Onorato Defends Port Authority Cuts

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/KDKA-TV) — As commuters grapple with service reductions by the Port Authority, the county executive defended his position on the airwaves.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato was a guest on Marty Griffin’s show on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. He said the area needs a viable mass transit system.

Bus drivers called in to make their case.

“I cannot bear the full load of the weight that’s being put on me,” the caller said. “I don’t want to pay for all the retirees’ pensions.”

“The issue right now is the retirees legally have their deal and they left their job under that deal,” Onorato said.

Another worker said he’s been on the job for 11 years.

“I want to be there 25 [years]. I want to retire, but I got to face reality,” he said.

Questions about privatization were also raised.

“Are there certain areas that are profitable? Sure, I bet there’s a company that would want to cherry pick a route here or there, but that’s not the way to do this,” Onorato said.

The transit union said it’s ready to go back to the bargaining table. Onorato said he’ll return to the table, but there’s probably some dispute over what they’ll actually bargain about.

Allegheny County Council is set to have a special meeting on Wednesday about this crisis.

RELATED STORIES:

Port Authority Service Cuts Go Into Effect
County Council President To Call Special Session For Port Authority Cuts

More Port Authority News

RELATED LINKS:
Port Authority
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85

More from Marty Griffin
Comments

One Comment

  1. dd says:

    this guy is a liar and piece of s–t

    1. bob says:

      why?? do you think we should pay more taxes….sooo you can get a sweatheart pension???

  2. dave says:

    HEY DAN.. RIDE A BUS.. NO ONE CARES UT LITTLE SAD STORY… PLAY THE VIOLIN. BOO HOO…. TRYING TO SAVE UR OWN ASS… GET OFF UR HIGH HORSE!

  3. WINNING says:

    NO DEAL YOU RAT!!!!!

  4. Me says:

    It’s great that everyone is just now jumping on the bandwagon lately. Dan-O is correct in stating it’s not everone’s fault RIGHT NOW, it indeed has been an issue a long time coming. But why has it taken so long to become an issue NOW where it is detrimental to people. I guess people are just the patsies as they want us to be played, to be used for one side or the other.
    Why did management, the union, & County government let it go on as long as it has without stopping at some point. Doesn’t anyone look into the budget on an annual basis? Aren’t obligations for management to deal with long-term as well as short term business. As usual, we pay for the play. Dan I can only blame you partially for allowing the issue to last so long in your tenure, but I also commend you for coming out at this time.

  5. VM says:

    DAN ONORATO YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. WHY DON’T YOU HELP THE UNOIN THAT YOU SPOKE OF WHEN YOU WE CAMPAIGNING FOR GOVERNOR. YOUR ADS STATED YOU A FROM A HARDWORKNG FAMILY.WHAT DO YOU THINK THE EMPLOYEES OF THE PORT AUTHORITYARE. THEY ARE TRYING TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES AND KEEP THEIR HOMES AND PUT THEIR KIDS THRU COLLEGE. WHY DON’TYOU ASK HE EXECS AT PORT AUTORIY TO TAKE A PAY CUT. WHY DONT YOU FIND OUT THE COST OF THAT FANCYCORPRATE OFFICE. i BE THA WOULD HELP THE DEFICIT. i HOPE THOSE HARDWORKING PAENTS ARE PROUD OF YOU BOY !!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The Geno says:

    VM – did you just say union and hard working in the same sentence?!?! They need something like spell check…called logic check or something to catch such errors…

    1. VM says:

      Sorry to offend you, you apparently have a problem with unions. Did you or your parents work for a steel mill? Mine did I come from a long line of hard working people apparently you do not. Please get a life and don’t voice your opinion about things in which you know nothing about. IS MY SPELLING GOOD FOR U TODAY???????? I can see that you have nothing beter to do then sit on your computer and write numerous comments about Unions. Your life must be so sad. AND YES I CAN USE UNION AND HARDWORKING IN THE SAME SENTENCE !!!! ONE MORE QUESTION ARE YOU ON WELFARE, UNEMPLOYED OR DID YOU TRY TO GET A JOB AT PAT AND THEY REJECTED YOU? NOW GO USE YOUR FOOD STAMPS AND GET A NICE LUNCH . BECAUSE I NEED TO GET BACK TO WORK, AND YES I DO WORK FOR MY PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Robert says:

    I see all these reports do about a 3 minute segment on the cutting of buses, if you want to get a real feel for the importance of the bus cuts, get up in the morning with many of us, wait in the cold and rain for a bus. You might get on it, crowded and you are paying $90 for a monthly pass and you have to stand. This city does not care about the regular hard working people in this city. Get rid of the board members of Port Authority and get new ones. I got an idea, get a review board from another city wish in doing well in the economy and has not ties to the city and let them make a recommendation on the problems of this city.

