes Thousandnairs, who are ‘sucking the life’ out of the country. EFF them right? We can find people for $8.00 an hour to drive that bus…perfectly fine right? LOL
      Where the hell were all these people to cash in on the jack potpot by signing up for the cushy driver job? What’s the excuse for not applying? Not willing to do the job? Not qualified to dio the job? afraid to do the job? Got turned down from the job? Driver jobs were available up until recently. Where were these people? It’s really easy to come on here and criticize people’s middleclass wages when you never did or were willing to do the job in the first place.
      $53,000 a year job with a pension and affordable health care. When the hell did the working man become the enemy? Midddle class on middleclass- and the right wing republicans are loving it.

      1. Dave says:

        Please explain “the working man.” As far as I know, all the people voicing their dissatisfaction with PAT are WORKING people. My guess is that you mean “govt/union people”. Newsflash, the rest of us “work” too. And we don’t like paying for THEIR pension. We pay ours, they can pay theirs.

      2. Zoeyzotron says:

        Well said DAVE!!!!

        the bottom line is that the 10% pay cut does not = balanced budget. It is the Pensions and healthcare along witht he paycuts.


      3. dansuxs says:

        Unfortunately the current Port Authority employees have to pay for the sins of their predecessors (and former CEO). Currently there are more retired employees receiving pension benefits then the Port Authority currently employs. Not to mention years of employees inflating and spiking their pensions. If they really want to save public transportation they have address the crazy pension benefits.

      4. Vicsbean says:

        dansuxs, Exactly right!

        I wonder were Zoeyzotron works and how many government contracts he lives off of at his place of employment?

        My guess is many!

      5. Mary says:

        I think all people here would be amazed if they were able to find out how much THEIR EMPLOYER
        *was affected by
        *directly or indirectly was compensated by
        *some form of government
        *public funded money
        *government contract
        *public association.
        YOUR PAYCHECK is NOT squeaky clean from public funds/government money!!

      6. Mary says:

        Will you please listen……… current employeesnare having to bear the brunt of all your criticisms. Retirees are KILLING Port Authority.
        Current employees:
        Concessions last contract including TRIPLING their health care contributions.
        Zippo. Nada. Free healthcare.
        Start getting THAT resolved and PAT will be able to keep their head above water.
        But I understand that can not legally be touched. Unfortunately, current employees are being singled out to take more concessions and those concessions will not even begin to solve the ‘legacy costs’

      7. Big Daddy Kahuna says:

        Well, let’s not say that. Bus drivers making $60,000+ per year? Don’t think that the retirees alone are KILLING PAT!

      8. Torocaca says:

        “Concessions last contract including TRIPLING their health care contributions”: Yep, going from 0 (zero) contributions to 3% is really a killer for those current employees Mary. The entitlement mentality is losing ground because the people that have it have lost the ways of removing the funds from other people as other people no longer have it to entitle them to it.

      9. Mary says:

        What do you want the current employees to do? Retirees way outnumber them. No matter what they do, it won’t be enough to help with the lhese costs.

      10. Dice says:

        Yeah, that’s exactly what I said, middleclass people going at the throats of other middleclass people.And believe me, I’m sure you are a part of the “working man” catagory as well. Bottom line is this is a $53,000 per year job. Are you trying to claim this driver job is anything other than middleclass? You may not like to hear that but that’s what it is, that’s what a lot of you arguing against..a middleclass job. That’s what’s going on in America today: the working class/middleclass going at each other, a lot of it based on jealousy and a lot of misinformation, while the rich keep getting richer and the wealth just keeps getting more concentrated at the top. And you have people on here bashing, like i said , these THOUSANDNAIRS like they’re the scourge of the country because somebody has a f@#kin’ pension or affordable healthcare.

        And are you trying to say that the drivers don’t pay for their pensions?Because that’s uninformed bs.

