PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Port Authority proposed more fare hikes and service cuts to deal with a budget deficit at a meeting Wednesday morning.
The Port Authority said the state is experiencing a transportation funding crisis and they are in great need of sustainable transit funding to continue operation.
The Port Authority is facing a $64 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. As a result, cuts are once again part of the discussion.
Should the latest set of proposed cuts go through, it would leave Allentown to the airport to Wilmerding without service entirely.
One way to prevent these cuts from happening is if the governor and legislature can agree on a sustainable transportation funding program soon.
This has been an issue in the past and is still uncertain if it can happen.
This latest plan is not something anyone at the hearing wanted.
“Frankly I think it puts us on an irreversible trend downward in terms of the role of public transportation in the Pittsburgh region. Right now, for a city this size, we really have more people using public transit than almost any other city in the country and we’ve really started to reverse that trend. We’ve become much more auto dependent,” Steve Bland with the Port Authority said.
“If you think you’ve been sitting in front of the tunnel a long time to get to work, just imagine what that’s going to be on Sept. 3 if these cuts go through. It’s tremendous, tremendous strain on our transportation system,” Chris Sandvig from the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group said.
The plan now is for public hearings on the changes to be held at the end of Harrisburg.