County Council To Meet About Port Authority Cuts

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Allegheny County Council will hold a special session Wednesday night to discuss the recent Port Authority service cuts.

On Sunday, a 15 percent reduction in service went into effect. A total of 29 routes were eliminated, service on another 37 routes was reduced and 180 workers were laid off.

The recent cuts are hurting everyone from riders to workers to county officials.

Tonight’s meeting will begin at 5 p.m.

On Tuesday, union officials and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato said they are willing to restart talks.

The talks would be about contract givebacks that could possibly allow the Port Authority to restore service in the areas affected by the recent cuts.

Onorato said he is open-minded and is willing to listen to any real proposal from the union, as long as it has a positive impact on the Port Authority’s budget

Those meeting tonight said it is a restart of discussions, but they don’t want to give the public a false sense of hope.

RELATED STORIES:

Onorato Defends Port Authority Cuts
Port Authority Service Cuts Go Into Effect

More Port Authority News

RELATED LINKS:
Port Authority
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85

 

Comments

One Comment

  1. slalbe says:

    Let’s just hope a workable solution for everyone will be the main focus. We need bus service. Plain and Simple. It’s one of the lifelines to Pittsburgh and other communities. There are good people driving the buses. It’s time to really listen to one another instead of all the infighting. Best of Luck on the talks today and in the future. Restore service to the ones who really need it. Even if it is a limited service for those with disabilities and low income. And may God be with you in it all. I am greatful for the service we do have. I love coming to Pittsburgh everyday from McDonald. I really do. Riding the bus has been more positive for me then negative. Other than cutting our 33F McDonald service.

    1. UPS Driver says:

      riddle me this batman why does the custodian at the bus garage and the trolly car house make 40 dollars an hour on overtime picking up cheeseburger wrappers while the drivers are out driving. molly maids can do it for 5.00/hr and……….. in that i am a custodian making that kind of money i get three hours lu nch everyday.

      1. Regina says:

        You are right about one thing…the Service Person at the garages makes about the same amount of money the Mechanics make. This should NOT be the case.
        Change the wages for that position to save money.

  2. Jack Best says:

    As long as the talks are positive for the pulic, but I get a bad feeling thinking its just not going to stop this big money pit without reorgainizing

  3. Braden Parker says:

    Yeah, let’s ignore the real problem with the port authority, shall we? Let’s ignore the fact that their union demands have put the port authority in this situation? Let’s ignore the huge salaries the bus drivers get, not to mention the perks and the huge pension plans. Let’s forget how local bars had a tax slapped upon them in order to subsidize the port authority’s inability to live within its own means. You all forgot about that already, right? Let’s forget about how the port authority will threaten cuts, threaten fare increases all the while they continue to be financially irresponsible. Why is it the port authority continues to not live within its own means? Are you people out there really this dense?

    1. Black Cat says:

      DId you forget the drink tax started at 10% and now is reduced to 7%?
      Do you know why it was reduced?

      1. Mary says:

        PAT isnt benefitting from the drink tax. READ…LEARN… OnoRATo used it to offset Allegheny County property tax so he would be able to “not raise property taxes while in office”… to make himself look good!!!!!
        So dont blame PAT for drink tax or “mis-using” money received from drink tax. Didnt happen.
        On another note… Force RETIREES to pay part of their health care. Last night, OnoRATo DISMISSED this idea by saying they are retired and cant touch their retirement deal. Somethings got to give with it.
        Even if current employees got HALF of wages/benefits….the skyrocketing RETIREE healthcare will continue to eat PAT alive.

      2. Black Cat says:

        Too late Mary—retirees are getting full benefits right now.

  4. Dr. Heffner says:

    Shut the thing down and privatize it. The government and the union both have been draining and cheatring the taxpaying public for years.

    1. Mary says:

      Guess you dont rely on public transportation….
      Easier said, than done.

      1. North says:

        Let the route reductions remain and start looking for others to reduce. I was leaving Wilkinsburg yesterday evening with THREE buses behind me on Hay Street, next to Stanton Electric. There were FOUR riders on one bus (in service), no riders on another bus (in service), and two riders on the third bus (in service) at 8:30pm.

        I realize the bus way is there, but running a bus route with fewer than 10 riders is all too common and no way to structure public transportation.

        If all bus routes feature few riders, take the funding away from PAT and subsidize another form of public transportation that WILL work for the community.

  5. Zoeyzotron says:

    This is an absolute waste of time unless the UNION will talk about legacy costs. PENSIONS will need to be changed to 401ks. HEALTHCARE for retired employees will have to be addressed. Healthcase Contributions will have to go way up. Overtime rules changes. and I am sure wages will have to be looked at too.

    If PAT were a business it would have filed bankruptcy 10 years ago. Its the sad truth.

    1. Mary says:

      Current employees will NOT get the kind of pension/benfits that RETIREES get now. THAT WAS ALREADY CHANGED WITH THE LAST CONTRACT!!!!
      How can you get RETIREES to pay towards their own healthcare? Not those who havent retired yet…those who have RETIRED ALREADY>>>>
      THAT’S THE PROBLEM>>>>>>>>CURRENT RETIREES.

      1. Black Cat says:

        A little bit jealour are you Mary?

      2. Black Cat says:

        JEALOUS

      3. Mary says:

        Not by a long shot Black Cat but trying to find a solution to a big problem.
        Pay current employees $10 an hour..wont do much against retiree healthcare for CURRENT RETIREES.
        If the union people want to stick together then they should be willing to make sacrifices for their union ‘brothers’ and that includes current retirees.
        If PAT goes under, what will current retirees have then?