        The current drivers are under a whole different contract situation than previous retirees were. They are not the ones causing or caused this mess, but of course that’s the first group that gets attacked because they are the first and usually only ones the public thinks of when they hear the words ‘Port Authority”….and like was said before, they are the ONLY ones accountable for anything at the Port Authority.
        And again I’ll ask if you’re so convinced that this is such an over-compensated job that doesn’t take much to do, why weren’t you applying for it? Because I can guarantee one thing with absolute certainty (and I’m not talking about any other job at PAT but driver) you do this job for one week, and you see what goes on and what kind of mentality you need to do this job, you wouldn’t be questioning their wages. One week…if that. Somebody on here tried to compare it to a school bus driver….LOL well i have yet to see a school bus driver driving through St Claire Heights at 11:30PM at night.

  14. John says:

    Why did the union wait until now to offer these concessions?

    1. Vicsbean says:

      A month ago Bland called the union and asked if the union would open up their contract. The answer was yes. Bland said they would get back to them.

      A month later, here they are. And the county turnd down the union proposal of 18 mill in concessions. Oh well, as Bland once told the people on Sharps Hill, “get a good pair of shoes”!

  15. Mary Jo Hess says:

    Where were the concessions weeks ago? The caller that just called in said he would take a $500 cut in pay if you do the math that means he is making $3846 per pay with all his benefits they get also. Don’t we wish we could even have all there benefits.

    1. Vicsbean says:

      Mary Joe . Really?

      That means he is working 130 hours in a two week (80 hour) pay period.

      You do the math!

      That is 50 extra hours.

      Most all operators work 80 to 84 hours a pay period.

      Most all can not take the stress that comes with the job!

      1. Vicsbean says:

        Not to mention the huge amounts of pollution they get from the bus and the garages!

  16. Shane says:

    Hey jack wagons,what needs to happen is do away with the port authority altogether.Everytime a bus goes by except during morning and evening rush they are either empty or three people are riding the bus.Let a private company come in and manage the system like it should be ran and i will bet that fares go down and service goes up.Thoes jack wagons that run the place are unsuitable to run a candy store.They’ve always been that way and they always will.Whatever,i have a car so i dont care what happens,busses are for inbreds anyway,or people like POPPY,how you like me know?

    1. Save Our Transit says:

      Jack wagon, I mean Shane: Fares won’t go down with a private company. We pay next to nothing now and yet some of us still gripe when fare hikes are suggested. Lenzner is charging $10 for riders to come from Cranberry into town? That’s more than Port Authority. But Mr. Lenzner said it’s his usual rate. So that makes it okay.

      1. Zoeyzotron says:

        its a choice, you do not have to ride it.

      2. Truth says:

        Exactly SOT. The RIDERS should be bearing the cost of their transportation.

    2. Vicsbean says:

      You have no real knowledge of public transportation nor how it is funded and why it is funded. Your final word about having a car so you do not care and inbreds say volumes as to who you really are!

      Your a typical American J A! If you can drive 90, spit and litter you think you are free! LOL

      And unless you are a millionaire, you ARE NOT a REPUBLICAN! They do not want you! Just your vote!

      1. Zoeyzotron says:

        you may be the most out of touch person on here VICSBEAN… Seriously.

    3. barbinator says:

      Actually you must be the inbred moron if you think that’s who rides buses. Working class office workers, college students, elderly, handicapped, unemployed people on their way to interviews, working mothers taking off from work to take their kids to doctors – you sheltered ignorant fool. And if there are no buses to take decent hardworking college educated taxpayers to their jobs and those companies suffer, this city will collapse. Then you can drive your car to another city and look for a job there where there is decent bus service so that city can function. A city can only function if all its citizens band together and support another, not have your attitude – I’m for myself and the heck with everyone else. Do Pittsburgh a favor and get out.

  17. Sandi says:

    Everyone rides the bus from students to very educated people. We ride the buses because it decreased the stress levels for some. Others riding the bus is a necessity. We Need The Bus Service. We need qualified drivers that earn a decent wage without gouging the company and we need company types to give consessions too. It will be interesting to see the response from Steve Bland on the unions offer and Dan Onorato’s. If the cuts proceed with a dumb statement then this is what they wanted all along. To close the Harmar Garage and to lay off or retire senior operators. Yes I am educated white and I prefer to ride a bus to work. It saves on wear and tear on my car and it reduces my stress level from not having to sit in traffic. Let’s find a compromising solution for everyone.

