Port Authority To Probe Problems With Monday’s Commute
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Port Authority is taking a closer look at the problems that occurred with service on Monday.
It was the first regular business day of operation with the 15 percent cutback in service. About 180 employees were laid off and 29 routes were eliminated.
Officials with the Port Authority say the flow of operation was hampered by buses out of service, measured by hours out of service.
Five to 10 hours is normal, but on Monday it was 190 hours.
What still isn’t clear is if the parked buses were due to drivers not getting trained, sick days or too many vacation days.
“So we’re going to be looking at that closely and addressing it internally,” Jim Ritchie, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said.
According to Ritchie, 97 percent of the new system was up and operating on Monday, meaning the majority of drivers had fulfilled the requirement in their union contract to schedule training on overtime outside their normal shifts.
“And a far smaller group of people who didn’t do that and clearly attributed to the problems we had on Monday,” he said.
There were so many untrained drivers reporting for work on Monday, there weren’t enough supervisor trainers. Some drivers literally sat around the bus garages waiting for an opportunity to be trained.
Local 85, which represents the driver, has taken the position all along that management did not plan well enough to get the drivers trained in time.
Union president Pat McMahon did not return calls for comment.