      4. Mary says:

        Black Cat…you are (or someone you know) retired from PAT I assume? Otherwise you would grasp the enormity of what the current retirees receive. PAT can not keep paying for their healthcare like this and those working now cant help, no matter what they do, to balance that atrocity. Its a no-win situation.

  6. Steve says:

    You know whats funny is these clueless union workers voted for Onarato in the Govenors election…thats how dumb they really are. The gravy train for these public sector workers is over

    1. Mary says:

      Steve….OnoRATo lost Allegheny County. He certainly did NOT have PAT Union employees backing him. They figured out a LONG time ago that OnoRATo said what he needed to say to everyone to get elected….his WORD sucks!!!!!

      1. Steve says:

        He certainly did have Local 85 backing him and voting for him! I saw the local 85 newsletters telling these pawns to vote for him and anyone with a “D” next to him. I have multiple sources in my neighbor that work there. I dont support him or PAT..they both are failed

      2. Smithton5 says:

        My husband works there NOW and The ACTUAL EMPLOYEES did NOT want him in. doesnt matter what union wrote on papers the workers hated him and would not vote for him

  7. Mindpower says:

    The Port Authority is a Dinosaur along with the contracts, without a revamp of the entire operations of this authority it’s dead in the water. It’s serving the employees not the Public, legacy costs alone can not survive much longer with 3,300 retirees with free healthcare with minimal contribution if any. Plus Pensions.

  8. lou says:

    i totally agree Mary. The last contract the union said they would purchase their own healthcare and Port Authority said NO. Current empoyees will NOT get the kind of benefits that retirees get now. These people are blinded by the media and propaganda. Onarato wont address retiree healthcare because he has family members retired from the Port Authority.

    1. Dave says:

      Really? He has family members retired from the Port Authority? LOL What proof do you have?

      I happen to know Dan very well and his best interest is in the city. He doesn’t have any direct relatives retired from the Port Authority.

      People are crazy. You can say anything on the Internet and get away with it.

      1. Mary says:

        Dave,
        His ACTIONS speak louder than his words.
        He has ‘said’ one thing yet ‘done’ another.
        And I personally know the current employees at PAT and for the most part they realize they will have to pay more for health, make concessions etc.
        But to try to “carry” all the Legacy Costs on the backs of current workers is ridiculous. It can NOT be done!! Healthcare, for one thing, is spiraling out of control for the entire U.S. No matter what concessions the union makes now for current employees, it will have little effect on these rising costs.
        If you know Dan so well, tell him to take his “legal expertise” and find a way to put healtchcare costs on backs of those ALREADY RETIRED!!!!!!
        Then PAT may have a chance.

      2. Misty says:

        Dave really?? Dan Oranato has his own best interests at heart. Mary is right his action speaks volumes.

  9. William Miller, PHD says:

    The Port Authority is another government failure. Let’s eliminate this blood sucking entity, and the greedy union along with it. The Port Authority is a failure

  10. habib says:

    My family is deeply disturbed with the cuts of bus routes in McKeesport. The one that goes to White Oak (route 61) was the only way to for my spouse to visit kids schools in white oak. Now that route is gone and my family is wondering how they will ever be able to reach the school to attend the school calls without a bus or taxi service in McKeesport. I pray that the talks result in some sanity to restore the critical bus routes and make it a win-win situation for all.

  11. lou says:

    Why doesn’t Mr. Otorato go after the non-union employees’ benefits and legacy costs? The union gave 93 million in concessions in their last contract. They lay off 180 drivers and cut routes that impacts the people that use public transprotation. If they lay off some of the massive management. Why dont they privatize management? Read Mary’s comments she knows what she is talking about.

  12. Level Green says:

    The problem is not finding a source of revenue for the service, the problem is the cost of the service.

    From today’s Trib…….

    Onorato noted that Philadelphia’s SEPTA, which is 3 1/2 times larger than Port Authority, doles out $8 million a year for retiree health care costs; the Port Authority pays $32 million.

    This is why taxpayers are outraged. The Union had better come up with a better strategy than defending their pay package……. I blame this on PAT management that was lazy with Union negotiations and a Labor Union that was out to get everything they could. Time to pay the piper.

  13. Mary says:

    Level Green…
    What you quoted was correct..BUT BUT BUT…
    this is what they pay for CURRENT RETIREES!!
    Some of these people will collect healthcare for another 15+ years until they reach age 65. And then they will continue to receive healthcare supp to Medicare.
    Current workers WILL NOT GET THIS.
    They have to wait longer to reitre.
    Will have to pay towards health care.
    Will not get a $500/month supplement in addition to pension???
    And with each contract, more and more will be rescinded.

    In the old days, PAT MANAGEMENT got tons and tons and tons of perks. The Union saw this and wanted their share or else they would tell. So Management wanted TO PRORECT WHAT THEY GOT so they agreed. Those managers are gone. New Management was brought in for 1 reason only…break the union.
    You have a lot of dedicated people working for PAT.
    There’s a few bad apples.
    Lets work WITH all involved to solve this issue.
    I dont want to see a lot of people w/out jobs.
    I dont want to see people losing jobs cause they cant get to work.
    I certainly dont want the “all-or-none” attitude of some people.
    The current union workers WILL negotiate and pay more etc.
    Until you fix CURRENT RETIREE money vacuum ($31M sucking force), there is nothing the current workforce can do that will help.

  14. 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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