  18. JJ says:

    Unions are sucking the life out of this countries economy. I hope the younger generation that will be running the future workforce is paying attention to all of this and do their part to bring down these worthless unions. There are plenty of people that would be happy to drive a bus for less and not expect anywhere near what these PAT workers are getting now. I am not saying pay slave wages, just pay a fair wage and benefits for what the job is.

    1. Vicsbean says:

      JJ What is the operators job? Do you know?

    2. pete says:

      jj, you probably couldnt drive a bus, let alone pass drug test

      1. Save Our Transit says:

        Amen, Pete!

    3. Dice says:

      Yeah JJ, all those teachers and bus drivers and janitors..all those greedy Thousandairs, the greedy middleclass thousandairs that are the problem with the world…and the 11% who work in unions….let’s race to the bottom see how quickly we drive trhose $53,000 a year wages to $30,000. Get rid of that middleclass little by little.
      And whether you know it or not, that’s exactly what you are saying, ‘let’s pay them Wallmart wages”. I’m sure you could find people to drive a bus for $13.00 an hour with no pension, no benefits…what kind of people though? You going to raise a family on that?….I’m sure you could find someone to be a cop or a firefighter (two other public service jobs) as well for $28,000 a year in this economy…..does that make it right? Let’s race to the bottom. Middleclass people going at the throats of other middleclass people…pathetic.

      1. Vicsbean says:

        Dice! Beautiful man! “THOUSANDAIRS! ”

        The dumbing down of the American wage!

        We feel we are part of the solution. They want to make us part of the problem!

      2. Zoeyzotron says:

        DICE – I am sorry but compensation is defined as WAGE + BENEFITS. If you want to ffactor in Teachers pension that can be worth MILLION (yes, millions) then I am all for taxing the “wealthly more” .

        Just so you know… in PA a teachers pension under PSERS is 85% of their top three earning years… Many Many districts top out in the 90 and 100s (look it up below). Lets be “modest” and say they get 75,000 a year. retiring at say 53 heck, 55. If they live 20 years (easily expected) their pension is worrth 1.5 million + periodic cost of living adjustments and in many districts FREE or CHEAP HEALTHCARE for up to 7 years…. On top of all that, they get for a lousy 200,000 that the average teacher contributes over a career…. which they can take out upon retirement as a LUMP SUM… That is the BEST DEAL AROUND! Its also UNSUSTAINABLE and will have to go.

        Read it and weap…

      3. Zoeyzotron says:

        HEY DICE – WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD. Most of us start out earning in the upper 20 or lower 30s… WAKE UP!

  19. Mary says:

    Unions taking over?? Really???? Union membership is at an all time low in this country!! Dont saddle all of this countries economic woes on the backs of unions!
    For people who are ‘educated’ commenting on this forum, it would be appreciated if you actually knew the facts instead of giving the news media carte-blanc.
    Union had been trying to talk about concessions for a month…Bland said he will “get back to them”..

    And will you please try and be a little more polite when speaking of others? The personal critcisms, below-the-belt, EXTREMELY poor taste and judgmental remarks…please…
    Figures when you cant make a true, educated, rational comment…you have to lash out like the real person you are!!! Are you in school? Are you children?
    Have some respect for yourself and others.

    1. Barbara S says:

      Well said. I was on this forum last night and kept getting viciously attacked by these inbred ignorant morons until I reported them.

  20. Dr. Heffner says:

    Privatize the Port Authority, you will get better service and cleaner buses. Socialism has not worked anywhere. Sonner or later you run out of other people’s money. That is waht is really taking place.

    1. Vicsbean says:

      Yes Dr. great prognosis! That is of course you may be Capital Walnut in Shadyside. You know, the multi million dollar real estate company that got MILLIONS in corperate welfare to build Bakery Square!

      And we know you AINT NO DOCTOR!

  21. Motivate says:

    Eliminate the port authority! Buy a car, walk, or stay home!

    1. Vicsbean says:

      Is that like SPIT, LITTER and SPEED, and you are a “FREE AMERICAN” A Hole!