    1. Jim says:

      If your crying about $90 bucks a month buy a car and see how far $90 will get you.

  8. FedUp says:

    Why is it that everyone is ragging on how overpaid PAT bus drivers aret, but no one seems to care when a corporate CEO destroys the company he was hired to run, only to still walk away with a severance worth MILLIONS OF DOLLARS — after being fired! Get off the backs of the WORKING MAN and give up some of your luxuries for a change . . . you politicians wouldn’t last a day getting your hands dirty. Get your a**es out of your corporate board rooms and drive ONE SHIFT on a PAT bus through Homewood or the Hill, and THEN tell me that these drivers don’t deserve their pay. When are YOU going to make sacrifices? I have to agree with McMahon . . . this is union busting.

    1. driving bus is dangerous haaaa says:

      give me a break they are driiviing a bus through the area. They dont deserve theiir pay

    2. Gina says:

      @Fedup, I ride the bus thru the Hill, not sure what Dan would experience to change his mind, If you are talking about job safety or security, I have a friend that works for PAT that stated in Squirrel Hill, they will call and lie on bus drivers, bus drivers are written all the time without considering the bus drivers side of the story. My gripe is Hill riders don’t call nor write to complain about service. Now I support the union and the members, but if you want to throw stones at a community, we can find plenty fault with drivers as well.

    3. VM says:

      YOU GO NOW THAT IS COMMENT FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!

  9. The Geno says:

    The Board is overpaid…the drivers are overpaid…the mechanics are overpaid…and US, the hard working taxpayers…pay for it. Get rid of them all…and start from scratch without all the shadiness…

  10. Georgia says:

    Hey Larry from McCandless – Sure Onorato sounds like he cares… He’s a Politician, that’s what he does; his job is to make you believe him and he is good at it.

  11. dave says:

    Average PAT driver salary = $47,944
    Average CoachUSA driver = $35,360
    Average US Salary = $42,028

    ……
    Steve Bland CEO of PAT = $180,000

    1. Nick says:

      I have to correct you.
      Steve Bland CEO of PAT= $210,000!

  12. The Geno says:

    dave

    Average PAT driver salary = $47,944
    Average CoachUSA driver = $35,360
    Average US Salary = $42,028

    ……
    Steve Bland CEO of PAT = $180,000

    —————————————————-
    Actually $180,000 is rather low for a CEO.

    I don’t think the salaries are what cripples the taxpayers more than the UNIONS greedy policies of demanding huge pension plans…and outlandish health care where these drivers are paying 3%… This union greed and union’s love of money…is hurting every american…young and old…but mostly the poor.

  13. Jack Best says:

    Do like Denver, PRIVATTIZE, Let the union bid on routes againest private bus lines. End this money pit now.

    .

  14. Annie Nonomus says:

    All the negative comments about the unions and the present retirees having health care are obviously from jealous people who feel if I can’t have it then you shouldn’t have it either. Well some people own beach front mansions, that is something that I’ll never be able to have, but I don’t expect the people who do have it to give it up because I can’t have it. And the people who say let them go under or to privatize are obviously people that once applied with Port Authority and couldn’t get hired for one reason or another.

    1. vm says:

      You go Girl !!!!!!

    2. bob says:

      you must not be the brightest bulb in the family…jealous people?// why do you think we should pay for your perks!!! your pension should be based on what they can afford..and be sustable… but with your mentality you think we should pay for it..maybe come up with a extra tax for idiot PAT retirees….soo sad your union does not understand they are running you out of business…

  15. Dan Is the Man.Not caving to union thugs says:

    Yeah for Dan Onorato !!! Someone is finally standing up to the union thugs. Every year Port Authority is crying about money. Pat McMahon lied to his union people. He is only for himself. The cuts he suggested were a joke. My bus for years has always been over crowded. People are always standing on my bus. So I started driving. Big deal. Make changes. I am still waiting for my government bail out. If you want to ride the buses pay the higher fare. Tax payers are tired of paying for all the free rides. Note to union thugs, start looking for a job,what are you afraid of that you will not have health insurance like of rest of us or maybe your premium will be over 800.00 a month like most of us pay. Look what happened to the steel workers and they all ended up with nothing.