    2. publictransit4pittsburgh says:


      Maybe you need motivated to think about this from a different perspective. For just a moment – consider individuals like seniors, the disabled (not just those in wheelchairs – but try thinking about epilepsy, diabetes, blindness, etc. that also make people unable to drive) Think about the weather we have in our area and then maybe you will realize why we need public transit for our community

      1. PAUL says:


    3. Barbara S says:

      Not an option for people that have to pay rent, eat, and support their family and they don’t drive or are unable to drive physically. Get your head out of the sand, you sheltered idiot.

  22. William Miller, PHD says:

    I just caught this article on my lunch break, Dr. Heffner has the right idea, eliminate the union, privatize the Port Authority, get this poorly run entity off of the backs of the taxpaying public. This nonsense has been going on much to long.

  23. Tried Of paying for Nothing says:

    Port Authority is broken, shut it down and fix it!!! Its funny that the union waited so long to finally talk about concessions, what took them so long? There is nobody to blame for this mess other than the union, if this were a provate business it would have been out of business a long time ago. Anybody remember the steel industry?? Looks pretty familiar other than they are playing with public dollars.

    1. Dan says:

      Another I don’t know any of the facts poster. Please, if your going to comment please at least know what you’re commenting on! I’m sick of reading post from people who think they know the whole story but don’t and have not bothered to!!!

  24. Linda Levant says:

    If the board at Port Authority wants a !0% concession given back by the Union members, why is the board not giving back at least 10% as well?
    Why does it seem that concessions are put upon the poor man and not the rich man? Is this Robin Hood in reverse?

  25. maryj says:

    They should stop wasting so much money on unnecessary things, like the green and yellow marker poles. On the garage in South Hills village that is 1/2 empty all the time. The big wheel make more money than anyone and they never get wage frezes like other people who work for the county.

  26. Port Auth rox my sox says:

    The Port Auth is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love them! Stop bashing them! oh yeah wait I was being sarcastic

  27. Mr Soho says:

    I hope they resolve all the issues so workers don’t lose their jobs, nobody wants that. Nobody wants another tax increase ( drink tax ) to support the PAT, especially when they don’t utilize the service, If a compromise can’t be reached then the aothority has to do what it necessary to survive. This is something the Union and management has put off for a longtime, always getting a lifeline. Time to compromise or go as planned.

  28. no fan of govt. says:

    All this talk about privatizing the port authority as if that will solve everything. Most of you are probably too young to understand that the reason the port authority was formed was because privatization wasn’t working to start with. There were 28 different companies or more who were combined to form port authority. It was a mess. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.
    I find it amusing that it seems like the majority of the people who are offering ideas on how to fix the system have no idea how it works to start with.
    Have any of you ever ridden the bus? Ever take time to actually talk to someone who drives for a living? Just ride and watch sometime. Drivers get disrespected, verbally abused, spit on, etc. This is an everyday occurrence. And the people who are complaining the most that the service won’t be there are the ones doing it. The money the drivers make isn’t enough to put up with what the have to go through. If you ask most people “would you do this for a living?’ the answer is resoundingly “NO”.
    The problem isn’t the drivers. It isn’t even the port authority board. It’s the lawmakers in Harrisburg who have repeatedly refuse to come up with public funding for transit.
    So get off the port authority’s back and talk to your congressmen and tell them to do their job and get funding for transit.

    1. Save Our Transit says:

      VERY well said! I’m not old enough to remember that but now that you wrote it, I do remember hearing former Port Authority drivers talk about this. Regarding driver respect: I am ashamed to admit that I used to be one of those people who would speed up to cut off the bus just so I didn’t have to follow them in traffic. (How dare they stop at every corner??!!) But after hearing from a driver about how hard it is to get back into the line of traffic, my perspective changed I finally began to yield. I worked in Oakland for several years and gained even more respect for the operators. It’s amazing that they get through that mess without sideswiping cars – or people! – and I have often said that I was very impressed with their driving skills. I may have ridden a Port Authority bus 20 times in my life so I am definitely not the expert on the subject, but every driver I have encountered has been helpful and informative because I had no idea what I was doing (where to get off, when to pay, what time I would be at my destination…). All of the posters here who think that anybody could do that job are delusional. I would love to see them try it!

    2. Zoeyzotron says:

      Competition is good.

  29. Sonny says:

    k d sucks.



    1. Just Curious says:

      Typical Union Thugs: WAKE UP AND DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU POST A MESSAGE LIKE THIS! (Oh, sorry about typing in all caps like that!) The union did not wait ’til the last minute. They tried to negotiate in good faith a while ago. Steve “The Hatchetman” Bland said he’d get back to them. Hmmm. That didn’t happen. You don’t know really anything about Pat McMahon and what he thought, do you?.

      1. Zoeyzotron says:

        PAT is out of touch or he does not understand economics. This is simply about numbers. Costs are far to high.

  31. Just Curious says:

    Would any of the Port Authority-bashers who post messages here be willing to take a $7500 cut to save your co-workers’ jobs as the ATU is asking its members to do?

    1. dansuxs says:

      No you should cut off your nose to spite you face…don’t take a pay cut and cross your fingers they don’t eliminate your job.

      Go ask any (former) US Air pilot if they would have taken this deal to keep their job.

  32. allday724 says:

    how is it that they keep saying they dont have money, we need to make cuts, raise fairs etc. ISNT THE PORT AUTORITY GETING 100% OF THE 10% ONOROTO TAX?????? so where is that money really going?

    1. dansuxs says:

      The big hole in the ground they keep throwing money into…the North Shore Connector

    2. Mary says:

      PAT didnt get it…Onorato used it for something else. Ask HIM where it went (and maybe he’s still ‘wondering’ why he lost Governorship???)

  33. no fan of govt. says:

    I’m reading these comments about “you could train a chimp to drive the bus”, they should make $8.00 an hour, etc., etc.

    Have you been in walmart or home depot or a fast food place where they make $8.00 an hour and asked for help? You get that blank stare as if you were from another planet. That’s what you want driving a 40 foot bus with 75 people on it? Or a 88 ton double light rail vehicle with a couple hundred?

    School kids ride the bus. Everyone that rides the bus is someones mother, daughter, brother, father, etc. Would you trust their safety to someone who really didn’t care about their job because they could always get another one for $8.00 an hour somewhere else?

    Think about the hundreds of thousands of miles the operators drive and the thousands of people they haul every year. They deserve what they make. It’s not a fortune. It’s blue collar middle class.

    1. Zoeyzotron says:


      1. Cc says:

        When’s the last time you saw a school bus driver driving through Arlington Heights at 11:30PM at night Zoey huh? I’ll be the first to say school bus drivers are underpaid definitely.
        We trust them with our children right? We trust Port Authority drivers with our children too….you know who else? Our mothers, fathers, grandparents,our senior citizens, the physically handicap, the psychotic who lives down the street, the methadone clinic patient who’s itchin’ to get to his fix, how about the mentally handicap panhandler who’s just relieved himself in one of the seats? They’re trusted with him too. And the con artist who tries to beat the fair every time because Port Authority works on the “honor” system when collecting fares. I could go on and on.
        Just shows how clueless you are about the job. Most school bus drivers are either retirees using it as supplemental income or a spouse using it as supplemental income or person’s second or third job.It’s a part time job in most cases. They work 3 hours in the morning and three in the afternoon. You going to try and raise a family on what a school bus driver makes? LOL But that’s where you want it to go, not surprisingly, drag them wages straight to the bottom, typical right should be ashamed of yourself.

        I am still searching for that application you MUST have filled out to grab that overpaid cushy Port Authority driver job that was readily available not so long ago.

      2. cc says:

        Vics and Dice and Mary were right it’s MIDDLECLASS ENVY!!!?

  34. Rachael Kowalski says:

    This Vicsbean has like 25 of the 100 posts. I’m taking 2-1 odds he is a member of local 85 and while he has spent the entire morning at work commenting on this message board he has been collecting overtime to boot. What do you have to say for yourself?

    1. Just Curious says:

      I don’t know who Vicsbean is but, just for your info, not all members of Local 85 work 9-5 jobs. Some of them work 3-11, 4-12, 12-8, etc. so he was probably on his own personal time while he was posting all his messages. I guess all the people who criticize Port Authority are allowed to dictate what its employees do on their own time as well as while they are working?