  16. James T says:

    I agree with Annie, I’m tired of the “me” generation. Or the “I want it because he has it “BS. The retired guys negotiated the contract that they retired under and the guys before them had a better one and the guys before them and so on and so on. You don’t hear anyone else complaining that they didn’t get what the guys that went before them got. So buck up and negotiate the best contract that you can when the time comes. Someday if the economy turns around you might be able to negotiate an even better one before you retire. And yes raise the fares, I’ll pay the extra money to get to work, it’s still cheaper than buying gas, dealing with traffic and parking. As of now my route was one that was involved in the cut and I’d gladly pay an extra buck to have my bus ride back. I hate driving in town with all of you anti-union, couldn’t get a union job so now I’m bitter people. Oh and have a nice day.

  17. I love this city says:

    Did everyone check out the cool fare boxes that will be on all of the buses?

    1. smokey says:

      Yes, they are great… Unless you buy tickets… Which you just hand to the driver or you are asked to rip it in half.

      I wonder how much they spent for the fare boxes?… What a joke!

      Its like buying an auto satellite radio and meanwhile your car won’t start!!!!

  18. smokey says:

    Bottom line…
    patransit is mismanaged…
    employees have taken advantage of the system!
    many of us regular folks have paid a lot more for healthcare & retirement while our salaries barely go up. So last year my bus was removed from service, rate were raised, and now I walk 1.5 miles to cathc another (far more crowded) bus and hope I can fit and make it to work ontime. Thanks PatTransit- good luck hope you receive the same treatment!

    Its time for a change! I agree with the Steelworkers comment. Thankfully they were not providing local services.

    p.s. this web interface sucks….! horrible implementation!

  19. redrock100 says:

    WALK u r all lazy

  20. The well is dry says:

    If you want a ride somewhere you should pay for the whole fare. Why do the people who use a bus expect to pay half of what it costs to actually get them to their destination? If I saved up and bought a car why am I additionally forced to pay to get you halfway to work? The whole system is absurd. Im so glad seeing Pat McMahon get nada as he kicks and screams at the public tit. Compared to his predecessor Steve Bland is a bargain.

  21. PghProud says:

    When has Onorato EVER utilized the public transit system in Pittsburgh? Maybe we should have him ride one, with the cuts enforced, for about a month. Then he can give an acurate depiction of how the downsizing affects the city.
    And I personally believe that there should be a salary cap on drivers. $90,000 to drive a bus? With limited education? That’s just absurd! People with masters degrees don’t make that much! Be realistic Port Authority! Try paying for part of your benefits like the rest of Pittsburgh does. Being in a union does not give you the right to take advantage of the system.

    1. mike says:

      90K? they make an avg of 48K….wish you people would stop lying…..you act as if the drivers are millionaires. athletes actors etc…and until you actually drive that bus, do that job….then don’t minimize it…..you don’t know so be quiet

  22. Bill f says:

    I am a retired driver of the Port Authority and retired in the yearOctober 0f 2004. Before I retired I weighed the pros and cons and naturally if I could afford to retire. After reviewing everything , I decided that I could. That decision was based on the money I would have comming in to that I would have going out. At that time I decided I could do it. I was not required to pay health care and that heavily entered into my decision. It is also important to know that while the cost of living keeps going up I was never issued a cost of living raise the whole time I have been on pension. Now that talks are on the table that I might have to start contributing to my health care. I can honestly say that me not having to pay for hospitalization was a big part in me deciding I was able to retire. I retired under a legal binding contract and definately think it would be illegal for me to have to start paying now for health care. If that were the case then I would want my job back with full seniority. I know that kind of sounds a little ridiculous but I for one can honestly say My decision would have been quite different if I knew I was going to have to pay health care, not to mention the fact if they try to make me there certainly will be lawsuits.

  23. Shane says:

    I realize there is a whole bunch of you out there that are beyond frustrated with the recent cuts placed by Port Authority of Allegheny County. I can honestly say that I completely understand, because I’ve been there before. That is exactly why we here at the Pittsburgh Pony Express is offering the general public trips to and from your locations at a reduced rate that may even SAVE you money compared to your typical transit rates! Call us today at 412-366-1151 or email us at pittsburghponyexpress@gmail.com for more details and get that ride scheduled ASAP!!

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