      1. Frank says:

        Or some of the members of local 85 just change their online screen name from Vicsbean to Just Curious.

      2. Just Curious says:

        No, Frank, I’m the same name I’ve been all day. I’m not in that union. Not that it’s any of your business, or Rachael’s.

    2. Vicsbean says:

      I start as 4 PM and am on my i phone! Time to go to work till 130 AM to earn my keep!

  35. swin says:

    How come the enormous wealth that Reagonomics passed on to the upper class never trickled down to the working class? And now home come the cuts that the working class are enduring are not trickling up to the wealthy class?

    If the drivers are taking a 10% pay cut, then how about the directors taking a 25% pay cut? In fact, why not set everything up so that no one in the Port Authority can make a salary more than double that of a driver? Then, if the drivers are asked to take a cut then management automatically gets one too.

  36. John says:

    Port Authority operators have the highest wage when adjusted for cost of living compared to operators in any other city in the country. Pension costs for the Port Authority is 4 times higher than Philadelphia’s cost, despite have 1/3 of the workers.

  37. swin says:

    The Port Authority took over Pittsburgh Railways Company in March of 1964. Had this not happened, what would be different?
    1. Salaries across the board, including management, would be lower.
    2. The company would have kept the streetcars with their private-rights-of-way. No millions spent on busways.
    3. The new streetcars would have been routed down 3rd Avenue to Smithfield and up 4th Avenue. No millions on the subway.
    4. The streetcars would have stayed on Washington Road – no millions for the Mt. Lebanon Subway.
    5. No tunnel under the river – hundreds of millions of dollars saved.

    This is what ‘public’ ownership of transportation has cost you. And these busways and subways and tunnels have to be maintained, at high cost to future riders.

    1. Vicsbean says:

      Swin? And you prob would not have been conceived in the back of a bus! Just kidding! LOL

      Are you for real. What hole did you crawl out of anyway?

      Idiotic post!

  38. Brian Watkins says:

    Take advantage?? Get a clue

  39. swin says:

    The chairman of Ford Motor just got paid $56.5 million. The New York Times just reported that General Electric made a $14.2 billion dollar profit last year and is claiming a $3.2 billion tax credit. Obama bails out the banks so you pay for their losses and then you get 0.0001 % interest on your savings account. Obama bails out GM and they walk away from all their pension obligations but executives keep their share of the wealth.

    And you working class fools are fighting with each other over how much you all make. The wealthy class of this country throws crumbs off their table and laugh in glee as they watch all of you fighting each other over them. And they pass their NAFTA’s and free trade agreements to take your job away from you and allow illegal aliens to enter this country who will work for less than you can afford to.. But they got you figured out – just turn all of you against each other so that you don’t figure out who the real enemy is.

  40. Swinidiot says:

    Um, board members don’t get paid.

  41. Union Label says:

    Lower the pensions!!!!!! These old guys don’t need the money,

  42. Ryder says:

    The Transportation Industry is no joke. Dealing with the public, time schedules, management issues, along with the responsibility of safe driving through the streets of Pittsburgh, especially during rush-hour and severe weather, is a major task. These operators are deserving of more money. It is a skilled profession, that all can not master. The stress level is high, meanwhile the life expectancy, after retirement, is very low. Factor in, the responsibility of the many lives. In the unfortunate event of an accident, the burden of blame, is placed upon the shoulders of the operator (driver error), not mechanical defect.
    Executives like Mr. Dan Onorato, expects more labor, for less wages. Meanwhile, he could not nor, would not handle the kind of job, these Professional men & women perform, daily.
    For the so-called Doctor, you expect people to perform a service for you, at a lower wage, while you expect to be paid at a higher price. Who are you, to believe that you are so much better than them?
    If you take time to look at the reality of this situation, you can see, mismanagement and greed, staring you in the face.

  43. Vicsbean says:

    New North Shore street to be named after Noll

    Read more: New North Shore street to be named after Noll – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Read this closely! More corporate WELFARE for the STEELERS!

    And there are hundreds of such cases! The tax base went to corporate America in giveaways! PERIOD!
    And placed on the backs of working America!

    Just like all of us, working Americans who foot the bill for corporate America and the WELFARE STATE!

    Thanks everyone for your two cents! But we are all being swindled!

    Even you Zoey! Blame someone! Because even you are powerless!

  44. redrock100 says:

    McMahon is a meathead

  45. FedUp says:

    Many have contributed to this situation, they should all feel the pain!

    Lower salaries, wage freezes, higher contribution to health care, convert all new pensions to a 401k plan. Management and Union members alike.

    More realistic, higher fares that more accurately reflect costs of running a transit company. All routes, all riders except seniors and the disabled.

    Not much can be done for prior retirees since their deals are protected by a Union contract! Unless PAT is allowed to go into bankruptcy and then it can all be thrown out the window and re-negotiated.

    Hard choices but limited options.

  46. Soda says:

    Wow! See what in-breeding will do? Poor Uncle Cracker is crumbling right before our very eyes. Pretty soon he won’t amount to more than a pile of crumbs. Oh, wait, that would be a step up for him..sorry!

  47. Shane says:

    Well heres the real deal with the portauthority, the reason its in the shape it is stems from MISMANAGEMENT. That is the first thing,second is all the retired employees,from managers to service workers that retired under the old contract are making more retired than when they were working.I know thats a fact because i know a retired bus driver that was under that old contract and he told me the real deal. The necessary thing to do simply is,shut it down completly,restructure the whole thing (meaning everyone who retired,oh well your on your own,i’m sure that your paid and if your not to bad,then just die already.)Start it anew with a clean slate and with better management and workers,workers that are hungry not fat and lazy like the ones there now.Have you ever seen them people,my god are they for real.

    1. sl says:

      If the company shut down tomorrow , our money that is in the pension fund that has been invested which incidently was funded by us, is our money , not the companies. We would still collect the same as we are now. It would be the same if you took some of your earnings and invested it wisely, that would be your money. Of coarse the big question here is were you smart enough. Obviosly you are because you think you are so well informed!!! Get the facts right Dummy!!

  48. sl says:

    I would like to invite Steve Bland to ride the bus with me. During my commute. For one week. I’ll even take three days in a row! Does anyone know if he actually uses the service? He’ll get to see shoddy service first hand. Not on time. Constant breakdowns. Drivers who drive the wrong route and I have to ask them if the are lost. Inefficient transfer system. I would love an ‘investigative’ report with that.

    I would never last as a bus driver. I know for sure I would pass up the methodone clinics and kick off people who are talking to loud on their cell phone. People will pay if you offer a good, reliable service. DC Metro? Amazing.

  49. Shane says:

    Retirees ALONG with CURRENT FAT CAT MANAGEMENT are the reason PAT is on life support.Do the research,thoes retired are killing the bottom line.They get perks that would blow your mind and send you on a bad trip man.If you knew what they (retirees)were getting in their pensions you would REVOLT in the streets like the dam TOWEL HEADS are revolting in the middle east!!!!!!

    1. ya says:

      You must be on drugs and doing a bad trip yourself. The reason they are on pension now is The Port Authority put them on pension so they could save millions on cheaper new hirees. Besides the pension fund is totally different from the operating fund and most of that fund was built on employee contributions and investing in the stock market. Not by Port Authority. As A matter of fact they are the least responsable.

  50. Keeshana says:

    How will the brothers gets to the welfare office if da buses don’t go there?

  51. James Love says:

    For all of you who blame ATU 85 Members over the cuts that are being forced on us PAAC Transit riders and our well dedicated Operators and Mechanics, you fools who are against ATU 85 Members deserve the pentions retirement benifits all they are being paid for. ATU members put out enough, its about time Dan Onoraldo Steve Bland and the PAAC Board start giving more back from the Offices. We Passengers can’t afford more cuts or fare increases and Private routes are not the answer. The greed from the PAAC Offices must stop. Dispite the lies from Dan Steve and Board facts are that theres more cuts coming as Steve Dan and Borad continue to make plans to distroy PAAC Routes Jobs and more, for facts are that Steve Bland is a 100% Union and Transit buster. Steve has done this in Albany NY, Denver CO, Harrisburg and York PA and many other CItys. They had no plans to stop the cuts for March 27th and they have full plans on distroying PAAC and selling routes. People wise up to the facts. Force Dan Steve and the Board out of Office and leave our routes alone and Scab Companys back off.

  52. Torocaca says:

    Lets see – this deal from the union was to give back the 3% not given to them until January 2012 and to require the union members to pay 10% into the union pension fund. Wow, that’s really clear how that would “cut” expenses from the Port Authority budget- give back what you have’nt even received yet (though they did get a 3% raise in January 2011, but let’s not worry about that), and contribute more to their own pension fund.

    1. smarter than you says:

      Obviously you dont know what you are talking about brainless wonder. If the union employees put the 10% in that means the company does not have to contribute to the pension fund there by giving them more operating funds.

  53. mark says:

    Pat McMahon looked like a spoiled child having a temper tantrum because nobody jumped on his offer. Pat..take the 20 million in cuts, your members will still make more than they would on unemployment or a replacement job. I’m sure those losing their jobs will take comfiort that you refused to let them even vote on Onoratos plan. Wake up, too little too late.

  54. John Testa says:

    right to work is the only way this state is going to survive.the day of the over paid and compensated union worker is done. you have abused the citizens of this great nation for to long. it is the unions fault jobs have gone have ruined this great nation and now it is about to bite you in the ass.

  55. David says:

    Pat McMahon needs to realize that taxpayers are now demanding accountability in where our taxes are spent. We are not going to pay bus drivers and other union workers excessively more than what private sector operators would do the same job. The days of overtime pay in excess of 8 hours, full retirement at extremely you ages, excessive pensions and no cost health insurance are over. You can get these types of compensation packages in private sector so why should taxpayers fund it in the public sector. Until Mr. McMahon realizes this fact his policy and union will be under attack. Unionization is fine as long as the union realizes they must change with the times. Good luck Mr. McMahon but I think your days are numbered.

  56. FedJp says:

    Too much for too long and now too little too late! PAT Management and Union members only need find a mirror when looking for someone to blame for the mess they’re in!

  57. dave says:

    For all you people who hate unions. If you have paid holidays,give them up.If you have vacation time,sick days, heath care benefits, give them up.If you have safe working conditions,give them up.40 hour work week, gone.Two days off per week,history.If your children are in school instead of the sweat shop ,get with the program.Everyone must work.Get hurt at work.Your fired.No,unemployment insurance does not exist.Some people like the american life style.But they forget how it came about.Many people enjoy it even though they never did anything to deserve it.Wake up people.

  58. Get your Facts Straight says:

    For the people who think they get the facts from the news on the Port Authority and the union, Toss this around for a bit and if you have a brain maybe it will sink in. Just a few facts. Did you know that management keeps wanting to take away the 10 sick days that union members get , but the low down is all of Management gets 20 sick days a year, Fact two. Did you know that alot of people that were in management started to collect pensions and then came back to work and there salary was held in escrow while they received there pension. And then once they retired for good that salary was paid to them in one lump some therefore in essence doubling their own salary. Fact 3. Port Authority pensions are paid out of a totally separe fund than the operating fund. And 90% of that money was made in investing in the stock market.Port Authority likes to tell the public that they are responsible for it, but, they are not. As a matter of fact , those funds come from 3 main sources, the stoc market, employee contributions and the company unto which the company puts in the least. So what the retired drivers get on pension, has very little to do with port authoritiescontributions. Fact 4 The Port Authority offered those pensions to the drivers because of the fact they would be paid out of a different fund, thereby the company being able to save millions upon millions of dollars by hiring new drivers at a much reduced wage.The retirees are not bleeding the Port Authority dry, we are on retirement because unequivically that is what they wanted. Now they are sending up smokescreans to try to confuse the puplic. The union stepped forward with a cost saving plan, but before that should go into gear every member of management should make the exact same give backs and that includes you Mr six figure Steve Bland. Mr Onoroto has stepped into try to resolve this , but the fact of the matter is, he is a Politician and it will look good on his Resume if he does. But make sure you have your facts straight Mr. Onoroto.

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